Football: Barnet suffer loss of Stein

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The Independent Online
ED STEIN resigned as manager of Barnet yesterday to rejoin his predecessor, Barry Fry, at Southend United, writes Clive White. The departure, too, of the defender, David Howells, to Roots Hall as player-coach surely spells the end of the debt-ridden Hertfordshire club just two years after joining the Football League.

Fry first offered Stein the assistant manager's post when he left Underhill towards the end of last season but Stein chose to stay on. This time the offer was accepted. 'The demise of the club has left me with little alternative,' Stein said.

Barnet are likely to be expelled from the League unless they can come up with the pounds 500,000 bond demanded by the League before permission can be given to participate in next season's Second Division, following their promotion.

Several of the club's players are to seek free transfers at a League hearing tomorrow. Only nine players remain under contract.

Vinny Samways, who seems to be forever wanting to leave Tottenham, wishes to do so again, this time only two days after Ossie Ardiles, the new manager, said the player was happy to stay. Neil Ruddock also wants a transfer following the sacking of Terry Venables as chief executive. 'Vinny can't trust them anymore,' his agent, Eric Hall, said.

Manchester United are discussing a new six-year contract with Paul Ince which is reported to be worth pounds 2m. Meanwhile in Spain, Diego Maradona had his contract cancelled by Seville hours before it was due to expire, and was told that dollars 1.1m ( pounds 730,000) outstanding on it would not be paid.

Swindon are set to sign the Norwegian international, Jan Age Fjortoft, from Rapid Vienna for a club record fee of about pounds 650,000.

The judge investigating the Marseille bribery scandal visited the club's headquarters early yesterday to seize documents and force open the safe of the financial director, Alain Laroche, who was away in Paris.

Should allegations of bribery relating to the European Cup tie against CSKA Moscow prove founded, Silvio Berlusconi, the president of Milan, said that the final should be restaged with his team, who were runners-up to Marseille, playing Rangers.

The French club claim to have signed Paulo Futre from Benfica as a replacement for Abedi Pele, who is seeking a move.