Football: Batty's Leeds return is imminent

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DAVID BATTY is almost certain to become a Leeds United player over the next two days. The Newcastle midfielder's advisor said yesterday he has cancelled all appointments over the next 48 hours in an effort to rush through Batty's pounds 4.5m move.

"I'm expecting Leeds and Newcastle to contact one another tomorrow," Hayden Evans said. "We'll just sit tight and wait for Newcastle to say `Go and talk to Leeds'."

Arsenal's Emmanuel Petit said yesterday that players should consider going on strike because of the amount of football they are expected to play. "What can we do?" he said. "Well, we could do what they did in Italy, and stop playing - but top players in England are scared of the FA.

"Too much alcohol kills the body, too much cocaine kills the body, too much love kills the body. In fact too much of anything kills the body that's why too much football will kill the game."

Tramp Group Limited, a private international oil trading company based in Bromley, Kent, announced yesterday that they are to invest in Crystal Palace. The company will make substantial sums available to the club, and will be represented on the board.

"We have been impressed by [chairman] Mark [Goldberg]'s vision for the club and his undoubted commitment and energy, and we look forward to working with him," a spokesman for Tramp said.

Goldberg said: "I'm delighted that a company of this standing has backed our five-year plan."