Football: Beck sacked by Cambridge

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The Independent Online
JOHN BECK was yesterday sacked by Cambridge United, the club he took from the depths of the Fourth Division to within 19 minutes of a place in the FA Premier League.

Beck and his assistant, Gary Peters, were given the news by Cambridge's chairman, Reg Smart, who said that the decision had been taken 'unanimously' at a board meeting on Wednesday night.

Twenty-four hours earlier Beck had spoken to Preston about their managerial vacancy. Smart said: 'Because of all the uncertainty within the club, it was in the best interests of everyone that John Beck and Gary Peters should leave.'

Beck said: 'I was asked to resign. I said: 'No, I don't want to leave. You have to sack me'.' Which is what happened at 10.30am yesterday in the dressing- room.

Beck's success at Cambridge was achieved on the back of a highy criticised, but highly effective long-ball game. 'I was told the board's decision was a unanimous one and was taken because I had said I was ambitious,' Beck said. 'But I turned down the offer of a job at Preston on Tuesday, and would not have left Cambridge unless a really big club came in, which was unlikely.

'I didn't want to leave Cambridge when we were rebuilding after our success of recent years. But I'll always be grateful to them for giving me the chance of my first job as a manager.'

Sheffield United acted swiftly yesterday after being banned from transfer activity by the Football League. The embargo was imposed on the club after Leeds United complained they had not received money owed to them for loan deals which took Bobby Davison and Mervyn Day to Bramall Lane towards the end of last season.

The United director, Stephen Hinchcliffe, said that the full amount owed to Leeds, pounds 26,227.17, had been drawn on 8 October, but the cheque did not go through because of a winding-up order on the club, called for by a hotel chain, for non-payment of a bill for pounds 1,400.

'The hotel affair was a mix-up and was instantly paid but the injunction connected with the winding-up order delayed other payments,' Hinchcliffe said. 'We have today dispatched the full amount to Elland Road and shall be applying to the League for the ban to be lifted as soon as possible.'

Barnet's players want to force their chairman, Stan Flashman, out of the club, the manager Barry Fry said yesterday. 'The players are naturally upset by what has been going on all week, if not all season,' Fry said, referring to the alleged financial problems. 'They have sought legal advice and it would appear they want the chairman out.'