Football: Blackburn seek pounds 1m McAteer pay-off

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BLACKBURN ROVERS want Liverpool to pay Jason McAteer pounds 1m to leave Anfield. The Rovers manager, Brian Kidd, is hoping to persuade the Republic of Ireland international to move, despite him earning pounds 1.2m per year at Anfield, a figure well above the pay scale at Ewood Park.

Blackburn have suggested that Liverpool give McAteer a share of the proposed pounds 4.5m transfer fee as a "loyalty" payment. McAteer - who still has most of his five-year contract to run - has not asked for a transfer and is therefore entitled to loyalty money. Blackburn would pay around pounds 18,000 a week and if Liverpool make up for McAteer's drop in pay by giving them a severance sum, the deal could yet be on.

Liverpool are thinking over the idea and may agree as they are picking up a larger fee for McAteer than they expected.

Even with around pounds 1m given back to McAteer, they would still have cleared a sizeable amount from the sale, and removed his wages from their payroll. A pounds 1m pay-off for McAteer would make the leaving of Liverpool more agreeable to the player.

Another Liverpool player likely to be happier to move is Rob Jones, who will collect pounds 1.1m a year in wages from West Ham when he accepts a move to London. Liverpool will receive just pounds 200,000 for the former England international who was rated at around pounds 3m a year ago. Jones' deal runs out in the summer.

A third Liverpool player, the striker Sean Dundee, rejected a move to the French club Strasbourg yesterday and will instead look for a new club in England. The South African-born German has been told he is not in manager Gerard Houllier's plans.

Ron Atkinson yesterday made his first purchase as the manager of Nottingham Forest, signing the 33-year-old Carlton Palmer for pounds 1.1m from Southampton.

First Division Portsmouth today face the first of two potentially fatal winding-up orders, three days before playing Leeds in the FA Cup. The first order will be brought against the club by the building company, Try Build, which is owed pounds 435,000 for work on the ground's Fratton End Stand. The second, more threatening, order, will come on 3 February. It has been taken out against Pompey by the Inland Revenue for pounds 430,000.