Football: Blood-letting at Birmingham

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The Independent Online
THE rift between Birmingham City's managing director, Karren Brady, and the team manager, Barry Fry, widened yesterday.

Fry, who placed 12 players on the transfer list on Monday in response to the club's relegation to the Second Division, issued what appeared to be a thinly veiled attack on Brady over her style of administration.

Both the manager and several members of the playing staff were incensed when they received wage deductions just 48 hours before Sunday's crucial game at Tranmere.

''You would not believe some of the things that have gone on here,' Fry said. 'The club is suffering because of it and the way we are going now we will never have the stability we need.'

Brady, who flew to Spain yesterday, denied that there was a feud between herself and Fry. She defended her decision to deduct part of the wages of five players. 'All the players received a memo saying they were responsible for any extras when they stayed in hotels at the club's expense,' she said.

Gordon Strachan, the 37- year-old Leeds and Scotland midfielder, will coach the club's 18 to 21-year-olds as well as play for the club next season. The Leeds manager, Howard Wilkinson, said: 'Gordon is a qualified coach and our young players will benefit from his vast experience. I have told him he will start next season as a player, but with added coaching responsibilities.'

Sheffield Wednesday have transfer-listed their England goalkeeper, Chris Woods, who lost his place to Kevin Pressman in October because of a groin injury and has been unable to regain it. The Wednesday manager, Trevor Francis, signed Woods from Rangers for pounds 1.2m three years ago and may be prepared to accept half that amount.

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