Football: Brady is surprise Brighton manager

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AS ONE of the great midfielders of his era, Liam Brady was employed in some luxurious locations from Highbury's marble halls to Italy, which makes the journey he has made to resurrect his fledgling career in management all the more unexpected. After Celtic comes Brighton and Hove Albion, poverty- stricken strugglers in the Endsleigh League Second Division.

Two months after resigning at Parkhead, the 37-year-old Dubliner has been installed as manager of a club which is at its lowest ebb for almost two decades and has just escaped a High Court winding-up order by paying off debts of nearly pounds 600,000. Brady would have earned that much in about three seasons at Celtic.

Yesterday's announcement of a successor to Barry Lloyd, who left the club earlier this month, came as a surprise, especially to the caretaker manager, Martin Hinshelwood, who was one of 20 applicants for the job but heard the decision on the radio.

David Webb, who resigned because he felt his managership at Brentford had been undermined by a League Appeals Commission decision that a player he sacked should be reinstated, has been backed by his chairman. Martin Lange was forthright in backing Webb, who dismissed Micky Bennett after the player had broken the jaw of his team-mate, Joe Allon, at the club's training ground.

'In no way do I accept the resignation of our manager David Webb. Both the board and myself are totally committed to his decision in the dismissal of Michael Bennett for serious misconduct and we will lodge an appeal against the findings of the League commission,' Lange said. 'We also reserve the right to take any further action regarding this case after taking the appropriate advice.'

Leeds United have turned down Crystal Palace's request to take the former England midfielder David Rocastle on loan. Howard Wilkinson, the Leeds manager, said Rocastle could be needed for the Christmas and New Year programme.

Fifa, the sport's world governing body, has rearranged the pools of teams for Sunday's World Cup finals draw in an attempt to achieve a better geographical balance. The new groupings are: Pot 1: Germany, United States, Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Belgium; Pot 2: Spain, Russia, Ireland, Romania, Netherlands, Bulgaria; Pot 3: Cameroon, Morocco, Nigeria, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico; Pot 4: (a) South Korea, Saudi Arabia; (b) Sweden, Norway, Greece, Switzerland.

Germany, preparing to defend the World Cup, lost 2-1 to an understrength Argentina in Miami yesterday.