Football: Bridge work helped by the pounds 5m man: Chelsea welcome a wealthy businessman on board while Blackburn secure a point from a tough duel with Sheffield United

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The Independent Online
CHELSEA announced yesterday that Matthew Harding, a 39-year- old businessman, is investing pounds 5m in the Stamford Bridge club, funds already earmarked for redeveloping the North terrace.

Harding, a supporter since the early 1960s, joins Chelsea's board as it prepares for an extensive and expensive rebuilding programme. Construction work on the new 7,500-seat stand begins following the visit of Manchester City on 22 November, a hard-hat zone restricting the Bridge's capacity to 30,000 for the rest of the season.

Orient also announced a new name on the board yesterday, John Goldsmith, an architect, bringing his expertise to Brisbane Road's redevelopment plans.

Celtic were hoping to unveil a significant signing yesterday but are finding it difficult to prise the prized Lou Macari from Stoke City. The Parkhead club, still locked in discussion with Stoke over compensation, hoped to have Macari, a favourite from his playing days at Celtic Park, in the manager's dug- out for the visit of Sporting Lisbon tomorrow. Macari dismissed as 'pure rubbish' talk that he would be Celtic manager for the Uefa Cup tie, adding: 'I haven't seen or spoken to anyone from Celtic.'

His prospective employers had read the impasse differently. 'Talks are continuing although we are not yet in a position to make any appointment,' Kevin Kelly, the Celtic chairman, said. 'We had hoped Lou would be with us in time for last Saturday's game against Hibs but it didn't happen. The way things are going I don't know if he will be here for the European tie but despite it all we remain confident and highly optimistic that we will get our man.'

Picking the right men is also an issue for the Glaswegians' caretaker manager, Frank Connor, as he prepares his team for tomorrow's tie. Mike Galloway is struggling with an ankle injury and doubts persist over Mark McNally and Peter Grant; at least Andy Payton has returned to contention after scoring twice for the reserves at the weekend.

The good form this season of Barry Venison, the Newcastle United captain, and Paul Bracewell, the vice-captain, has earned the pair new contracts. Venison is rewarded with a three-and-a-half-year deal, 12 months more than Bracewell.

Scarborough's woeful form and the decline in support from an average of 1,600 to 1,100 has cost Phil Chambers the manager's job, although he has been asked to stay on as No 2 at the Third Division club. During Chambers' six-month spell, the McCain Stadium never witnessed a home League success.

Terry Cooper, the Birmingham City manager, yesterday lost Paul Peschisolido, his high-scoring Canadian, for three weeks with knee- ligament trouble. Cooper has agreed a pounds 60,000 deal with Leeds United to buy another striker, the 32-year-old Carl Shutt, who has been on loan for the last two months at St Andrews.

Sepp Blatter yesterday praised the FA for encouraging Premiership grounds to go all-seater, a move, he said, that helped control hooliganism. The Fifa general secretary criticised German and Belgian governments for permitting standing areas.

'I would not say these standing areas are just for hooligans, but it's somewhere the authorities can keep such elements for two hours a day,' he said. Blatter added that Fifa was against fences because 'if you put people in cages they behave like animals'.

Spurs' profit warning, page 29

European cup previews, page 38

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