Football: Butcher sacked by Sunderland

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TERRY BUTCHER, the Sunderland manager, was sacked yesterday for the second time in less than two years. Butcher and his assistant, Ian Atkins, were dismissed after a recent run of poor form by the First Division strugglers, with Mick Buxton, formerly in charge at Huddersfield, put in charge for the rest of the season, starting with today's home game against Nottingham Forest.

Butcher succeeded Malcolm Crosby in February, having been sacked by Coventry in January 1992. In a separate development, Bob Murray, having just sacked Butcher, announced his resignation as club chairman.

Aston Villa were fined pounds 20,000 by the Football Association yesterday for a breach of rules over the signing of their Australian goalkeeper, Mark Bosnich. Villa were also censured and ordered to contribute pounds 15,000 towards the costs of the case.

Notts County, who appeared before the FA last month over the arrival of Shaun Murphy and Bob Catlin, also from Australia, heard yesterday that they had been similarly punished. The charges centre around the purchase of all three players from a third party, and not their clubs. There is no appeal against the verdict.