Football: Charlton sack Stuart after he admits taking cocaine

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Charlton have sacked Jamie Stuart after the player admitted taking cocaine and marijuana after failing a drugs test earlier this month. Alan Curbishley, the Charlton manager, said "the shadow of suspicion" hanging over the rest of the club left him with no option.

However, Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, said: "We do not want to encourage the sledgehammer approach of terminating the contract of a player who has tested positive for drugs. We feel it is a dangerous precedent for other clubs to follow, as we believe they should be looking to help rehabilitate players."

Everton's hopes of exchanging Andy Hinchcliffe for Derby's Dean Sturridge may have hit a stumbling block because the Derby manager, Jim Smith, rates his forward as pounds 2m better than the Goodison Park defender. A pounds 4m deal had been suggested, but Smith said yesterday that he would want cash as well.

Across the city, Liverpool are giving Neil Harris a week's trial to assess a possible pounds 100,000 move from Cambridge City. The club is also almost certain to appeal against the Department of Employment's decision to refuse the United States goalkeeper Brad Friedel a work permit.

John Aldridge, Tranmere's player-manager, has signed a two-year extended contract which will keep him at Prenton Park until June 2000.

John Hollins has been confirmed as assistant to the new Queen's Park Rangers manager, Ray Harford. Hollins moved from reserve-team coach to caretaker manager after Stewart Houston's departure last month.

Sheffield Wednesday are giving a trial to the Slovenian international striker Primoz Gliha, while Barnsley, have taken a 24-year-old Estonian international, Marek Lemsalu, on a week's trial.

Wimbledon supporters were yesterday given renewed hope that the club could finally be moving back home. The club issued a joint statement with Merton council, vowing: "We wish to reassure the supporters of Wimbledon FC that the club and the council share a common goal - to do everything possible to get the Dons back to Merton."

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