Football: Dalglish group undeterred

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The Independent Online
THE CONSORTIUM seeking control of Celtic has withdrawn its takeover bid, while making it clear that it has not given up the fight.

The group, led by the former Celtic player Kenny Dalglish, the Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr and the businessman Jim McAvoy, said that without being granted a meeting by the club's managing director Fergus McCann, who holds a 50.3 per cent majority, they are powerless.

Graeme Jack, speaking for the consortium, said: "It's a difficulty for us to prepare revised proposals in line with the majority shareholder if we are being denied discussions with him."

Fifa yesterday played down fears that Britain are set to lose their automatic vice-president's position on the executive committee of world football's governing body in the wake of the cash-for-votes scandal.

A Fifa spokesman said: "Experience shows that it's not that easy to change the statutes. The agenda at the Fifa Congress [which takes place next July] is always fairly limited. You need 102 votes to get a motion through."

Paul Alcock says he could take legal action against Paolo Di Canio for the push that earned the Italian an 11-match ban. The referee has been undergoing physiotherapy to combat the injuries he sustained.

"Since the incident I have had continuous pins and needles down my left leg," Alcock said. "I was unable to sleep without painkillers and it has been hard for me and my family."

Liverpool are being linked with a move for the Milan goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann. The Anfield manager Gerard Houllier is keen to recruit a new No 1 and Milan officials claim he has made an inquiry for the out-of-favour German. Milan are looking for around pounds 3m.

Southampton have pulled out of a double bid for the South American strikers Waldir Perez and Adolfo Valencia. The Saints' manager, David Jones, has cancelled the pounds 2.2m deal for Perez as the Peruvian, who plays for Alianza Lima, while Valencia, a Colombian, has been sent back after one training session.

Peter Johnson is negotiating to sell his interest in Tranmere while waiting for a bid for a tranche of his Everton shares. Johnson, who quit as Everton chairman last month, has until 31 December to dispose of his stakes in either club. Everton's vice-chairman, Bill Kenwright, is believed to have enough backers to buy 29.9 per cent of Johnson's 68 per cent Everton holding.