Football: European parliament increases pressure on Uefa to restore Coca-Cola Cup-winners' place

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The Independent Online
Uefa, European football's governing body, was yesterday accused of "an abuse of a dominant position" contrary to European Union rules in banning England's Coca-Cola Cup winners from the Uefa Cup.

European MPs in Strasbourg passed a resolution urging Uefa to drop the ban and that increases pressure on the Brussels Commission to intervene on the Football League's behalf.

Patrick Blondeau has left Sheffield Wednesday and returned to France, joining Bordeaux on a three and a half year contract.

Wednesday's manager, Ron Atkinson, said after the pounds 1.2m deal was completed that the move to Sheffield had simply not worked out. "Rather than hang about, it's better to cut your losses and start again," he said.

Blondeau, who made only a handful of appearances for Wednesday - in part because of injuries, was a regular when Monaco won the French title last season and won a cap for France before moving to Hillsborough for pounds 1.8m. He hopes to break back into the national squad for the World Cup finals.

Queen's Park Rangers have signed Antti Heinola, a 24-year-old Finnish international right-back from the Dutch club Heracles for pounds 100,000 on a three and a half year contract.

Manchester City seem to have beaten Liverpool in the chase for the Georgia international captain, Kakhaber Tskhadadze. Liverpool were ready to offer him a trial but City's chairman, Francis Lee, wants him to become the third Georgian at Maine Road, joining Georgi Kinkladze and Murtaz Shelia. Tskhadadze, a 29-year-old defender, plays for Alania Vladikavkaz.

Chic Bates is considering his position as manager of Stoke City after an embarrassing run of results, ending in the 7-0 thrashing by Birmingham and an FA Cup exit at West Bromwich.

Andy Gray, the former England international, wants to leave Bury on a free transfer after a row with the First Division club, where he has been having a good season.

Andreas Thom has ended his two and a half year spell with Celtic by signing an 18-month contract with Hertha Berlin. The 32-year-old striker cited differences with Celtic's Dutch coach, Wim Jansen, as one of the reasons why he was unwilling to stay until the end of the season when his contract would have expired.

Drago Lekovic, Kilmarnock's Yugoslavian goalkeeper is expected to leave Rugby Park and join Sporting Gijon. The popular 30-year-old has invoked a clause in his contract allowing him to leave and was due to discuss personal terms with the Spanish club.

Kilmarnock, who confirmed they had received a written offer from Gijon, were surprised by Lekovic's desire to leave.

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