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Football: Evans waiting for Walsall summons

ALLAN EVANS is being lined up as Walsall's new manager following the dismissal of Jan Sorensen.

Evans, the former assistant manager at Aston Villa, has been out of work since leaving Villa when John Gregory replaced Brian Little as manager. He is expected to move into the Walsall job some time in the next few days.

Sorensen left the Second Division strugglers with a thinly-veiled attack on the club's directors. The former Danish international and ex-Ajax player, who had a year left on his contract, was bitter at his treatment after taking Walsall to the fourth rounds of the FA Cup and the Coca-Cola Cup and Southern Area final of the Auto Windscreens Shield, makings an estimated pounds 750,000 for the club. However, Walsall only narrowly avoided relegation.

Birmingham are preparing to offer their manager, Trevor Francis, a new contract after his side missed out on a place in the First Division play- offs. City's chairman, David Gold, will offer Francis a new two-year deal that would keep him at St Andrew's until the year 2000.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have given free transfers to the former England winger Tony Daley and Dariusz Kubicki, the former Polish international defender. Due to injury Daley has played fewer than 20 games in four years since Graham Taylor made him the club's pounds 1.3m record signing.

The Reading manager, Tommy Burns, is set to name his former Celtic team- mate, Pat Bonner, as assistant manager of the Berkshire club. The 37-year- old former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper is currently working as a coach with Greenock Morton.

The new Scottish Premiership finally became a reality when the Scottish Football Association approved the historic change yesterday. The first new professional league in Scotland for 108 years will start next season with 10 clubs.

The SFA Council yesterday ratified its executive committee's approval of the breakaway teams' proposals to bring to an end a saga that began late last year, when the Premier Division clubs announced their desire to resign from the Scottish League and join a new set-up, enabling them to control television and sponsorship rights.

The Football League attracted its biggest crowds for over half a century in the season just finished. A total of 13,558,561 watched Nationwide League matches this season, which was the largest number for the bottom three divisions since 1971-72.

The rise from last year was 13.2 per cent, with crowds in the First Division, in which the average gate was 15,078, rising by 20.1 per cent. The Second Division total was up 8.9 per cent, with only the Third Division showing a decline, of 5.2 per cent.