Football: FA summons for Fashanu and Mabbutt: Wimbledon express anger over request to appear at Lancaster Gate while Barry Fry finds rewards are greater in Birmingham

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The Independent Online
THE Football Association yesterday ordered John Fashanu and Gary Mabbutt to appear before a specially appointed Commission of Inquiry, which will investigate the incident between the two that left Mabbutt in hospital with a fractured eye-socket. 'It will be strange for Gary to come face-to-face with Fashanu again in what will virtually be a courtroom situation,' Ossie Ardiles, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, said.

Ardiles and Spurs were incensed by Fashanu's challenge on their club captain and demanded that Lancaster Gate charge the Wimbledon captain under an all-embracing rule for conduct 'considered to be ungentlemanly, insulting or improper behaviour or likely to bring the game into disrepute'. Fashanu's elbow made contact with Mabbutt's face, but the referee took no action and the Dons' forward insists that 'it was a complete and genuine accident'.

Faced with Spurs' complaint and a general outcry over the danger of raising elbows to head height in aerial challenges, the FA decided to act. Two officials from each club will accompany Mabbutt and Fashanu to watch a video recording of the incident at the Inquiry, which will be held at Lancaster Gate before Christmas.

Wimbledon were angered that an inquiry has been called. 'We wish the FA had just seen the video and said that the whole controversy was a load of rubbish,' Terry Burton, the Dons assistant manager, said.

Barry Fry, whose experience outside the bottom division of the Football League amounts to fewer than 30 matches, claimed yesterday that he would be the highest-paid manager in England if he brings success to Birmingham City.

After a week of legal threats and counter-claims over Fry between Southend and Birmingham, the former Barnet manager finally left the club fourth in the First Division yesterday and takes charge of the 19th- placed side at Crystal Palace today.

Southend had offered him 'fantastic money' to stay. 'My chairman (Vic Jobson) couldn't understand that it wasn't about money,' Fry said. 'I can attract better players here. Southend have to sell to exist, whereas David Sullivan (the Birmingham chairman) won't sell his best players.'

Nevertheless he will be on a salary of pounds 100,000 with possible bonuses totalling a further pounds 300,000. 'If we were to get up into the Premiership, I reckon I'd be the best paid manager in England,' he added. Fry will be joined at St Andrews by his No 2 Edwin Stein and player-coach David Howell.

Bobby Robson's tenure of the Sporting Lisbon manager's job ended yesterday. On Tuesday, the Portuguese were unexpectedly dismissed from the Uefa Cup by Casino Salzburg, a result Robson believes led to his dismissal. 'I'm stunned, bewildered, shocked,' he said. Carlos Queiros, hitherto Portugal's coach, replaces Robson, who may now become a target for Everton.

Southampton's Glenn Cockerill has joined Orient on a free while Swindon's Martin Ling has asked to be placed on the transfer list.

Hartlepool United's players have called off a planned strike which would have threatened today's fixture with Brighton. After their pay cheques bounced, the players

decided on strike action but, following advice from their union, the Professional Footballers' Association, changed their minds. The financially embarrassed Cleveland club face a winding-up order in the High Court next week. Brighton's record scorer, Peter Ward, who has been running a bar in Florida, has expressed interest to the Goldstone Ground club in the vacant managerial position.

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