Football: Fenwick pays the price at Portsmouth

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The Independent Online
The upheavals at Portsmouth showed no signs of stopping yesterday as the manager, Terry Fenwick, followed Terry Venables out of the door. Keith Waldon, Fenwick's assistant, will take charge of the team for tonight's FA Cup third-round replay at Aston Villa.

Fenwick, the former England defender, was relieved of his duties 24 hours after Venables, his mentor and chairman, agreed to leave the club, who are rooted to the foot of the First Division table.

The 38-year-old, appointed almost three years ago as a replacement for Jim Smith, guided Portsmouth to within three points of the play-offs last season and the FA Cup quarter-finals. But this season has seen a sharp decline, and the final straw was a 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City last Saturday.

Bradford yesterday wrote to the Prime Minister and all 92 League clubs calling for David Mellor to be removed as head of the Government's Football Task Force. Mellor and the Bradford chairman, Geoffrey Richmond, have been involved in a row over suggestions made on Mellor's BBC radio talk show that race could have played a factor in the dismissal of the club's manager, Chris Kamara. And although the BBC yesterday released a statement attempting to defuse the situation, Richmond said: "I do not believe David Mellor is a fit and proper person to be head of the Football Task Force."

Middlesbrough's unsettled Brazilian midfielder Emerson has finally left the club. He signed yesterday for Tenerife on a four-year deal.

The Leeds manager, George Graham, has vowed not to buy any more players without an EU passport after another argument with the South African Football Association. Lucas Radebe might not be available for Leeds after this weekend until the start of March because of his commitments to South Africa.

"It's getting out of hand. It's got to the stage where I have decided not to sign another South African or, for that matter, anyone else without an EC passport," Graham said.

Police have urged fans without tickets to stay away from Stevenage's FA Cup fourth-round tie with Newcastle. The Conference side were given the go-ahead to stage the tie on Sunday week despite the reservations of Newcastle and their manager, Kenny Dalglish, who were concerned about the safety of spectators.

But Superintendent Frank Clarke, the divisional commander for Stevenage, said: "Sky TV will be showing live coverage of the match so there is no reason for anyone without a ticket to go to Broadhall Way on that Sunday afternoon. They won't see a ball being kicked."

The French midfielder Emmanuel Petit has been ruled out of Arsenal's FA Cup replay away to the First Division side Port Vale tonight after having stitches inserted in a wound above his right eye. Ian Wright and Martin Keown are doubtful and must undergo fitness tests.