Football: Francis and Rangers may part company: Trouble at Loftus Road

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GERRY FRANCIS, who not long ago was in the forefront of Football Association minds as a possible coach of England, may soon have no job at all. The Queen's Park Rangers manager offered to extend his stay at Loftus Road but yesterday revealed he had been turned down.

Francis, in his fifth season at QPR, wanted to remain for another year but was rejected due to what he described as 'circumstances'. He added: 'I know what those circumstances are, but I can't say anything about them. Only the chairman can give you information on that.'

Richard Thompson, the Premiership's youngest chairman at 31, said last night that any mooted change in ownership of the club was 'pure speculation' and 'fears for the club's stability are entirely groundless' - but the news will not quell rumours that his family, who acquired control after the collapse of the Marler Estates property company, still want to sell.

'I thought it was time,' Francis said, 'to introduce a bit of stability, to let supporters know I wanted to stay at the club and continue the work which means a lot to me. Unfortunately, that's not been possible and I don't know what the outcome will be.'

Francis, a former QPR captain who lost out to Terry Venables for the England position, indicated earlier this season that he might retire from football to concentrate on his business, which has made him independently wealthy.

David Kohler, Luton Town's managing director, has written to the Cardiff chairman, Rick Wright, and the English and Welsh FAs, accusing the Ninian Park stewards of being involved in 'horrifying and disturbing' incidents after the FA Cup tie on Sunday.

Kohler also referred to an incident in which 10 Luton fans were treated for burns and skin irritation in a Cardiff hospital after being sprayed with ammonia.

A spokesman for South Wales police said yesterday: 'After the game, it has been alleged that a noxious substance was thrown into the edge of the terraced area which was occupied by visiting supporters. There is some uncertainty whether it was thrown into that section of the crowd or thrown from within and the substance blown back into the terraced area.'

Scott Oakes, the scorer of Luton's first goal in the 2-1 win, also claimed he was hit by a missile thrown from the home section of the crowd.

Manchester City are pondering whether to increase their offer for Liverpool's Ian Rush.

They made two bids on Friday - the second for more than pounds 1.5m - but held back yesterday, partly because of the imminence of tonight's match at Aston Villa but also because Rush, 32, had not given the slightest hint he wants to leave Anfield.