Football: Graham finds favour with bookmakers

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The Independent Online
Bookmakers are not in the business of getting it wrong, and after yesterday's juggling with the abacuses George Graham will have been heartened to find that they still expect him to be the manager of Arsenal come the end of the season.

Presumably, the calculations rely heavily on Arsenal moving beyond the quarter-finals of the European Cup-Winners' Cup, with William Hill offering 1-2 that Graham rides out the storm and 6-4 that he will no longer be in charge by the time the final game is played.

However, Wednesday's FA Cup exit and the manner of it, especially the incident involving Ian Wright after the final whistle, added to Graham's extensive problems.

His capacity for putting on a bold front is admirable and yesterday the fall-back comment was: "It is surprising what a couple of wins can do." With only three in Arsenal's last 15 games, that could take some doing.

"I know hard work is my stock answer, but the players have got to get down to it and earn their wages," he said.

Anthony Yeboah will be in Leeds today after the Department of Employment's granting of a work permit cleared the final obstacle to the Ghanaian striker's £3.4m transfer from Eintracht Frankfurt.

Birmingham City were also tidying up loose ends, completing the signing of the Stockport striker, Kevin Francis, in an £800,000 deal.

The 35-year-old Lee Chapman was on the move too, as Ipswich took steps to remedy their striking deficiencies by handing over £70,000 to West Ham. Chapman, the former Stoke, Arsenal, Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Portsmouthforward, joins Ipswich after a one-game loan spell at Southend.

"With Chris Kiwomya going to Arsenal and Ian Marshall possibly out for the rest of the season injured, we needed to act,'' George Burley, the Ipswich manager, said.

The sale of Cardiff City collapsed yesterday when a Midlands-based takeover consortium was forced to admit it was unable to come up with the money needed to complete a deal begun in August.

Non-League football, page 37

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