Football: Harford laments his losses

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The Independent Online
Ray Harford, the Blackburn manager, claimed yesterday that the loss of Alan Shearer was a bigger blow to the club than the departure of the director of football, Kenny Dalglish.

Harford said: "That is to say Alan was an ongoing situation with us if you understand what I mean. He was very much here and current."

Harford said Dalglish's departure came as no real surprise. He said: "I had a great relationship with Kenny and the pinnacle was when we took the Premiership title. I learned an awful lot from him, much of which has proved invaluable. I have not spoken to him recently but I am sure I will be doing so soon."

Harford added: "He didn't have an office with us in the whole of last season. In fact, he cleared his desk at the end of his time as a club manager."

Harford has not ruled out the prospect of Dalglish returning to football management at some later stage. "If and when that happens it will be because a job comes up that he wants to do, one that appeals to him. I wasn't surprised when he stepped down either in the first place or now."

Harford said that the club had no plans to bring in a replacement, saying he was very happy with his management set-up.

"All I am after now is seeing the job through and I am striving to achieve some continuity. We have to carry on with the progress of this club.

"That was the objective when Kenny and I came in and that is what I intend to do. People will say that it's all down to me and I accept that as a manager you live or die by your results."

Everton are planning a shares rights issue that will raise pounds 15m for the club. A plan to issue 30,000 pounds 1 stock units, at pounds 500 each, has been approved by the club's board.

And an extraordinary general meeting on 16 September is expected to rubber- stamp the move by passing a special resolution.

The rights issue has been underwritten by AIB Trust Company (Jersey) Limited, which is administered by Everton's owner, Peter Johnson.

Michael Dunford, the Everton secretary, said: "It's a rights issue pure and simple - with six new shares for every one stock unit. The money raised will fund on and off the field investments. Some of it will be used for team strengthening, some for off-the-field uses such as stadium development.

"The board has approved the plan and now we go to the shareholders for approval but the majority of the shares are held around the boardroom table so it should be a formality.

"If we get the go-ahead on the 16th it will be all systems go. Documents will be posted out immediately and by the end of October everything should be done and dusted."

Burnley's new East Stand has not been granted a safety certificate and cannot be opened for the Second Division match with Walsall tomorrow. A safety inspection carried out by Lancashire County Council refused to give the go-ahead. The club must now wait for a further inspection later this month.