Football: Harford pinning hopes on Le Saux

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The Independent Online
Ray Harford, the Blackburn Rovers manager, looks ready to take a gamble on Graeme Le Saux's fitness as he calls all hands to the pump in an attempt to stave off the sack.

Harford has arranged a private game with Tranmere today to give the England left-back a run-out in the hope that he will be able to play for the Premiership's bottom club at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Queen's Park Rangers players have indicated they will boycott their Sky TV match against Crystal Palace on 10 November should a strike be called this week.

The Professional Footballers' Association are in dispute with the Football League, claiming they are entitled to 10 per cent of TV revenue. Players have until today to return their ballot forms and an announcement will be made on Saturday.

The Nottingham Forest manager, Frank Clark, has been assured his job will be safe if the millionaire television and video tycoon, Grant Bovey, wins control at the City Ground. Bovey has made a near pounds 30m takeover bid with a "substantial amount" for team strengthening.

Fulham have turned down an approach from Brighton to ground share at Craven Cottage next season. Brighton's chief executive, David Bellotti, sounded out Fulham after supporters mentioned five London clubs as an alternative to Portsmouth's Fratton Park at a meeting in July, but Fulham said that an agreement with the local council prevented ground-sharing.

A former referee, John Lloyd, claimed Premiership officials this season "do as they're told" for fear of losing their positions.

Lloyd, who refereed in the Premier and football leagues and was also an international official before retiring at the end of last season, also criticised League assessors, saying: "Assessors are often people with no experience of refereeing at the highest level. I refereed Chelsea and Tottenham in the 1993-94 season and was assessed by a 76-year-old who had been a linesman for two seasons 30 years ago."

Paranoid policemen, page 26

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