Football: Highbury veterans sign up for another year

Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn yesterday ended speculation about their Arsenal futures by signing new contracts.

The veteran defenders, who have both been at Highbury for more than 10 years, have committed themselves to an extra year with the Gunners after their present deals run out this summer. They could have become free agents under the Bosman transfer law and commanded lucrative signing-on fees elsewhere.

Doncaster Rovers, bottom of the Third Division, gained a 1-0 win at third-placed Peterborough last night thanks to a 90th-minute goal from Mike Smith. They are now just seven points adrift of Brighton, whom they visit on Saturday.

Scotland's top 10 clubs yesterday issued a legally binding document to their lower league counterparts, promising an expanded breakaway league of at least 12 clubs from the 2000-01 season. They have also guaranteed the clubs from the First, Second and Third Divisions a financial support package estimated at pounds 1.7m per season. The breakaway elite have also promised a pounds 250,000 payment to this year's First Division runners-up as compensation for the loss of a play-off place.

The document was issued before Thursday's meeting of all Scottish League clubs, when the elite teams are hopeful that their proposals for a new league will be passed.

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