Football: Insurrection at Cambridge

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CAMBRIDGE UNITED lost another player yesterday, less than a month before the start of the Football League season, when Colin Bailie, the First Division club's captain, threatened to quit the professional game rather than stay at the Abbey Stadium.

'It's nothing to do with money,' the 28-year-old Bailie, formerly with Reading and Swindon, said. 'Nothing would make me go back there. I'm looking for a job and I could play part-time.'

Bailie, who has risen from the Fourth Division in four years with the club which just failed to gain promotion to the Premier League last season, follows the striker Steve Claridge in looking for fresh pastures. After signing for Luton last week, Claridge said he was fed up with United's 'stereotyped, long-ball game'.

Bailie is similarly disillusioned with the Route One routine. 'I was getting nothing out of it. My taste buds for the game were deadened,' the full-back said. 'When you don't enjoy a single training session it's time to leave. I didn't like the way the club was being run, the win at any cost approach.'

Barnet, another club to endure a summer of discontent, are facing investigations into alleged wages irregularities by both the League and the Professional Footballers' Association. The playing staff at the Third Division club have made complaints about both late payment of wages and a lack of wage slips.

'We have had a complaint from a delegate at Barnet,' Brendan Batson, the PFA's assistant secretary, said. 'It is something we are looking into.'

The League is making similar enquiries. However, Stan Flashman, Barnet's chairman, is protesting his innocence. 'They can come and have a look at the books any time they want to - they will not find anything wrong,' he said. 'All Barnet owe is pounds 7,462. If every club in the League owed as little as that, football would be in a lot better state.' Barnet expect to raise some funds today by selling their striker, Mark Carter, to Blackpool for pounds 180,000.

Alan Shearer, a striker with a somewhat higher price tag - pounds 4m - may still start the season with Southampton, even though the Hampshire club paid pounds 575,000 for Chelsea's Kerry Dixon at the weekend. 'I did not buy Kerry initially to replace anybody,' Ian Branfoot, the Saints' manager, said. However, Blackburn Rovers, who have already had a pounds 3.2m bid for Shearer rejected, may now be ready to meet the asking price for the England forward. Peter Beagrie, the Everton winger, is another target for Branfoot.

Leeds United have made tentative enquiries about David Rocastle, the Arsenal midfield player, in case they fail to agree personal terms with Rocastle's England colleague, Trevor Steven, for whom they have fixed a fee of pounds 3m with Marseille.

London's Football League clubs last night rejected London Weekend Television's initial offer for live regional coverage of League games in the new season. Reg Burr, the Millwall chairman, described LWT's offer of pounds 10,000 per live game as 'derisory'.

The Football Association has received a payment of pounds 800,000 from Uefa as its share of profits from European Championship finals in Sweden, with the possibility of more money to come.

At least 50 people were injured when fencing collapsed at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro before Sunday's Brazilian championship final. Watched by a crowd of 150,000, Flamengo drew 2-2 with Botafogo to take the title 5-2 on aggregate.

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