Football: Kidd has Walker's backing

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The Independent Online
JACK WALKER, the owner of Blackburn Rovers, has publicly backed Brian Kidd and has offered him the chance of extending his contract as manager.

Walker went to the extraordinary length of issuing a statement yesterday in support of the manager whose team are perilously close to relegation from the Premiership.

Kidd had raised doubts about his own future with remarks at the weekend that suggested the club had a bright future no matter who was in charge. However, Walker immediately dismissed speculation that this meant Kidd was under pressure if Blackburn go down.

The millionaire owner said: "Brian Kidd is the perfect man to lead Blackburn Rovers in the short, medium and long term. I thought that at the time of his appointment and still do. If he wants to extend his contract he could do that as well."

Kidd has had a tough baptism in management since taking over at Blackburn in December when they were bottom of the Premier League. Despite spending close to pounds 20m on players Rovers have only risen to third bottom and face a difficult task to beat relegation.

Kidd already has two more seasons on his contract, but is unlikely to take up Walker on his offer of an extension although the pair may have discussions in the summer.

Peter Jackson, the Huddersfield manager, is trying to sign the Israeli international centre-half, Alon Harazi, for pounds 500,000. Harazi, who plays for Maccabi Haifa, arrived in Yorkshire yesterday for talks and could join later this week.

The defender has enough international caps to gain a work permit and is willing to join the First Division club if terms can be agreed.

Middlesbrough supporters are being warned that they could be banned from the Riverside Stadium for trying to make money out of Manchester United's championship match at the ground. Three years ago season ticket holders who sold their seats to travelling United supporters had action taken against them - and now Boro are promising to do the same again before their game on Sunday.

Club officials have warned that tickets are not transferable amid fear of potential crowd trouble if visiting supporters gain entry to sections of the stadium other than those allocated for away fans. "Any season ticket holders who give or sell their season ticket books to Manchester United fans risk being banned from the stadium in future," said a safety officer.

"We took action against a number of season ticket holders who sold their tickets under similar circumstances when Manchester United had a vital match here three years ago and we will do so again."