Football: QPR ready for Ferdinand offers

WHATEVER the viewing figures for next Monday's live televised match, the FA Cup third-round tie between Queen's Park Rangers and Swindon Town, you can be sure that the other Premier League managers will be in the audience.

Rangers' chairman, Richard Thompson, gave the first hint yesterday that his club's prized striker Les Ferdinand might be sold, if Rangers take an early exit from the FA Cup or slide further down the table.

Rangers are reported to have rejected a pounds 3.3m offer as recently as Christmas Eve from Newcastle for Ferdinand, 26, who cost pounds 5,000 from Hayes. However, a better offer, say pounds 5m, would be considered: 'It would be stupid not to,' Thompson said. Any decision, Thompson stressed, would be made only after consulting his manager, Gerry Francis. 'You could reinvest the money in two or three players to improve the team overall.'

Crystal Palace, offered 2,000 tickets for their tie at Hartlepool, asked for 680 but have managed to sell only half that number. 'It's not surprising,' Palace's assistant manager, Alan Smith, said. 'We had 500 to cheer our win at Middlesbrough on Monday. They were the real heroes. You can't expect people to keep travelling long distances when money is short.'

Bournemouth are to make an ex gratia payment of pounds 100,000 over two years to their former manager, Harry Redknapp, now assistant manager at West Ham. Redknapp is believed to have raised pounds 2m for Bournemouth through his transfer dealings, which included the sale of his son, Jamie, to Liverpool, Shaun Teale to Aston Villa and Gavin Peacock to Newcastle. Bournemouth's finance director, Ken Gardiner, said that the club were under no contractual obligations: 'We just felt it was the right thing to do.'

On the down side, the club has been banned from signing new players by the Football League because of an unpaid debt involving Tottenham. They owe Spurs around pounds 11,000 following the signing of Redknapp Jnr in 1989.

Bournemouth agreed to pay Tottenham 15 per cent of any future transfer fee involving Redknapp, who moved to Anfield in June 1990 for pounds 350,000. Liverpool recently paid Bournemouth pounds 75,000 after Redknapp made his 25th first-team appearance, and Tottenham are still waiting for their cut. Gardiner said yesterday that the payment will be made next week.

Aberdeen yesterday awarded extended contracts until 1996 to Eoin Jess, the 22-year-old international striker, and Gary Smith, the 21-year-old defender, who are both pounds 1m-rated players.

Frank McAvennie, 33, the former West Ham, Celtic and Scotland striker, has signed a two- month contract for Partick Thistle, the club that rejected him as a boy, though Celtic are also reported to have an interest.

The French football federation, the FFF, rejected an appeal by Bordeaux yesterday and ordered a replay of the league match they won against Toulouse after a refereeing mistake.

Bordeaux scored the only goal of the game on 12 December four minutes from time with a free-kick after Toulouse's goalkeeper had handled a back-pass. The referee, Gilles Veissiere, ordered the kick to be taken less than two yards from the goal-line when, under FIFA rules, it should have been on the edge of the six-yard box.

The FFF upheld last week's decision by France's central commission of referees. 'It's the first time such a decision has been taken,' Michel Vautrot, the central commission's president, said. 'But I don't think it will lead to a loss of authority of our referees because the possibility of a replay following a technical fault is nothing new.'.

'This decision does not surprise us,' the Toulouse president, Andre Labatut, said. 'It does set a precedent but I don't think it will call refereeing into question.'

Rai, the Sao Paulo and Brazil midfielder, has signed a three- year contract with Paris-Saint Germain, to start next summer, for a fee of dollars 3.1m ( pounds 1.5m).

Marseille's Ghanaian striker Abedi Pele yesterday won the African Golden Ball award for the second consecutive year. The honour is decided by a jury of African football writers in connection with France Football magazine.

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