Football: Quinn signs for Coventry

MICK QUINN agreed to join Coventry City in a pounds 250,000 transfer from Newcastle yesterday, having already set himself imposing standards to maintain at Highfield Road. In four games on loan, Quinn has scored six times and the Coventry manager, Bobby Gould, needed no more persuading to make the move permanent.

It takes the 30-year-old Merseysider to his seventh club and Liverpool are in opposition on Saturday when he is in line for his 'official' debut. Quinn says he is under no pressure for a first-day goal because 'I have six under my belt already' and promises 'loads more'. 'I am coming to my prime and look at John Aldridge who is still knocking in the goals at 34.'

Quinn fell out with the Newcastle manager, Kevin Keegan, and has spent most of this season in the reserves. Gould, however, is only too pleased to take advantage of his availability, saying: 'Mick is a phenomenal goal-scorer.'

Liverpool's attendance of 43,668 against Blackburn on Sunday, the highest in the Premier League so far, has encouraged the belief that supporters are now responding to the FA competition in greater numbers. Early gates were disappointing but last season's average weekly total for the First Division of 237,842 has now been surpassed on six of the last 10 programmes.

All 22 breakaway clubs come together in London this morning for the first time since September when a walkout was provoked by a group of wealthy clubs, dubbed the 'Platinum Eight', voting down a pounds 10m sponsorship deal on offer from the brewers Bass.

Relationships have improved although there is unlikely to be agreement for a proposal by the Crystal Palace chairman, Ron Noades, to introduce a Second Division. It goes against the wishes of many, particularly Arsenal, whose vice-chairman David Dein reiterated support yesterday for a reduction to 18 clubs.

The Celtic manager, Liam Brady, has been banned from the dug-out for three months and fined pounds 500 by the Scottish FA after a shouting match with Aidrie officials at their game in October. The Airdrie assistant manager, John McVeigh, and the coach John Binnie were similarly punished.

The reigning Uefa Cup holders, Ajax, were handed the ideal draw yesterday when they were paired with Auxerre, avoiding Juventus, Real Madrid and Benfica.

UEFA CUP Quarter-final draw: Real Madrid v Paris Saint Germain; Roma v Borussia Dortmund; Benfica v Juventus; Auxerre v Ajax. (First legs to be played 3 March, return 17 March).

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