Football: Sacked Molby's parting shot

Jan Molby yesterday found himself out of work for the first time since he arrived in England 13 years ago after being sacked as the manager of Swansea City.

The 34-year-old Molby, whose deft touches in the Liverpool and Danish midfield defied an ample frame, was shown the door, ostensibly for Swansea being fifth from bottom in the Third Division.

That was not how he saw it, however. "I get the feeling they want a man they can manipulate, who will do as he is told," said Molby, who guided Swansea to the play-off final last season 15 months after being given his first managerial post by the former Swansea chairman, Doug Sharpe.

"I was not even asked to resign. I was sacked straight away," Molby said after being dismissed, together with his assistant Billy Ayre, by the new owner, Neil McClure. "It is true that the results had been poor. But I think there was more to it than that."

"I do not think they wanted me here from the start. I was not their choice and they made it as difficult as possible for me by refusing to let me bring in new players. I think the results have given them the perfect opportunity to get rid of me."

Although Alan Curtis , the youth team manager and former Swansea striker, has the task of lifting morale before Saturday's trip to third-placed Exeter, the former Fulham manager Micky Adams is the favourite to slip into Molby's seat.

First Division Portsmouth and Third Division leaders Peterborough have both been fined pounds 12,500 - with pounds 10,000 suspended until June 1998 - by the Football Association following a Coca-Cola Cup rumpus. The clubs pleaded guilty to failing to control their players, after a brawl during the first- round tie at Fratton Park on 26August.

The FA also took a dislike to Paolo Di Canio, Sheffield Wednesday's pounds 4.5m record signing, baring his bottom after scoring against Wimbledon and the Italian striker is to appear before a disciplinary panel charged with misconduct.

Jeff Kenna has agreed a new three-year contract which will keep him at Blackburn Rovers until after the millennium. The 27-year-old defender was signed from Southampton for pounds 1.5m two seasons ago.

Barry Horne looks set to become Peter Jackson and Terry Yorath's first signing at Huddersfield. Birmingham, who have bought the midfielder Chris Marsden from Stockport for pounds 500,000, are prepared to let the 35-year-old Horne go on a free transfer.

Wembley will close in the summer of 1999 for a facelift that will leave only the twin towers standing. The project got the final go-ahead yesterday with the release of pounds 20m in funding from the Sports Council. The stadium will reopen in 2002.

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