Football: Sansom signs for Everton

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The Independent Online
EVERTON moved quickly yesterday to fill the defensive vacancy caused by Martin Keown's pounds 2m return to Arsenal and it did not cost them a penny: Kenny Sansom, another former Gunner, agreed to a free-transfer move from Coventry City and a new start with his sixth club.

The 34-year-old former England left-back is likely to go straight into the team for Saturday's game at Sheffield Wednesday, with Gary Ablett switching to the centre of defence to partner Dave Watson.

Sansom began his career with Crystal Palace before a pounds 1m move took him to Arsenal, where he made nearly 400 appearances. Spells at Newcastle and Queen's Park Rangers followed before Coventry signed him for pounds 100,000 11 months ago.

Kendall, who has been told he can spend all of the Keown money despite reported debts of pounds 4m, believes he has acquired copper-bottomed quality. He said: 'Kenny is a tremendous professional with great experience. He was superb against us at Goodison this season and has an outstanding attitude.'

Meanwhile, George Graham has countered criticism that his money would have been better spent in strengthening Arsenal's midfield by declaring that he has tried hard to do just that and failed.

'Of course midfield is an area where we particularly need more competition for places, but you have to buy players better than the ones you already have,' he said. 'The problem is that there are very few around with the quality we want and the ones that could be available are being tagged with ridiculous prices.'

Both Terry Butcher and Neil Warnock have declared their interest in taking over as Sunderland's manager, following the dismissal of Malcolm Crosby. Warnock, who is helping Torquay United in an advisory capacity since his sacking by Notts County last month, said: 'It's the type of club I've always been looking for, because I have never had a crowd to back me.'

Butcher, whose playing career has been resurrected at Roker Park after a 14-month period in charge of Coventry, said the experience had only 'whetted my appetite' for management.

'This is one of the biggest clubs in England, so I've got to be interested,' he said yesterday. 'They gave me another opportunity in football and it's a smashing club to work for. I've a fair idea how it's run, so in a way I've got a head start.'

The proposed Scottish Super League looks less likely to see the light of day after yesterday's peace- seeking meeting in Glasgow, involving four representatives from the 'rebel' group and three from the Scottish League to discuss a mutually acceptable plan for the future. Peter Donald, the Scottish League's secretary, described the meeting as 'the first opportunity to sit down and discuss proposals to keep the league together'.

Barnet's appeal against their pounds 50,000 fine by the Football League for financial irregularities was yesterday rejected by a Football Association board of appeal sitting at White Hart Lane, Tottenham.

Report and results, page 29

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