Smith's latest statements will put Johnson on the spot as the pair grow further apart. "At no time was I consulted about Duncan's transfer," Smith said.
"Last week I was made aware by a number of people that attempts were being made by the club to attract offers for Duncan Ferguson. I ignored this because the chairman had indicated to me that there was interest but it did not constitute any kind of transfer. On Monday morning I received the same information and with the rumours going around I felt it necessary to talk to Duncan as his manager.
"I spoke to him and told him that I felt moves were afoot to try and sell him and that I would speak to the chairman before the game [with Newcastle] to try and clarify the situation. That meeting never took place and unknown to me Duncan was transferred to Newcastle during the match. I stress at no time was I made aware that Newcastle had made an official bid and more to the point that the club had accepted it and Duncan was in talks with a view to a transfer."
Johnson's desire to balance the books ahead of selling the club has left Smith in a hopeless position. He pulled back from resigning on Tuesday, but his future looks doubtful as a new owner would probably want to bring in his own man.
Smith was yesterday forced to sell midfielder Gavin McCann as a further cost-cutting measure. The 20-year-old Blackpool-born player, who joined Everton as a trainee, was expected to complete a pounds 500,000 move to Sunderland last night.
The Scotland coach, Craig Brown, has paved the way for Ferguson to return to international football - less than a year after the striker said he would not play for his country again.
Ferguson has hinted at a change of heart following his transfer from Everton. "I am delighted that Duncan has given us another option and I will be monitoring his progress over the coming months," Brown said.
Alan Shearer has refuted suggestions that Ferguson's arrival on Tyneside has clouded his future at the club. "It is a fantastic signing for Newcastle," he said, "and if we can play together - which I am sure we can - then there should be one or two goals. I am certainly looking forward to playing with him."
Lens are to send a videotape of their 1-0 Champions' League win over Arsenal to Uefa in an attempt to prove that their striker Tony Vairelles should not have been sent off. Vairelles, known in France as a model of fair play, was dismissed for apparently elbowing Lee Dixon. Lens officials said the tape showed Dixon had feigned injury.
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