Football: Strachan must face FA charge for `insulting behaviour'

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The Coventry manager, Gordon Strachan, says he will "take time to think about things" before deciding whether to seek a personal hearing after being charged with insulting behaviour by the Football Association.

Strachan is in the dock for comments he made about the performance of the referee Steve Lodge after Coventry's recent Premiership game with Arsenal at Highfield Road, which ended 2-2.

Strachan labelled Lodge "an absolute disgrace" after claiming Coventry were denied two clear-cut penalties. He was also upset over the sending- off of Paul Williams for a challenge on Dennis Bergkamp. Strachan has 14 days in which to respond to the FA charge.

Strachan has since apologised to Lodge, and said: "I shouldn't have said he was an absolute disgrace but that he made some disgraceful decisions."

Andy Griffin is ready to sign for Newcastle United today after being snubbed in his bid for a cut of the pounds 1.5m transfer fee. Stoke's 18-year- old full-back is expected to travel to Tyneside and become Kenny Dalglish's latest recruit.

Griffin held up the deal when he asked for a slice of the profit on the sale, but Stoke have dug in their heels and his manager, Chris Kamara, dropped him at Swindon last night. Now Griffin is set to accept his fate and join Newcastle.

Alan Ball's hopes of a cash injection to help Portsmouth escape relegation have suffered a blow after the club chairman, Martin Gregory, rejected a pounds 2m offer to sell the club.

The American property billionaire Vince Wolanin's proposed takeover is on the verge of collapse. Wolanin wants to develop Fratton Park into an American-style leisure complex with funds also made available to allow Ball, the new manager, to rebuild his first-team squad.

But Gregory, whose family own a 97 per cent controlling interest in the First Division club, rejected a pounds 2m offer from Wolanin. He wants around pounds 8m.

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