Football: Sugar backs Ardiles

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ALAN SUGAR, the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, said yesterday that Ossie Ardiles would not be dismissed if the club were relegated.

'He has the backing of the board and if we're in the First Division next season he will be our manager to start the season off,' Sugar said on Sky. The Amstrad mogul also insisted that important players like Sheringham, Anderton and Barmby would not leave 'in a fire sale'.

Chelsea will receive only 18,743 tickets for the FA Cup final, an allocation the Blues' managing director, Colin Hutchinson, called 'hopelessly inadequate'. The FA has given Manchester United 26,319. 'While there is sense is basing the allocation on average home gates the real tragedy is that the competing finalists only receive 45,000 of the 75,000 final tickets,' Hutchinson added.

The Premier League commission into allegations that Everton poached Mike Walker from Norwich will reconvene today, although the verdict will not be released until both clubs have been informed.

Brian Little, Leicester City's highly regarded manager, said yesterday that the reason he left his Filbert Street dug-out early during Saturday's game with Grimsby was because of verbal abuse from fans. 'I can take criticism but the actions of a few individuals at half-time on Saturday was way out of order.

'I thought it best for all concerned that I stay out of the way in the second half. I might have reacted in the wrong way and done myself no good.' Little has arranged a meeting with the club chairman, Martin George, to discuss 'certain things which need sorting out'.

Mark Hateley, Rangers' imperious centre-forward, has been named the Scottish Football Writers' Association player of the year - the first Englishman to be so honoured.

Stirling Albion, struggling in the Scottish First Division, have dismissed their manager, John Brogan.