Football: Sullivan buys Birmingham

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The Independent Online
DAVID SULLIVAN, the 43-year- old millionaire businessman whose interests include the Daily and Sunday Sport newspapers and soft-porn magazines, yesterday took control of Birmingham City for an undisclosed amount.

A Sullivan company, Roldvale Ltd, is understood to have taken on the debts of the First Division club, which are in the region of pounds 1.25m. The receiver has been in control at St Andrews since the collapse five months ago of the clothing business of the former chairman, Samesh Kumar, which had an 84 per cent shareholding in the club.

The new owners will give Terry Cooper, City's manager, pounds 500,000 to strengthen his struggling side, who are at home to Oxford United today. A spokesman for Roldvale said: 'It was vital we got in at Birmingham so quickly because the transfer deadline is only three weeks away.' Cooper's own position at St Andrews looks to be safe.

The Italian football federation has reversed a decision to make Genoa play their next home match away from their own stadium and instead fined the club 50 million lire ( pounds 22,650) and warned them as to their future conduct. The ban was imposed after Genoa fans tried to storm the pitch during last Sunday's 3-2 defeat by Lazio.

Marco van Basten, the Dutch international striker, has extended his contract with Milan for another three years.

Kevin Muscat, the Australian captain, scored a second-half winner to give the hosts a 2-1 victory over Colombia in an ill-tempered opening match of the World Youth Cup in Sydney yesterday. Seven Colombians and three Australians were booked.