Gould brought in by Hammam

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Bobby Gould returned to football and to Wales yesterday when he was appointed manager of Cardiff City. The former Wales manager was unveiled at Ninian Park by the club's new owner, Sam Hammam.

Bobby Gould returned to football and to Wales yesterday when he was appointed manager of Cardiff City. The former Wales manager was unveiled at Ninian Park by the club's new owner, Sam Hammam.

The 56-year-old Gould resigned as national team manager in 1999, but has renewed his links with the former Wimbledon owner at the Third Division club. "We are lucky to have him," Hammam said. "He knows what he is doing and what to do. Wherever he has been he has proved himself.

"Cardiff City need two key things. One, we need to recruit players and Bobby Gould can talk to anyone in the land and recognise a player's full potential. He is excellent at that and is a man to organise the club off the field in terms of scouting for players from the youth level to the senior team."

Gould, who will be given £500,000 to spend on new players, said: "There is only one place to be involved in football and that is as a manager. We will build this club right up where it should be."

Gould and Hammam worked together for three years at Wimbledon and helped the unfashionable south London side record a historic FA Cup final over Liverpool in 1988. The former manager Billy Ayre will stay on as Gould's assistant.

Also making its way to the Principality next season will the Worthington Cup final. The Football League expects to sign an agreement within the next month for the Worthington Cup finale to join the FA Cup final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium while Wembley is renovated.

The League believes that it will be feasible for all five of its finals - the Worthington Cup, the three play-off finals and the Auto Windscreens Shield - to be held in the Welsh capital from this season onwards.

Brian Phillpotts, the League's commercial director, said: "Cardiff is our preferred option and although contracts have not yet been signed, we expect to agree them within the next four weeks."

The Football League, meanwhile, remains confident that the Uefa Cup place for the winners of the Worthington Cup, so vital to the competition's standing in the domestic game, will remain in place.

There were fears that either Uefa or the Football Association would push for the place to go instead to the fifth-placed side in the Premiership. However, most Premiership clubs appear to be in favour of retaining the Worthington Cup's European place, while the FA and Uefa are unlikely to seek a change.

Sky Sports have secured exclusive rights to screen England's friendlies against France on 2 September in Paris and against Italy on 15 November. Both games will be screened live on Sky Sports 2.

England's World Cup qualifier against Finland in Helsinki on 11 October will be shown on pay-per-view basis on U-direct

The Republic of Ireland, meanwhile, is considering a joint bid with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the 2008 European Championship. The possibility of a Celtic bid was examined over the weekend in Zurich by the heads of the four associations. The Football Association of Ireland said that Scotland still wanted to make a lone bid, but would consider a collaboration.

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