Charlton to sell Todd after training fracas

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The Independent Online

Charlton's Andy Todd was placed on the transfer list yesterday following an "unsavoury incident" at the club's training ground on Tuesday that left the Addicks' goalkeeper, Dean Kiely, with an enormous black eye. Charlton manager Alan Curbishley, the club's plc chairman, Richard Murray, and the chief executive, Peter Varney, met with the 27-year-old defender yesterday morning to discuss the incident. "The matter has been dealt with internally and Andy Todd is now available for transfer," a club spokesman said.

The club would not give any details surrounding the incident although sources at The Valley confirmed that Kiely had been punched and was an innocent party in the matter. Todd was dropped from the squad who travelled to Aston Villa for the 1-0 defeat on Wednesday but Kiely played in the match and produced a typically solid performance to keep the scoreline respectable.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Curbishley said: "I'm very disappointed with what has happened, but I'm not using it as an excuse for tonight."

Yesterday he added: "This was not an easy decision [to transfer-list Todd]. We don't have strength in depth in his position. It was an unsavoury incident but we're not the first club where something like this has happened and I'm sure we won't be the last."

Tuesday's fracas was not the first time that Todd, son of the Derby manager Colin, has been in trouble for using aggressive behaviour. He parted company with Bolton two years ago after a training ground punch-up with the assistant manager, Phil Brown. That incident came shortly after his father had left his job as the Wanderers' manager. Todd Jnr moved to Charlton in November 1999 for £1m and has made 33 first-team appearances since.

Nigel Spackman was sacked by Barnsley yesterday, together with the first-team coach Derek Fazackerley. Chairman John Dennis acted swiftly in the wake of Wednesday night's 3-1 defeat to fellow relegation strugglers Sheffield Wednesday in the local derby, a result that leaves Barnsley one off the bottom in the First Division.

Spackman took over in January this year when the axe fell on Dave Bassett, but with just two league wins this season and only nine in 33 matches since taking charge, the 40-year-old has lost his job, with Dennis describing performances and results as "unacceptable".

Spackman is now the 19th manager in just over two months to part company with their club this season and another victim of the demands for instant success as clubs refuse to exercise any patience.

"If you look at some of the casualties in football these days people aren't given time to turn things around," stated Spackman. "It's all very short-sighted. You need to stick with people and let them turn it around.

"But the expectations are very high at Barnsley and what people want are winners. This is the way football is and when you are at the wrong end of the table your head is on the line."

Reserve team coach Glyn Hodges has been placed in caretaker charge, with his first game being Sunday's Oakwell clash against promotion-chasing West Brom.

The French Football Federation said they will not tolerate Fifa intervention in next month's friendly match against Australia.

World football's governing body yesterday advised both the French and Australian national teams to limit their selections of Europe-based players, after complaints that players should not have to make the long-haul journey to Melbourne.

A French Federation spokesman said: "We do not accept clubs interfering in French national football matters. Coach Roger Lemerre picks the side, not Fifa and certainly not the English clubs."

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