Gerrard and Wise to escape FA action

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Dennis Wise and Steven Gerrard will escape further censure for their confrontation at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Dennis Wise and Steven Gerrard will escape further censure for their confrontation at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The England midfielders squared up to each other during the second half as Chelsea beat Liverpool 3-0 and were both given yellow cards, but the Football Association said it will accept that the referee saw the entire incident and took the necessary action.

Cardiff City have parted company with their head coach, Billy Ayre. Ayre, who became caretaker-manager after the sacking of Frank Burrows last season and then assistant manager when Bobby Gould arrived, had recently been given the title of head coach. However, the decision was the outcome of yesterday's meeting over the management structure of the club.

Denis Smith has resigned as manager of Oxford United. Supporters had called for Smith to quit after Saturday's 1-0 home defeat against Bristol City - the club's eighth defeat in 10 games - left them at the bottom of the Second Division. He will remain with the club in an advisory capacity.

The future of Brian Horton, the Port Vale manager, is in the balance after the club's chairman, Bill Bell, said the board would review his position this week. Vale, relegated in May, are struggling in the Second Division.

Stoke City lost £915,000 in the last financial year, leaving a net debt of £4.6m, but the club's Icelandic owners insist the club financial situation is improving.

Blackburn Rovers are trying to beat Arsenal and Liverpool to the signing of the young Frenchman Djemal Alliou, 17. The French youth international captain can play in midfield or on the wing.

Preston are looking at the French striker Alex Di Rocco to help solve their selection problems caused by injuries. Di Rocco is an experienced forward who is currently at the French side Sedan.

* Graham Taylor, the Watford manager, has been named the Nationwide manager of the month for the First Division. The other awards were: Second Division (Alan Pardew, Reading), Third Division (Micky Adams, Brighton).

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