Leeds deny Spartak bribe claims

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The Independent Online

Leeds United and Spartak Moscow have accused each other of foul play ahead of this week's rescheduled Uefa Cup game.

Leeds United and Spartak Moscow have accused each other of foul play ahead of this week's rescheduled Uefa Cup game.

The Leeds chairman, Peter Ridsdale, denied claims in a Russian newspaper that his side had offered Spartak money to switch the third round, first leg match from Russia to England. He also said Leeds might protest to Europe's governing body.

"It just seems the latest in what would appear to be a sort of psychological warfare timed to undermine us," Ridsdale said. The first leg in Moscow was called off last week because of a frozen pitch and was rescheduled for Thursday in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

The Spartak coach, Oleg Romantsev, was reported as saying that the Leeds manager, David O'Leary, had made a "very attractive financial offer" for the game to be held in England, and announced that he would not attend any news conference with the Irishman.

"On behalf of my entire team I state that we do whatever it takes to kick Leeds out of the Uefa Cup," he said. "That team does not belong on the international arena."

The Tottenham players David Ginola and Tim Sherwood could face misconduct charges from the Football Association after Northumbria police confirmed they are compiling a report based on complaints from around a dozen Newcastle fans after the game at St James' Park on Sunday. When Spurs, who were beaten 2-1, equalised just before half-time, Ginola raised his arms in a clenched-fist celebration that brought a furious reaction from home supporters. Other Geordie fans claimed that Sherwood directed foul language at them following Tottenham's equaliser by Chris Armstrong.

Alan Curbishley's name has been scrubbed off the Blackburn Rover's wanted list because he is too expensive. The Charlton manager emerged as a leading candidate for the vacancy until Rovers discovered the cost of the package to tempt him from The Valley.

Curbishley, whose promotion-chasers face Blackburn tonight, is on a lucrative deal worth around £750,000 a year and the compensation for him could have been around £3m.

Sammy McIlroy will have talks with Northern Ireland this week about becoming their new full-time manager. The Macclesfield manager and former Manchester United player has emerged as the leading candidate after the Arsenal coach Pat Rice ruled himself out of contention last week.

The Football Association has agreed to stage England's delayed European Under-21 Championship play-off against Yugoslavia in Barcelona on 29 March. The match had been due to be played in neutral Luxembourg on 14 November but was postponed after the hosts expressed concerns over security measures, fearing an influx of protesting Kosovans.

The European Union has decided to keep the doors of the Premiership open to an unlimited number of foreigners, but new guidelines will ensure that small clubs are partially reimbursed when players leave via the Bosman ruling.

The EU will announce in their commission report on 10 December that they have resisted pressure by European and world officials to alter their Freedom of Movement ruling. An EU spokesman confirmed, though, that smaller clubs will be compensated for the investment they have made in developing young players.

The former Newcastle and Derby manager Arthur Cox has been appointed director of football at Fulham while the club's former striker, Viv Busby, is the new reserve team coach. Busby, who played in the Cottagers' losing 1975 FA Cup final side, takes over from John Marshall, who becomes chief scout at the First Division club.

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