Luzhny's four-game Uefa ban

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The Independent Online

The Arsenal right-back Oleg Luzhny has been suspended for four Champions' League matches following his red card in the 3-1 defeat to Schalke in Gelsenkirchen two weeks ago.

Luzhny was sent off on a linesman's advice for striking Jörg Böhme, Schalke's German international midfielder. He will miss Arsenal's second phase matches against Deportivo La Coruña a week next Wednesday, Juventus a week later and then two meetings with Bayer Leverkusen in March.

European football's ruling body normally invokes a maximum three-match ban for violent conduct but, after describing Luzhny's offence as "punching an opponent in the face", it added the extra game.

The dismissal was Arsenal's 37th during Arsène Wenger's five years as manager and their second in the Champions' League this season following Ashley Cole's sending-off in the 1-0 defeat at Real Mallorca in September. There has since been a 38th – with the substitute John Halls expelled for two bookable offences in the 4-0 Worthington Cup win over Manchester United last Monday.

Böhme was also booked in the incident and is due to face Luzhny again when Germany and Ukraine square up in their World Cup play-off matches today and next Wednesday.

Barnsley have confirmed the appointment of Steve Parkin as their new manager. The former Rochdale manager succeeds Nigel Spackman, who left the First Division strugglers last month. He has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal and is joined at Oakwell by his former No 2 at Spotland, Tony Ford.

Manchester City are close to completing the signing of the Bradford City defender David Wetherall. The 30-year-old is believed to be poised to make a £1m-plus switch from Valley Parade after a move to Southampton fell through.

The Crystal Palace chairman, Simon Jordan, has admitted that he would consider allowing Steve Bruce back as manager. Bruce walked out on Palace last week after learning of Birmingham City's interest in him. But Jordan is refusing to let him talk to them and has threatened to allow the situation to drag on indefinitely.

Bruce has had no contact with Palace since his resignation, but Jordan refused to rule out taking him back. He said: "I would have to assess why that U-turn has come about if it happened and gauge how genuine it was. I'd have an open mind about it."

Jordan also revealed his failure to sign Middlesbrough defender Steve Vickers for £500,000 was a factor in Bruce's resignation. Protracted talks to sign the 34-year-old broke down. ''I wasn't prepared to have outrageously diabolical liberties taken with me," Jordan said. ''Vickers refused to move down here and wanted to train at Middlesbrough twice a week because of the travelling. He demanded £250,000 more per year than we had agreed and Middlesbrough demanded £100,000 more on the fee.''

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