Souness talks down incident

Graeme Souness, the Blackburn Rovers manager yesterday said he and Dwight Yorke have drawn a line under an incident at their training-ground.

The pair were involved in a heated exchange in the canteen at the Brockhall training centre after clashing during a six-a-side practice match.

Yorke reportedly caught Souness with a painful late challenge and the Scot retaliated with one of his own. Words were exchanged after the game.

Souness said: "As far as I'm concerned it's done and dusted. I used to see worse virtually every week as a player. It happens all the time on training grounds. We live in a man's world.

"Passions run high at training grounds and that was an incident in which that happened. There was nothing more to it than that. Nothing happened before it and nothing will happen after it.

"I want my players to be passionate in every game they play, whether that's in training or in the Premiership. That's all I ask from them. But to say we had a fight is absolute nonsense."

There has been more controversy involving Rovers with full-back Lucas Neill being quoted in an Australian magazine criticising the town of Blackburn. But Neill yesterday told the club's website that he liked the town.

Neill said: "The piece is outrageous. I have no problems with this area at all, quite the contrary. I have always been made very welcome here and I spend a lot of time in the region - I even go out with a Blackburn girl."

Fulham cut losses in their second year in the Premier league and said yesterday that measures were in place to ensure financial stability before too long.

Pre-tax losses fell to £20.8m in the year to June 2003 from £33.6m the previous year, while turnover rose five per cent to £34.5m as a result of increased revenues from broadcasting, the club said.

"Despite these significant improvements it is clear that this level of loss cannot be sustained in the long term," said chairman Mohamed Al Fayed in a statement.

"However, the club is addressing these issues and has put a number of measures in place to ensure that the business will become financially stable before too long.

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