Fry under fire from police

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The Independent Online
Barry Fry, the Birmingham City manager, may face censure by the Football Association after forecasting that Wednesday's First Division match at Millwall "could be a time bomb".

After the game, the return fixture of a match last November that was marred by crowd trouble, 120 Metropolitan policemen, supported by officers on horseback, baton-charged 150 Millwall fans outside the New Den. A brick hit the Birmingham team bus, but did not break the window.

Chief Superintendent Ken Chapman criticised Fry's "inapropriate" remarks, saying: "It was never going to be an easy match, but it was certainly not helped by comments from people who I believe should have known better." An FA spokeswoman said that statements by Birmingham officials "did not escape our attention".

Leeds United plan a major overhaul of personnel during the summer - but their embattled manager, Howard Wilkinson, will be overseeing it rather than leaving.

Wilkinson received fresh support yesterday from Leeds' managing director, Bill Fotherby, who has become acting chairman after Leslie Silver's resignation on health grounds. "I know all the managers in the Premiership and First Division, and Howard is better than 90 per cent of them," Fotherby said. "We have a good sound base here with the young players, and now we need some fresh and experienced players."

Everton's designs on the pounds 4m-rated Gary Speed are well known while Arsenal may follow up their interest in Gary McAllister. Brian Deane, Rod Wallace, Carlton Palmer and Tomas Brolin are also likely to be sold to finance signings.

Silver, who retains the controlling interest in the club's shares, warned: "It's going to be a very difficult summer with a lot of recruitment to do, new players to come in and new systems to develop.''

Faustino Asprilla and Keith Curle will face the FA on 30 April over their infamous tangle when Newcastle visited Manchester City. The England winger Darren Anderton played his first full 90 minutes since September in a Tottenham reserve team match at Bristol City on Wednesday night.

Ivano Bonetti, Grimsby's former Juventus midfielder, yesterday pledged his future to the club and may reappear in tomorrow's match against West Bromwich Albion. Bonetti has not played since February, when he suffered a fractured cheekbone in an altercation with Brian Laws, the player-manager.

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