Germans settle Macclesfield row

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The Independent Online
Germany have settled their differences with Vauxhall Conference minnows Macclesfield and will train at the non-League club's ground during Euro 96 after a row over expenses was resolved yesterday.

Euro 96 officials and the German federation have agreed to donate pounds 2,000 each to the newly crowned FA Trophy holders and will share the costs of stewarding. Police costs have also been waived.

The Silkmen were unhappy that they might be considerably out of pocket after agreeing to accommodate one of the favourites for the competition, who are staying at a hotel based nearby in the Cheshire countryside. Club officials considered charging admission to training, but the Germans would not agree to that, saying that would be on unfair on the fans as they could not say how long each session would last.

The German Consul General in Manchester, Rolf Meyer-Olden, intervened in the dispute and helped bring it to an end. He said: "We are glad the matter is settled. There will be no admission charge because we want to make this a gesture of open training to show our appreciation of our own fans and that of our English hosts."

A Euro 96 spokesman confirmed: "The dispute over financial arrangements has been settled and Macclesfield have dropped their complaint."

Manchester United keeper Peter Schmeichel yesterday pledged his future to the Old Trafford club - killing off suggestions surfacing in Spain that the Danish international could join Bobby Robson at Barcelona.

Robson, installed as manager at the Nou Camp on Tuesday, is a close friend of Schmeichel, who is widely regarded as the best keeper in the world. But Schmeichel is keen see out the remaining two years of his contract at Old Trafford, saying: "I am very happy at Manchester United and I have just completed the best season of my career.

"United are as big as any club in Europe at the moment and I am convinced we can carry on winning major trophies. I don't feel there is any way I can better myself.

"When my contract expires I'll review the situation. It could be that I'll carry on with United because the way things have gone for me since I arrived at Old Trafford, I could never see myself playing for any other major club."

Liverpool's four injured internationals are all expected to be fit for next season following successful operations.

Stan Collymore, who was forced out of Euro 96, has responded well to a double hernia operation and should be back available when Liverpool report for pre-season training on 11 July.

The Republic of Ireland internationals Phil Babb and Jason McAteer are recovering from treatment. Babb had a varicose vein removed while McAteer is having treatment for a recurring knee problem. And the England centre- back Mark Wright is hoping to be back for the start of the season despite limping out of Euro 96 with knee ligament damage last Saturday.