Grimsby board backs Laws

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Brian Laws received backing from the Grimsby Town board last night after the dressing-room confrontation between the player-manager and Ivano Bonetti which led to the the Italian having to have surgery yesterday on a broken cheekbone.

After meeting Laws and Bonetti the club chairman, Bill Carr, said: "A lot of things are said in the heat of the moment. They are not taken seriously. The club is trying to put the matter right."

Bonetti, who will meet Carr again today, received the injury after Saturday's 3-2 defeat at Luton. He is expected to be out for at least six weeks.

A Football Association disciplinary committee has warned Bruce Rioch about his future behaviour after investigating the Arsenal manager's fracas with Terry McDermott during the Coca-Cola Cup quarter-final at Highbury last month.

The FA accepted McDermott's explanation that he was trying to keep the peace, but added: "We have written to [Rioch] to advise him that if he gets involved in a similar incident we will not hesitate to charge him."

While they stayed their hand with Rioch, Lancaster Gate showed less restraint towards Vinnie Jones, fining the Wimbledon midfielder pounds 2,000 for a newspaper attack on Ruud Gullit and other foreign footballers.

Manchester United are close to signing the South African Mark Fish. The 21-year-old centre-back flies to Manchester this weekend on a two-week visit when he is expected to complete a pounds 1m transfer.

The governing body of European football, Uefa, has ordered Leeds United to make a pounds 500,000 upgrade of their dressing-rooms before this summer's European Championship.

Mark McGhee is negotiating with his former club, Leicester, to make the Australian international Steve Corica his second pounds 1m signing for Wolves.

The Birmingham City striker Steve Claridge may leave St Andrews after a breakdown in talks over a new three-year contract.