Injunction served on Pleat

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The Independent Online


David Pleat was yesterday prevented from acting as the manager of Sheffield Wednesday when the Luton Town chairman, David Kohler, went beyond a war of words and obtained a High Court injunction.

Pleat walked out of Kenilworth Road this week when the clubs failed to agree compensation for the final year of his contract. Kohler had threatened legal action and now Pleat has been forced to promise that he will not work for Wednesday until at least 28 June, when Luton will be back in court.

Kohler wants Wednesday to increase their offer for Pleat from pounds 100,000 to pounds 300,000. Otherwise he is prepared to extend the legal battle in order "to set an example" after what he calls "irresponsible and unnecessary disruption".

Before the court intervened, Pleat did manage to conduct some business on Wednesday's behalf, appointing the former Stockport manager, Danny Bergara, as head coach.

John Salako yesterday followed Paul Ince in keeping his pen poised over a transfer form, leaving Newcastle United on tenterhooks while he discussed with his girlfriend a pounds 2m move from Crystal Palace.

Just an hour before the 26-year-old former England winger was to be presented to the waiting media as Newcastle's third signing in the past fortnight, Freddie Fletcher, the club's chief executive, announced the delay. "John has gone back to London to discuss the move with his girlfriend," he said. Newcastle expect an answer as to whether Salako will become a team-mate of pounds 6m Les Ferdinand and pounds 4m Warren Barton early next week.

Steve Coppell, Palace's new technical director, said: "We've agreed a deal for him to go up there so if the transfer goes through, that's as expected. If it doesn't, I'll be quite happy for John to stay."

Ince yesterday insisted it had always been his intention to return from Italy without signing for Internazionale. The Manchester United midfielder dismissed as "nonsense" suggestions that the hold-up in the pounds 8m move came because his wife, Claire, could not find anywhere to live. In a statement, Ince and his wife spoke of their "shock" at United's willingness to sell.

However, Martin Edwards, the United chairman, stressed that the proposed move was "an opportunity that presented itself" and that nothing would be lost if the deal fell through. "That in no shape or form would resemble any sort of embarrassment to us whatsoever."

Across the city, there were reports last night that Brian Kidd will be confirmed as the new manager of Manchester City today, the Maine Road club having agreed terms with United for the release of Alex Ferguson's assistant.