McGheewalks out on Leicester

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The Independent Online


Mark McGhee's appointment as manager of Wolves could be delayed following his controversial departure from Leicester yesterday. McGhee angered Leicester by rejecting a salary increase and resigned, along with his No 2, Colin Lee, and coach, Mike Hickman.

Wolves - who could face a bill of up to pounds 2.5m in legal fees, pay-offs to their former manager Graham Taylor and coach Steve Harrison, and signing- on costs for the Leicester trio - may delay an announcement until after Sunday's trip to Luton.

Both the League and Association are to monitor the situation to see whether any regulations have been broken.

"If he goes to Wolves I hope they get relegated," Steve Walsh, the club captain, said. "All the players are very upset. They want to prove to Mark that what he's done is wrong. We feel that what's happened is a disgrace."

The 38-year-old Scot is believed to have been offered an extra pounds 1,000 a week to stay at Filbert Street. Martin George, the Leicester chairman, said: "Mark would have been among the five best-paid managers in the country. The board bent over backwards to try to get him to stay - to a level that made some of us doubt our own wisdom."

"I'm very disappointed with what has happened," George said. "We spent a long time and a great deal of effort trying to fulfil what we all wanted to do and we didn't achieve anything."

Walsh, a Leicester player for 10 years, will take charge of team affairs along with Chris Turner, Garry Parker and the youth team coach, David Nish, while Leicester begin seeking a new manager for the second time in a year.

Coventry City, currently at the bottom of the Premier League and pounds 9m in debt, are to announce two new signings - one loan and one permanent - today. However, they have seen their bid to take Dave McPherson from Hearts on loan fall through because of the player's injury.

A group of six Manchester-based millionaires have completed talks for a proposed takeover of Portsmouth. The consortium, led by businessman Warren Smith, held a meeting with the managing director, Martin Gregory, son of the club's owner, Jim Gregory, and the takeover is set to go through before Christmas.

"We have had a favourable response from Mr Gregory in our offer to acquire the club and we hope to be able to make a formal announcement by Monday of next week," Smith said.

Birmingham are to request a personal hearing in an effort to clear their name after being charged by the FA with misconduct over crowd trouble at their match against Millwall last month. The First Division side could face a substantial fine, or even closure of their ground if the charge is proved.

Fulham and Gillingham have both been charged with misconduct by the FA following their game on 25 November. Ten players were booked and two sent off, and the referee's report to the FA described the last 10 minutes of the Third Division match as "the most disgraceful exhibition by professional footballers I have ever seen."

Aberdeen will hand their supporters an early Christmas present by letting everyone in free when their game against Kilmarnock, which was abandoned after a power cut, is replayed next Wednesday night.

Ian Donald, the Aberdeen chairman, said: "Our supporters have had to pay substantial amounts to follow the team and this is our chance to give them something back." Kilmarnock's board of directors have already agreed to pay for their supporters' bus fares.