O'Neill given cash incentive

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The Independent Online
Martin George, the Leicester chairman, has promised his manager, Martin O'Neill, money to buy players if he takes the club into the Premiership.

O'Neill will be given the go-ahead to spend should they defeat Crystal Palace at Wembley in the First Division play-off final on 27 May.

"We would be looking at making investments to help secure a long-term Premiership status, '' George said. "We can't compete with the likes of Manchester United but we can compete with the 10 or so clubs trailing the big five.''

George and O'Neill found themselves under pressure recently after poor results. The atmosphere in the dressing room was also strained when the midfielder Garry Parker was dropped and stripped of the captaincy after a row with O'Neill. However, all that was forgotten last night after the 1-0 victory at Stoke in the second leg of the play-off semi-final.

Plymouth are set to sign up the veteran goalkeeper Steve Cherry for a Wembley date with Darlington. Cherry, on loan from Watford, played in the Third Division play-off win over Colchester on Wednesday that took Argyle to Wembley for the first time in their history - but he came down to earth yesterday when Watford released him - 12 months after he was freed by Notts County.

Cherry, 35, has spent the maximum three months on loan at Plymouth and the spell cannot be extended beyond Sunday's deadline without League permission. However, Neil Warnock, the Plymouth manager, can sign him on contract until the end of the season because Cherry was at Home Park before the transfer deadline.