PFA puts pressure on Jones over writ

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The Independent Online
Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, yesterday attempted to persuade Vinnie Jones to drop his legal battle with Wimbledon and the Premier League.

Taylor has written to the Wimbledon midfielder asking him to reconsider his attempt to win a free transfer through the courts.

Jones has issued a writ for restraint of trade over his demand to be able to move to another English club for nothing. He argues that the Bosman ruling, which means out of contract players can move on free trtransfers across European Union boundaries, should also apply to domestic transfers.

Taylor, however, pointed out to the 32-year-old Wimbledon captain that his action would ruin plans to bring in a new transfer system next year.

The PFA - along with the Football Association and the Premier League - are bringing in a rule that scraps fees for any player over 24 and out of contract as of the summer of 1998.

If Jones wins his legal action, then the whole transfer system will change, which Taylor fears could force some clubs to close with the loss of players' jobs.

Blackburn Rovers left for Highbury yesterday without Graeme Le Saux. The left-back, who wants a transfer, has not been at his best in recent games and the decision to omit him from Rovers' vital game at Arsenal could have repercussions when Glenn Hoddle selects his England team for the World Cup match with Georgia later this month.

Neil Warnock should know by tomorrow whether he has a future as the manager of Oldham Athletic. A board meeting is being held over the weekend to discuss whether to ask him to carry on beyond the end of the season. Speculation is rife that Joe Royle could return to the club which he served so successfully until quitting to take over at Everton.

Brighton's long-term survival plans will be announced next Tuesday after a meeting at the FA yesterday worked out final details between the club's owner, Bill Archer, and a consortium led by Dick Knight.