The new man must be seen to be impartial and be adept at handling television rights negotiations, which have led to leading figures in television being linked with the post. Greg Dyke, the former London Weekend Television chief executive and now Pearson's chairman, is one such name. Football insiders linked with the post include the Euro 96 organiser, Glen Kirton, and the Manchester United director, Maurice Watkin.
Ray Wilkins, the former England midfielder, yesterday joined Leyton Orient on non-contract forms. The 40-year-old was most recently at Millwall.
The Everton midfielder, John Ebbrell, has rejoined his former manager, Howard Kendall, in a pounds 1m move to Sheffield United, who also hope to sign the Georgian international playmaker Temur Ketsbaia from AEK Athens for pounds 1.5m.
Phil Starbuck became Neil Warnock's first signing for Oldham when he arrived on loan from Sheffield United yesterday - but the striker badly damaged an Achilles tendon during his first training session with his new team-mates.
Nicky Butt has been ruled out of Manchester United's European Cup quarter- final with Porto at Old Trafford next week with an ankle injury.
AFC Bournemouth's request to form a new company has been rejected by the Football League - but the League softened the blow by confirming that it was willing to allow the club - who called in the receivers last month with debts of pounds 4.5m - to play out the season.