United guilty of poaching escape

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The Independent Online
Manchester United were yesterday found guilty of making an illegal approach to the teenager Matthew Wicks - but escaped serious punishment from the Football Association.

The FA held an inquiry following allegations by Arsenal over Wicks, son of the former Chelsea centre-back Steve, but United escaped with being ordered to pay the costs of two hearings after they were found guilty of breaching FA Premier League rule F20.7.

The rule states that "no club shall directly or indirectly approach any boy who is registered as an associated schoolboy with another club with a view to inducing the boy to register with such first mentioned club ..."

Wicks was registered with Arsenal, who complained to the FA when the central defender later signed for the Old Trafford club.

Wicks, meanwhile, is said to be unhappy with life in the north and is keen to return to a London-based club.

Sunderland have offered Manchester City pounds 500,000 for their unsettled goalkeeper Tony Coton, who has been unable to dislodge the German international Eike Immel from City's starting line-up.

Bolton yesterday imported the 29-year-old Milan defender Enzo Gambaro on a month's loan. The former Sampdoria and Parma player is out of contract.

West Bromwich Albion have taken the Everton full-back Paul Holmes on loan in a bid to halt their run of 11 successive defeats in the Endsleigh First Division. The 27-year-old former Birmingham player will make his debut against Wolves at The Hawthorns today.

Kerry Dixon's travels round leading southern clubs during a 16-year career took in a seventh stop yesterday when the 34-year-old striker joined Watford from Millwall for a nominal fee.

n Italy's players' union has warned that if any Italian club relaxed restrictions on the number of foreign players fielded in a match, it would seek their suspension from the league championship.