Wright fined pounds 15,000 for misconduct

Football
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The Independent Online
The Arsenal striker Ian Wright was yesterday fined pounds 15,000 - one of the largest financial punishments ever handed out to a player by the Football Association - for misconduct on the field.

The FA decided on the fine, rather than another lengthy ban for the volatile England international, at a hearing at a Hertfordshire hotel yesterday afternoon.

Wright, 33, was accompanied by his manager, Arsene Wenger, at the FA Commission disciplinary meeting, where he was answering charges relating to Arsenal matches at home to Blackburn on 19 April and away to Coventry two days later.

The much-publicised incidents centred on remarks made by Wright to the referee on the first occasion and gestures to the crowd on the second. The FA's director of public affairs, David Davies, announced the fine in a prepared statement yesterday evening.

He said: "The Commission made it absolutely clear to Ian Wright that he could expect no sympathy whatsoever if he appeared before them again in similar and proven circumstances. The severest of penalties that would remove him from the game for a very long time would be inevitable."

Meanwhile Wenger has turned down a pounds 1m bid for centre-back Scott Marshall from the former Arsenal No 2 and caretaker manager, Stewart Houston, who is now in charge at Queen's Park Rangers.

Wenger has told QPR he wants pounds 1.5m for the Scotland Under-21 defender who was one of seven players made available at Highbury this week.

Marshall's first-team chances will be limited this season because of Wenger's signings and he is going into the last year of his contract. Houston wants Marshall to follow him across London and may make a second attempt to persuade Wenger to sell.

Bolton yesterday strengthened their strike force for next season by signing the Icelandic international Arnar Gunnlaug- sson for pounds 100,000 from IA of Akranes.

The 23-year-old striker, who has also had spells with Dutch side Feyenoord and French club Sochaux, joins his compatriot Gudni Bergsson at the Premiership newcomers.

Peter Ndlovu's move to Birmingham has fallen through after the Coventry winger failed a medical. The clubs had agreed a pounds 1.75m deal but the 24- year-old Zimbabwean international will now return to Highfield Road.

Blackburn have agreed to sell Paul Warhurst to Crystal Palace for pounds 1.5m. The out-of-contract utility player is expected to have talks with Palace over the next few days.

Colin Hendry is struggling to get fit for the start of the season. Blackburn's Scottish international defender is involved in an extensive rehabilitation programme following a groin operation earlier this summer.

Jimmy Quinn is reviving his playing career at the age of 38 after failing to return to management following his departure from Reading. The former Northern Ireland striker has held talks with Peterborough and one of his old clubs, Bournemouth, about returning to action.

Andy Gray, the former Tottenham and Crystal Palace midfield player, is ending his two-year stay in Scotland by signing for Bury. The Falkirk midfielder, man of the match in the Scottish Cup final in May, will team up again with manager Stan Ternent, who was his coach at Palace.

The West Ham captain, Julian Dicks, could miss the start of the season and be out for up to four months owing to a knee injury. Dicks had an operation at the end of last season, but is still having problems and has not yet started training.

Ronaldo's controversial transfer from Barcelona to Internazionale will be discussed by the governing body of the world game, Fifa, on 22 July. Fifa's Player's Status Committee will also examine an equally contentious move by French international defender Bixente Lizarazu from Athletic Bilbao to Bayern Munich.

Substitute goalkeeper Maikel Aerts of Second Division side FC den Bosch has become the first player in the history of Dutch football to fail a drugs test. The player's urine sample showed traces of cocaine following a random test on 17 May 17 after Den Bosch's game with Dordrecht '90. Aerts was not playing in the match.

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