Riley admits error after seeing video of Davies cautions

By Alan Nixon
Tuesday 19 November 2002 01:00
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Tottenham Hotspur's Simon Davies has had his first caution in the north London derby against Arsenal rescinded. The Wales international midfielder was sent off by the referee Mike Riley for his second bookable offence, a tackle on Patrick Vieira, after an innocuous earlier challenge on Ashley Cole had resulted in a yellow card.

The Tottenham manager, Glenn Hoddle, asked the referee to look at the video of the game and after considering the matter Riley agreed to wipe out the first caution.

The foul on Vieira, however, still means Davies has collected five cautions this season and he will serve a one-match ban, missing Spurs' game at Birmingham on 30 November.

The ban would have been the same even if Riley – who also admitted wrongly dismissing Birmingham's Aliou Cisse in the opening game of the season at Highbury – had not overturned the red card.

Hoddle expressed his satisfaction at the news. "The referee has done the right thing," he said, "but it is a pity for Simon he will still be suspended. He's a young man feeling very baffled at the moment as to why he's been sent off for the first time at any level.

"I've looked at the two bookings and he doesn't touch Cole with the first tackle – and even with the second he got a good bit of the ball. It is over and done now, but Simon can hold his head high. He's done a fantastic job for us this season and didn't deserve what happened on Saturday."

Everton's proposed move to a new multi-million pound stadium at Liverpool's King's Dock is on the verge of collapse as the club's board contemplate reallocating the funds to their manager David Moyes's high-flying team instead.

The club have carried out a feasibility study into the move and will make a decision shortly about whether to proceed, but they are now likely to pull the plug.

The sheer cost of the move is worrying the club's owner, Bill Kenwright, and his allies, and any available finance may now be diverted to Moyes. Everton must find £30m in three weeks to have a 50 per cent stake in the new development, which will take around £160m to build even if it is given council agreement in the first place. To find the money would mean a long-term mortgage at potentially crippling lending rates and that would jeopardise Moyes's rebuilding. That bill could run to almost £60m in repayments.

The former Everton striker Gary Lineker hopes to make a bid to rescue his first club, financially troubled Leicester City, by the end of this week. The former England forward is part of a consortium trying save the Foxes.

The Sunderland midfielder Claudio Reyna was due to undergo surgery on his injured knee in California yesterday. The 29-year-old United States captain suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage at Bolton in October.

A Radio 5 Live survey has found that only 122 people have been banned from matches in the last five years for racist chanting, and accused Millwall of being the biggest culprits. But the Millwall chairman, Theo Paphitis, said: "We have found this season that fans are reporting racist behaviour to the stewards. It is a massive step forward when fans standing next to these people can do that."

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