Leeds wary of more takeover talk

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Leeds United's board has asked for proof of funding after considering a £25m takeover deal headed by Sebastian Sainsbury.

The Leeds board met on Thursday to discuss a proposed deal led by Sainsbury, great grandson of the founder of the eponymous supermarket chain, and including leading officials of Nova Financial Partners.

Afterwards Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner issued a statement to confirm no deal had been done. "The board of Leeds United confirms that a number of discussions are continuing with various parties, and at this stage no agreement has been signed. We have always insisted that any interested party must be able to confirm that the necessary funds are available in order to complete any transaction. Despite much press speculation, as we stand now, no party has met our conditions."

* The Football Association is investigating the second outbreak of crowd trouble at a London match in 24 hours after Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman was hit in the face by a coin thrown during a League Cup tie.

Police in riot gear struggled to contain West Ham fans at the end of the all-London tie at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, won 1-0 by Chelsea thanks to Kezman's first goal for the club.

Serbian Kezman needed treatment to a cut above his left eye after being hit. The FA said on Thursday it would ask for reports from both clubs and the police, and review video evidence and the referee's report, before deciding whether to take action.

On Tuesday, Liverpool fans ripped up seats and threw them on to the pitch during their 3-0 third round win over London-based Millwall. The FA is also investigating these incidents.

* West Ham chairman Terry Brown has announced the club made a pre-tax profit of £11.8m for the year ending May 31. The Hammers were thought to be on the brink of administration following relegation from the Premiership in 2002 and the subsequent player exodus from Upton Park. The raft of sales brought in £24.8m, while manager Alan Pardew has spent just £5.1m on replacements. The club's net bank borrowings have also fallen sharply, from £44.1m in 2003 to £33m this year.

* A further six people have been arrested following an investigation into allegations of race-fixing, police confirmed on Thursday. The two women and four men are among 22 people now on police bail on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud. Last month 16 people, including champion jockey Kieren Fallon, were arrested as part of the corruption inquiry.

Police said they were analysing more than 1,000 exhibits, including 59 phones and several computers. They said more arrests were likely in connection with the allegations and those on bail would return to custody in April.

* A knock of 99 from Simon Katich lifted Australia into a commanding position in the third Test against India in Nagpur. At the close on day three, Australia were on 202 for the loss of three wickets - a lead of 415 runs - after they had bowled out the hosts for 185.

Australia, with time on their side, decided not to force India to follow on, and although Katich was thwarted a run short of his century, Damien Martyn (40 not out) and Michael Clarke (10 no) were competently guiding the tourists at the close. India saw their first innings destroyed by Australia paceman Jason Gillespie, who recorded figures of five for 56.

In Karachi, Abdul Razzaq's inspired bowling put Pakistan in charge on the opening day of their second Test against Sri Lanka. Razzaq finished with a five-wicket haul as Sri Lanka collapsed from 65 without loss to 208 all out at stumps. Romesh Kaluwitharana (54) and captain Marvan Atapattu (44) provided some resistance but the tourists were facing an uphill struggle as they aim to add to their first Test victory.

In Chittagong, Daniel Vettori's 10-wicket match haul helped put New Zealand on the brink of an overwhelming victory against Bangladesh at close of play on day three of the second Test. Bangladesh were forced to follow on after being bowled out for 182, in response to New Zealand's first-innings 545 for six declared. The Kiwis need just two more wickets to complete a predictable win, with Bangladesh on 210 for eight.

* Tim Henman struggled into the quarter-finals of the Davidoff Swiss Indoor tournament in Basle after eventually overcoming South African Wesley Moodie in the second round 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (0-7) 6-4. Moodie was able to answer almost every question Henman threw at him as the first two sets went to a tie break but it was the Briton who edged through to face Czech Jiri Novak in the next round.

Meanwhile, former world No. 2 Magnus Norman of Sweden announced his retirement from tennis after a long battle with hip and knee injuries.

* Bert Trautmann, the former German prisoner-of-war who played on in goal after breaking his neck in an FA Cup final, is to receive an honorary OBE. The 82-year-old, who was playing for Manchester City in the 1956 showpiece, is being recognised for his work to improve German-British relations.

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