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Dalglish hints at 'conspiracy'

"PEOPLE might think there's a conspiracy," complained Kenny Dalglish about what he considered poor refereeing in Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Aston Villa. But QPR's Mark Hughes, who watched Manchester United get a penalty when their forward was offside, had more to complain about.

In Italy, a match-fixing taskforce is investigating high-profile cases from last season's Serie A. Arrests have been made.

Might Dalglish use this in his defence if he's carpeted by the FA?

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Will Roberto Mancini's name soon to be added to the following litany? Ron Atkinson (Aston Villa), Kenny Dalglish (Blackburn Rovers), Kevin Keegan (Newcastle United), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal), Jose Mourinho (Chelsea), Avram Grant (Chelsea), Rafael Benitez (Liverpool) and Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea)? All are managers who finished second to Alex Ferguson's Manchester United over 12 league campaigns.

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With Meath ignominiously consigned to Division 3 by Louth, manager Seamus "Banty" McEnaney proved he has visionary powers when he declared, "There'll be a lot of disappointed managers this evening and I'll be one of them."

Among those whose condition supported his claim were...

Pat Gilroy (Dublin): "It's disappointing to miss out on the semi-finals..."

Alan Mulholland (Galway): "It's so disappointing because we were one kick away from Division 1."

Eamonn McEneaney (Monaghan): "Obviously we are very disappointed but the Championship will be another day..."

John Brennan (Derry): "I'm disgusted with that second-half performance..."

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Two weeks ago, reporting that former FIFA boss Joao Havelange was seriously ill, I recalled his great friendship with Louis Kilcoyne, the official responsible for arranging the historic match between Brazil and an All Ireland X1, which due to the sensitivities of the IFA were billed as Shamrock Rovers XI. Within days of my report, the death of debonair Kilcoyne, former FAI president and Vice President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, came as a shock to all. Now, sadly, word has reached me that the 95-year-old Brazilian's condition has deteriorated and that he's back in intensive care.

No doubt the wider Irish football family will show respect for the memory of Louis Kilcoyne at the Ireland v Bosnia game in the Aviva Stadium next month.

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When Fabio Capello quit as England manager the English media rushed to replace him with Harry Redknapp. The Spurs manager was flattered. His team were looking good for second or third place in the League. Six weeks later, after winning just one of five matches, Redknapp was denying suggestions that the England hype was having a negative effect on his players.


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