Back in the day: The Irish News on December 20 1996 – Pierre van Hooijdonk rift with Celtic now at breaking point
DUTCH giants Feyenoord are so keen to land Pierre Van Hooijdonk (seen in action for the Hoops below) that they will offer to pay Celtic in instalments.
Feyenoord are ready to enter negotiations with the Glasgow club for the 27-year-old hit-man.
And Van Hooijdonk has informed the Dutch media that he has been “told officially” by Celtic that he can now leave.
Celtic want to start the bidding at £4million for the player who cost them £1.5million from NAC Breda in January 1995 and it seems Feyenoord are prepared to open talks.
FIVE of Tyrone’s Ulster Championship winning team have been ruled out of Sunday’s Division One league final between Carrickmore and Errigal Ciaran.
Carrickmore, going for their fifth successive title, will be without the suspended Seamus McCallan and Brian Gormley, as well as injury victim Ciaran Loughran. And Errigal’s Peter and Pascal Canavan will miss the game through injury.
Three former Tyrone players, Carrickmore’s Raymond Munroe and Mickey Bradley and Ciaran McCrory of Errigal, will also have to sit out the final at Fintona due to suspension.
MILLIONAIRE Sir John Hall, whose cash has enabled Newcastle to match the efforts of rivals Manchester United on the field, will soon be able to compete with them off it, if he gets his own way over controversial plans to redevelop St James’ Park.
Newcastle yesterday unveiled proposals for a new, state-of-the-art stadium within yards of St James’ Park, costing £65million, which could eventually see the club almost double their present capacity of 36,000.
Sir John also admitted that the club have plans to join United on the Stock Exchange and, although details will not be released until January, the club is estimated to have a value of between £140million and £200million.
AC Milan striker George Weah has apologised to Fifa for headbutting Porto’s Jorge Costa.
The attack came as a major embarrassment to football’s world governing body which had already announced the Liberian striker would receive its Fair Play award.
Weah has written to Fifa saying: “You have given me the greatest honour and, because of a moment of craziness through provocation, I have caused you some embarrassment.
“I want to let you know that the situation that occurred will never happen again and I hope you have the confidence in me to believe me.”
SEAN Kelly, Ireland’s greatest cyclist, has been appointed in a three-man team to manage the Irish national team.
The move follows the resignation of team director Alisdair MacLennan, which will take effect on December 31.
There will be no longer an Irish team director but an Irish team committee consisting of Kelly, Frank Campbell, who will act as manager and Kevin Kimmage.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST are hoping skipper Stuart Pearce will agree to become the club’s caretaker manager following Frank Clark’s decision to resign.
Forest’s desperate plight at the foot of the Premiership and the uncertainty created by an unresolved takeover battle persuaded Clark to quit with 18 months of his contract remaining.
The club’s board reluctantly accepted Clark’s offer to step down at an emergency meeting on Wednesday night and chairman Irving Korn revealed that Pearce had been given 24 hours to give his answer on the caretaker manager offer.
Clark, who accepted the unenviable task of taking over from Forest legend Brian Clough in May 1993 following the club’s relegation to the first division, said his resignation represented the lowest point of his career as a player and manager.