City round up from the papers

Last updated : 12 February 2004 By Michael Morris

CARDIFF City's new 30,000-seater stadium will not be ready in time for the capital's double anniversary celebrations in 2005.

Bluebirds' owner Sam Hammam has admitted that August 2006 is now the realistic target date for the Leckwith complex to be opened.
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FRANK Burrows today defended keeping Bluebirds hot-shot Robert Earnshaw on the sidelines during his spell as Bluebirds manager.

And West Brom's assistant manager welcomes his former club to The Hawthorns on Saturday believing City boss Lennie Lawrence is now reaping the rewards of his controversial selection policy.

The Scot gave Earnshaw his Nationwide League debut on the opening day of the 1998-99 campaign - and promptly didn't select him in the starting line-up again that season.

"I only knew Robert as a kid and he wasn't ready for first team football," said Burrows.
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FORMER England defender John Scales last night claimed Cardiff City will never replace Wimbledon as Sam Hammam's great love.

The Lebanese businessman took over the Bluebirds in the summer of 2000 after ending a remarkable reign at Wimbledon spanning more than two decades. He guided the Dons from the Fourth Division to the First as well as FA Cup glory at Wembley.

And former Wimbledon, Liverpool and Tottenham star Scales told The Western Mail, "Wimbledon is Sam's first love - and it's his greatest love.

"I know Sam is loving every minute at Cardiff and he will get as much satisfaction repeating with Cardiff what he did at Wimbledon.
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JOE KINNEAR last night revealed Sam Hammam offered him a job at Cardiff City this season.

Kinnear dropped the bombshell news as he took up his new post as Nottingham Forest manager yesterday.

And the 57-year-old disclosed that Bluebirds owner Hammam rekindled his passion for the game after his controversial sacking at Luton at the end of last season.

Kinnear did not reveal the exact role Hammam asked him to take up at Ninian Park, nor exactly how he would have linked up with current City manager Lennie Lawrence.

He revealed the shock approach from Hammam came shortly after Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn had offered him the manager's job at Brisbane Road.

"No disrespect to Barry or Orient, I was looking for a bigger opportunity. I didn't want to walk into Orient and then walk out again," said Kinnear.
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