June 1999

Tuesday 1 Joe Kinnear is to step down as Wimbledon manager, apparently because he wants to work at a bigger club. "I believe he will go like hot cakes," says Sam Hammam. He will be replaced by former Norway coach Egil Olsen. Sam again: "His way is the Wimbledon way. He is also the complete master both tactically and technically." Someone's been watching re-runs of Kung Fu.

Wednesday 2 Having missed out on Edwin van der Sar and Fabien Barthez, Man Utd finally sign Mark Bosnich, who seems to have turned into a character from a Barbara Cartland book: "I could have gone abroad and lived like a king, but I followed my heart." Ireland's Euro 2000 match with Yugoslavia is unlikely to go ahead after the Irish government withdraw entry visas for the Yugoslav squad. "The decision was taken by a government. We are not in a position to condone or condemn it," says an FAI spokesman. Dundee Utd supporters group United For Change are backing an attempt by a local businessman to buy out Jim McLean's controlling stake in the club. Steve Parkin resigns as manager of Mansfield.

Thursday 3 Armed with a handful of straws, Gillingham chairman Tony Scally calls for the Second Division play-off final to be replayed after reports that the referee Mark Halsey was seen drinking in his hotel with Man City fans after the match. Halsey denied any impropriety, saying: "For the record, I'm a QPR fan." Gerard Houllier is to have talks with Robbie Fowler, said to be unsettled and apparently the subject of bids from Arsenal and, um, Middlesbrough. "I can't hold a gun to his head," says Gerard. But someone else might fairly soon.

Friday 4 England Under-21 manager Peter Taylor hopes the FA will "feel embarrassed" at their decision to replace him this summer after the team virtually clinched their place in the latter stages of the European Championship with a 3-0 win over Sweden. England technical F¸hrer Howard Wilkinson is to appoint Peter Reid as part-time manager in Taylor's place. A mixed international debut for the Wales Under-21 striker Lean Jeanne, who is sent off for having a Giggsian shirt-waving moment in celebration of an equalising goal against Italy. Wales go on to lose 6-2. More evidence to suggest that Peter Schmeichel will be sorely missed at Old Trafford as Mark Bosnich gets arrested for assault and robbery outside a strip club the night before his wedding.

Saturday 5 Kev suffers the goalless Wembley draw that has long been traditional for incoming England managers. To compound matters, Paul Scholes is dismissed after two wild tackles. "I'm a realist despite what people think," says Kev. "I would expect us to be wound up in a way that we win our last three matches." Opponents Sweden are now hot favourites to win the group and England may yet miss out on second place. Scotland, down to ten men before half time after Matt Elliot is sent off, concede a last minute equaliser in Torshavn. Faroes 1 Fairies 1 says one Scottish paper. Bobby Gould resigns as Wales manager after their 4-0 defeat in Italy, saying: "I've a gut feeling that this is the time to go." The team is now in the gnarled hands of caretakers Mark Hughes and Neville Southall, who says: "You've got to be interested in the top jobs and this is one." Well, it's a job.

Tuesday 8 Emmanuel Petit claims players are using performance enhancing drugs: "If the present number of games continues we will all have to take drugs to survive. I know some who already do. But I am not giving names." "If he has evidence we would like to hear it," says an FA spokesman, "but recent results do not back it up."

Wednesday 9 England's Euro 2000 hopes fade further with a 1-1 draw in Bulgaria. "We could have passed it better," concedes Kev, understating expertly. He didn't mention shooting, heading or tackling. England will now have to win in Poland to be sure of second place in their group. Assuming that they overcome Luxembourg first. Scotland take a two-goal lead in Prague before losing 3-2 to the Czechs. "I'll be looking for us to win our final four games," says Craig Brown, who may not be setting too difficult a task given that Bosnia, Scotland's main rivals for second spot, have to come from behind to force a draw against the fearsome Faroes. Wales are beaten by two late Danish goals at Anfield. Niall Quinn scores the goal that enables the Rep of Ireland to beat Macedonia.

Thursday 10 Kenny Dalglish becomes Celtic's technical director, with John Barnes as first team coach. "No one knows whether it will work or not, but I know a wee bit more than most people and think it will work," says Kenny, managing a whole sentence for a change. Alan Shearer, said to be sulking at St James', is linked with a move to Parkhead. Robbie Fowler, however, insists that he's not going anywhere: "I'm fed up with the constant rumours. I want to stay with Liverpool and win trophies with them."

Friday 11 "This is an honour for the people who made me what I am," says Alex Ferguson on receiving a knighthood. Tony Adams and Robbie Earle get MBEs, and Craig Brown a CBE. Brian Little resigns as manager of Stoke City. Martin O'Neill ends rumours about a return to NottinghamForest by signing a new deal with Leicester. Terry Yorath declares an interest in becoming Wales manager again – and is unlikely to face competition from Ian Rush, who picks up seven per cent of the votes in a fans' poll, just behind Shirley Bassey.

Sunday 13 Unwisely thinking aloud in the presence of a tabloid reporter, Kev announces that he thinks Paul Gascoigne could play a role for England. "It's difficult to come up with another name who could provide that sprinkle of stardust. I would be delighted if he got back into shape, but I am not hopeful of that happening." Nicolas Anelka is determined to leave Arsenal for Real Madrid: "I don't want to stay at Highbury. Wenger thinks it would be bad for me to go to Real, but it's Spain or nothing." Ooh, he does go on.

Monday 14 A narrow escape for Sheffield Utd, who nearly appoint Bobby Gould as their new manager before settling on the cherubic Adrian Heath. Sporting Lisbon apparently see Glenn Hoddle as the man to lift them out of the shadow of Porto and Benfica: "He is a man with the experience we want," says Sporting's chairman en route to a seance.

Tuesday 15 Liverpool break the British transfer record for a goalkeeper, signing Dutch international Sander Westerveld for £4 million. He is Gerard Houllier's ninth signing, all from abroad, several with great names, including Sami Hyypia, Titi Camara and, our favourite, Frode Kippe. "We are conscious of the question of English players, but we have been confronted with clubs who will not sell their best players to us," says vice chairman Peter Robinson. How very tiresome. 

Wednesday 16 Scotland get their Euro 2000 clash with Bosnia put back to October 5th, the game having previously been scheduled for August. Man Utd may yet take part in FIFA's silly new world club championship, which will involve spending a fortnight in Brazil in January, missing two league games and an FA Cup tie in the process. The 2006 monomaniacs at the FA are believed to be keen for United to go for fear of offending the tournament's creator, Sepp Blatter. Southampton manager David Jones is interviewed by police in connection with investigations into child abuse in Liverpool where he used to be a social worker. Steve Parkin, having resigned over lack of money at Mansfield, is named as manager of free-spending Rochdale.

Friday 18 Port Vale coach Bill Dearden, blithely indifferent to financial restraints, agrees to become the new manager of Mansfield.

Saturday 19 Good news, relatively, for Stan Collymore, who passes a drugs test undertaken after allegations that he had taken illegal substances while undergoing counselling. Peter Schmeichel joins Sporting Lisbon, having apparently been turned down in Italy. The women's World Cup begins in front of the largest crowd ever to watch a women's sporting event, as 78,972 see the hosts USA beat Denmark 3-0.

Monday 21 Lazio are set to withdraw their £22 million bid for Nicolas Anelka after discovering that he has signed a pre-contractual agreement with Real Madrid which will cost £6.5 million to buy out. Arsenal have already complained to FIFA about Real making an illegal approach for the player, something they would never do themselves, of course. Didier Deschamps joins Chelsea for £3 million and says, as you do, "It is a great challenge for me. The Premiership's reputation is known throughout the world." The Welsh FA are to approach Terry Venables about their vacant manager's job. "There's a feeling that we should go for a very, very big name," says a spokesman, before rushing off to join his colleagues in their headlong dive over a cliff.

Friday 25 Clydebank's proposed move to the borders to groundshare with non-league Gala Fairydean is rejected by the Scottish League. The club have a fortnight to find an alternative or risk being expelled. Stockport sack Gary Megson, having apparently accused him of secretly applying for other jobs (not Wales, surely?). Mallorca defender Marcelino (whose first name appears to be Elena) joins Newcastle for £5 million and says: "My characteristics are suited to British football." Well, he's big.

Saturday 26 Geoff Thompson, a bald man with a beard, is elected as chairman of the FA, comfortably defeating his challenger, David Sheepshanks of the Football League, with the help of a block vote from the Premiership clubs. His backers won't appreciate his first public statement, however, in which he calls for foreign players to be limited to three per club. "We want more English-born players at the highest level. We have to talk to FIFA and at government level."  "It's a non-starter," says Arsenal's David Dein. "We sympathise with the idea but it would need European legislation to put in place," says the PFA's Gordon Taylor.

Sunday 27 Sir Alex suggests that Man Utd's fixture congestion could be eased by their getting a bye into the fourth round of the FA Cup, a suggestion not met with universal approval. "Yes, we'd all like a bye. In fact we want a bye to the final," yells Ken Bates. Glenn Hoddle's agent claims he has turned down an offer to manage Nottingham Forest, saying: "I don't think he has long enough, he is still hurting from his England sacking." The pain being offset by the £350,000 a year salary he is still receiving from the FA. Viterbo in the Italian Third Division become the first professional men's team to appoint a female coach, former international player Carolina Morace.

Monday 28 The FA offer Man Utd a one-year exemption from the FA Cup. "The world club championship will never be held again in January, which is why we had to make this unprecedented offer," says that man David Davies, momentarily extracting his head from Sepp Blatter's posterior. While the football world is still reeling from that, Torquay United chip in with a request that their Worthington Cup tie with Portsmouth be put back by a day to avoid clashing with the (woo) solar eclipse.

Tuesday 29 Olivier Dacourt knocks £6.5 million off Everton's debt by returning to France with Lens. Pierre van Hooijdonk, also heading for home to join Vitesse Arnhem, bids a tearful farewell to Forest: "Their relegation proves that my words were right." Michael Knighton quits as Carlisle chairman, saying, "It's been a fantastic white-knuckle roller-coaster ride." Some Carlisle fans are still screaming. With Man Utd still pondering the world club championship, David Davies weighs in again, this time pleading for a reduction in the size of the Premiership: "Only Man Utd and Arsenal are understood to be in favour of a smaller league. But FIFA are working on a world football calendar and we have to be part of that." One rejected suggestion for easing United's fixture overload was that the Charity Shield should count as a home league game for Arsenal, whose reaction, according to Dave, was "pretty negative, as you'd imagine". World Cup striker Christophe Dugarry becomes the latest French player to fail a drugs test. Having tested positive for steroids he will be banned for at least six months. Celtic defender Alan Stubbs is to have an operation on a suspected cancer which was detected when he took a drugs test after the Scottish Cup final.

Wednesday 30 Man Utd decide to withdraw from the FA Cup. "We had to think about the criticism we would have received if England had not got the World Cup and we had refused to go to Brazil," says Sir Alex. "Fans of Manchester United don't give a damn about England's national team, so all this talk about us representing our country is nonsense," says a spokesman for the supporters' group IMUSA. A letter from busy busy David Davies to a Liverpool MP reveals that Everton and Tranmere might be expelled from the FA Cup if Peter Johnson fails to dispose of his controlling stake in one of the clubs. "It should have been a matter of common courtesy for the FA to talk to us about this first," bristles Everton secretary Michael Dunford. Sunderland place Lee Clark on the transfer list after photos are published that show him watching Newcastle in this year's Cup final while wearing a T-shirt reading "Sad Mackem Bastards". Happily for Lee, Newcastle are now favourites to sign him. Gillingham sack manager Tony Pulis for "gross misconduct". "I'm legally bound not say any more at this stage," says chairman Paul Scally.

From WSC 150 August 1999. What was happening this month