■ SoccerCells come with condition
A Manchester United soccer fan donated cells so his brother could have a life-saving transplant -- on condition his sibling switched his support from arch rivals Manchester City. Retired management consultant Martin Warburton, 50, asked his brother Paul, 59, to sign a light-hearted contract pledging to join the United fan club. "We made a great joke of the contract, but he still agreed to sign," Martin Warburton told yesterday's <
Leeds looks for savior
Crisis club Leeds United has been offered for sale at ?20 million (US$34 million) to Sheikh Abdul bin Mubarak al-Khalifa of Bahrain, it was reported yesterday. The Premiership club admitted on Wednesday it was in serious danger of being forced into administration after failing to reach agreement on restructuring of debts of nearly ?80 million (US$137 million). The Daily Mirror said Leeds chairman John McKenzie called al-Khalifa on Thursday to make the offer. The Sheikh, a long-time fan, would also take over the debts if he takes over on Dec. 18. Leeds made no mention of the billionaire sheikh in a statement to the stock exchange on Wednesday which the market interpreted as a sign he was unwilling to back the refinancing deal. Leeds are anchored to the bottom of the English Premiership and without a permanent manager following the sacking of Peter Reid last month.
■ BasketballPacers beat Knicks
Jermaine O'Neal had 27 points and 11 rebounds and Ron Artest added 21 points in the NBA-leading Indiana Pacers' 93-70 victory over the New York Knicks on Thursday night. The Pacers (13-2) used an 18-2 run in the third quarter to pull away for their seventh straight victory. Kurt Thomas had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who lost for the first time in four games. New York was coming off a 97-92 victory in Minnesota on Wednesday night. The Pacers scored 27 points off 24 Knicks turnovers and held their opponent under 79 points for the eighth time in nine games.
Eriksson renews contract
With speculation mounting that he could be on the way to Chelsea, Sven-Goran Eriksson has been offered a two-year contract extension as England soccer coach, the Football Association announced on Thursday. The FA wants the Swede, who succeeded Kevin Keegan in 2001, to carry on until the 2008 European Championship in Austria and Switzerland. His current contract runs until the 2006 World Cup. "Sven is England's most successful coach since the legendary Sir Alf Ramsey," FA chief executive Mark Palios said in reference to the manager who led England to its only World Cup triumph in 1966. "He has already contributed enormously to the reputation of England in Europe and around the world. This offer shows the faith we all have in him." Now it's up the Swede to decide whether to accept the offer. His agent Athole Still said Eriksson was unhappy the contract offer was made public. "His reaction was one of disappointment, not disappointment at the offer but disappointment at the fact it had been made public," Still said.