Who signs the players?
It's been a quiet couple of weeks in the Championship with no games because of the international weekend, but we've still had a big fall out at Middlesbrough, former Palace chairman Simon Jordan speaking out and Portsmouth confirmed at loggerheads with Tottenham Hotspur. Iain Dowie - a less than popular manager at PalaceI think a number of clubs have been looking to bring players in on loan but as yet there has been no such transfer movement into the Championship since we all last kicked a ball in earnest a week last Saturday.Two clubs have strengthened their squads however. Leeds have taken goalkeeper Tony Warner as cover with both Kasper Schmeichel and Shane Higgs injured. Without a club since being released by Charlton it's a return to Elland Road for the 36-year-old who enjoyed a loan there four years ago.Swansea have signed Dutch midfielder Kenny Augustien, previously with AZ Alkmaar. He enjoyed a trial with the Swans in the summer but suffered an injury and has just returned to full fitness. He's signed a two year deal.Whilst Augustien arrives, Swansea will be saying goodbye to the Vetch Field. The former ground has remained untouched in over four years since the club moved to the Liberty Stadium but is now to be demolished to make way for a new housing development.Clubs of course will be preparing for January by now, in readiness for the next transfer window. But not Neil Warnock. Apparently he's happy with his squad and won't be bringing anyone in. I'm sure we all believe you Neil, I'd guess at two strikers at least come January.Warnock's enjoying things at the top of the league but it's not quite so good for new boss Keith Millen at Bristol City. Appointed after Steve Coppell went walkabout again, it's been a difficult time for him and it's gone even worse now - he's had the vote of confidence from his chairman.Hull manager Nigel Pearson has been having a go back at Leicester who have recently appointed Sven Goran Eriksson. It was funny to hear Eriksson read his prepared speech, the same one he'd used at Notts County in the summer of 2009.Eriksson is claiming a 2-0 friendly win in Thailand as a big boost and he's brought in Derek Fazackerly alongside. Pearson meanwhile has claimed the club did nothing to try and keep him when he resigned in the summer to make the move to Hull as a replacement for Iain Dowie. I think he'd have been better advised to keep his mouth shut.Whilst on the subject of Dowie, he was a topic of discussion with former Palace chairman Simon Jordan last Sunday on Goals on Sunday. It was Jordan, you might recall, who arranged for him to be issued with a writ when he was being announced as the new Charlton boss. He certainly let everyone know last weekend just how little respect he had for his former manger and admitted that he wasn't happy with him even when he was leading them to promotion.He pointed to his lack of success elsewhere since and claimed he couldn't work with the man. Jordan wasn't too enamoured with Steve Coppell, his first manager, either but spoke very highly of Steve Bruce and his last manager Neil Warnock who he said had given him his happiest times at Palace.He claimed running Palace had cost him £47 million of his own money in ten years but didn't rule out a return.Given a choice between signing for Cardiff or Manchester United, you would think it was a no brainer. Not the case apparently with Craig Bellamy now saying he had that option in the summer before deciding on this loan move to the Welsh capital. I wonder if Citeh would have offered to continue paying the bulk of his wages had he moved across the city to Old Trafford.Derby and Portsmouth are both looking to bring in loan players. In Derby's case it's a goalkeeper with Stephen Bywater having suffered a freak wrist injury. Down at Pompey it looked as though Steve Cotterill was going to get Kyle Naughton from his old mate 'Arry at Spurs, but that's been blocked.Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur are not the best of friends right now and that goes back to last January and Spurs' attempts to sign goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. If you recall, when he opted for Stoke it left Pompey having to pay Spurs £1 million. I'm not sure whether it's been paid or not yet; probably not given the goings on at Fratton Park. Expect another right back to arrive at Pompey very soon.And finally to the fun at Middlesbrough where former manager Gareth Southgate has really put the cat amongst the pigeons. He claimed that the signing of £12 million flop Afonso Alves was nothing to do with him. Southgate said: "Alves? At most clubs now there is a group of people who make buying decisions. But no, I didn't buy him."Chief Executive Keith Lamb has described that as nonsense, but it does beg the question as to who does sign players at Middlesbrough, and an interesting question given what advice I was given by a 'Boro fan recently when we played there.He was bemoaning the state of his club and its recent signings and told me: "Whatever you do at Burnley, don't ever bring a manager from Scotland and allow him to sign players from Scottish clubs." As if we would.It's back to the football, thankfully, this weekend, and the fixtures are shown below.
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