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FA set to probe scoreline row

PUBLISHED: 14:30 24 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

OFFICIALS from the FA were today expected to launch an investigation into how Norwich City's scoreboard flashed the score "Manchester United 1, Scum 0.

OFFICIALS from the FA were today expected to launch an investigation into how Norwich City's scoreboard flashed the score "Manchester United 1, Scum 0."

Canary fans at Carrow Road cheered when the score flashed up during their Nationwide First Division game with Burnley – but club officials acted swiftly to try to defuse the row.

There were reports today that the scoreboard operator was due to leave the club anyway after the Burnley game – but it seemed certain he or she would not be in charge of it again in any case.

City chairman Bob Cooper contacted David Sheepshanks immediately after the match to offer an unreserved apology – and the club announced an immediate enquiry into what had happened.

But that is not likely to satisfy the FA, which is expected to ask for its own report on the incident.

Norwich City officials were today said to be desperate to avoid a full investigation by the FA.

And it emerged today that officials at Portman Road have become increasingly concerned about the behaviour and comments of Norwich City majority shareholder Delia Smith.

She is a member of the Carrow Road board – but has made inflamatory statements in the past.

Two years ago she told a national newspaper how she and her husband Michael enjoyed standing with Norwich fans as they chanted: "If you all hate Ipswich clap your hands."

And earlier this month she told a meeting of City shareholders that Ipswich was "a shambles" and the club would not be able cope "when it is relegated."

The Town source said there were fears that her inflamatory comments undermined efforts to encourage a better relationship between the clubs.

"Bob Cooper and our chairman get on very well, and we had a congratulatory message from him when we won promotion.

"But there is a concern about the rhetoric we hear from Delia Smith, who is a major shareholder at Norwich – that really doesn't help to defuse what can be an explosive situation," said the Portman Road insider.

N See Fanzone on page 8 of today's Premier Blues supplement.

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