FURIOUS Leeds chairman Bill Fotherby rounded on John Scales last night after the central defender decided to join Tottenham Hotspur in a #2.6m deal.

Fotherby had lined up a news conference for this afternoon to announce the arrival of Scales from Liverpool.

Instead Tottenham won the day, with Scales signing a three-and-a-half year deal to become the second major signing at White Hart Lane in the past week.

Fotherby told Clubcall last night: ``To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I don't like people telling me lies. I like them to be honest.

``I spent 10 hours with the boy on Friday and then again on Saturday morning. Yesterday he had all his medicals and he told me he was going to sign.

``He said he was going off to a clothes show in Birmingham and that he would see me in the morning.

``Then last night he rang me to say he was going to Spurs. In some ways I was not surprised as he seemed to be hanging on. I wanted him to sign a contract but he wouldn't do it. But if that is the kind of character he is we don't want him here at the club.''

Fotherby is still going ahead with the news conference with Leeds set to unveil a mystery signing.

q.JOE Royle's suggestion after the entertaining 2-2 draw between Everton and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, that there are ``six or seven'' teams in with a chance of winning the championship, reflected an increasingly common view, writes Steve Tongue.

But that belief stems more from the lack of an outstanding team than from any conviction about widespread quality. Liverpool's home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday belied their new position as the bookmakers' favourites, while Arsenal needed a late goal to hold Derby at Highbury.

Newcastle, if they win away to lowly Nottingham Forest tonight, will return to second place with a game in hand.

Like Liverpool and Manchester United, Newcastle can forget about Europe until the spring and should be able to make up ground on an Arsenal team that has all the club's traditional qualities, but also some weaknesses. The elder statesmen in defence can look vulnerable against nippy forwards, like Derby's greatly-improved Dean Sturridge, and Tony Adams and Steve Bould are both due to serve suspensions soon.

Wimbledon's Joe Kinnear said of his team after a 3-1 victory at Sunderland that ``they never cease to amaze me.'' Second place in the table was the reward for going 18 games without defeat. Efan Ekoku scored twice in the first half as the Londoners moved above the kings of Anfield, where Sheffield Wednesday - draw specialists recently - achieved the result of the day through Guy Whittingham's goal.

David Pleat's plan to man-mark Steve McManaman worked triumphantly and offered a hint to other managers on how to combat Liverpool. That, in any case, is not quite the mystery it once was: Liverpool have won only half their home games this season.

Everton were happy with their draw at Chelsea, but that recent home defeat by Sunderland said rather more about Everton and their prospects. Duncan Ferguson, however, continued his rehabilitation, giving his fellow-countryman Steve Clarke a torrid time and laying on both goals against Chelsea for promising teenager Michael Branch and then Andrei Kanchelskis.

The Premiership's newest foreign import, Steffen Iversen of Tottenham, showed up well in the 2-1 win at Coventry.

Blackburn, reported to have offered Joe Kinnear their vacant manager's job, climbed above Graeme Souness's Southampton - who lost at home to Villa - with another Chris Sutton goal continuing their unbeaten run in the 1-1 draw at Leicester.