Spurs keeps shares in play

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THE BOARD of Tottenham Hotspur, the football club group, has decided not to ask the Stock Exchange to suspend dealings in its shares pending the Football Association's judgement on financial irregularities at the club.

On Thursday Tottenham shares fell 3p to 84p as rumours - later denied by the club - swept the stock market that the FA would fine the club pounds 1m and relegate it from the Premiership.

Iak Youmi, the company's adviser at Henry Ansbacher, the bankers, said: 'Yes, we've had discussions about a possible suspension in the light of all the rumours swirling around. We are of the view that this would not be an appropriate form of action at the moment. The company will make an announcement as soon as it is able.'

The FA has already found Tottenham Hotspur guilty of financial irregularities, and the club expects to hear the extent of the penalties awarded against it after a hearing scheduled for 14 June.

In 1990 Swindon Town was denied a place in the First Division - the equivalent then of the Premiership - after being found guilty on charges similar to those faced by Tottenham Hotspur.

Should Tottenham be relegated it would face a serious loss in revenue which would almost certainly cut the value of the company's shares.

The Department of Trade and Industry is also looking into the company.

Graham Horne of the DTI's investigations unit interviewed Tottenham officers and ex-officers last week to discuss last year's battle between the chairman, Alan Sugar, and the former chief executive, Terry Venables. Mr Venables is now manager of the England team.

(Photograph omitted)