Venables is accused over pounds 1m promise

England coach denies wrongdoing over cash guarantee used to buy stake i n football club

Terry Venables, the England football coach, will be accused tonight of not telling the truth about the existence of a personal guarantee of more than pounds 1m used to raise a loan to buy his share of Tottenham Hotspur FC.

A BBC Panorama investigation into Mr Venables' business affairs claims that he tried to avoid meeting his loan responsibilities when the written guarantee went missing from a safe at Landhurst Leasing, the company that provided the money.

The programme makes the most serious allegations since Mr Venables' business dealings came under scrutiny last year. Last night, Eddie Ashby, his personal assistant, said that the England coach had proof that the allegations were unfounded.

In his recent autobiography Mr Venables claimed to have obtained a personal `` pounds 1m unsecured loan'' to use as part of his stake in the joint purchase in 1991 of Tottenham with Alan Sugar, the Amstrad chairman. But the programme's journalists, Mark Killick and Martin Bashir, say the money was in fact raised by a sale and leaseback agreement relating to pubs owned by Transatlantic Inns, a company of which Mr Venables used to be a director.

Panorama alleges that the pubs' assets were sold without the knowledge of Transatlantic's board after Mr Venables had resigned from it. Further, they allege that one of the pubs, the ``Miners'' in Cardiff, does not even exist.

Mr Venables and Mr Ashby have consistently denied any wrongdoing and say the loan was not raised on Transatlantic assets but was an unsecured personal loan.

However, the programme makers claim to have found evidence to suggest that the loan was arranged between Mr Venables' company Edennote Ltd and Landhurst Leasing, with Mr Venables providing a personal guarantee. Landhurst Leasing collapsed in 1992, but when the receivers went to fetch Mr Venables' personal guarantee from the company safe, it had been removed. There is no suggestion that Mr Venables had anything to do with its disappearance. Mr Ashby said no personal guarantee was ever signed by Mr Venables.

The amount owing, including interest, was pounds 1.4m, according to the Panorama team. Mr Venables offered pounds 150,000 and later increased this sum to pounds 700,000, leaving Landhurst's creditors pounds 700,000 out of pocket.

The programme also examines an arrangement whereby Mr Venables made himself a secured creditor of Edennote shortly before it went into liquidation last year. This enabled him to take pounds 435,000 out of the company ahead of other creditors. Panorama says this was unlawful but Mr Ashby said the money was paid back into the company a few days later. He also said the amount owing to Landhurst Leasing was never pounds 1.4m and that the programme does not take into account repayments already made by Mr Venables. He said arrangements were in hand to repay the rest. Mr Venables was not available for comment.

The Independent disclosed on Saturday that the Serious Fraud Office was examining a 400-page dossier on Mr Venables' business affairs gleaned from four Department of Trade and Industry investigations. The SFO has not yet decided whether to launch a formal inquiry but Mr Venables said he had ``not a shred of doubt'' that he could clear his name.

Last night, Mr Ashby said the central allegations - about the Landhurst Leasing loan and Transatlantic Inns' assets - were untrue.

``We never used any of the assets as security,'' he said. ``It was an unsecured loan. We have been interviewed by the SFO when it was examining Landhurst's affairs but we were treated as witnesses in that inquiry. The subject of the investigation was Landhurst because I understand it was taking out loans from banks on the basis that when it re-lent the money to companies like ours, it was supposed to make sure the lender provided a personal guarantee or assets as security. It seems it did not always get these guarantees.

``To my knowledge Terry never provided a personal guarantee and as for the pub that doesn't exist, we've never heard of it either.''

Question of integrity, page 19

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference