Venables `lost his patience' with pub partners

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The Independent Online
The England soccer coach Terry Venables yesterday told the High Court how he finally lost patience with his business partners in a failed pub venture which eventually cost him more than pounds 400,000.

Mr Venables is trying to reclaim from his former business partner Paul Kirby the pounds 144,359 which he paid to NatWest bank to clear the company's debts.

Mr Kirby, of Stanhope Gardens, South Kensington, west London, claimed at an earlier hearing that he was kept in the dark when Mr Venables hived off the assets of Transatlantic Inns Ltd to use as security for the pounds 1m loan he needed to buy his way into Tottenham Hotspur.

Mr Venables said yesterday that he had agreed a deal with Mr Kirby and two other partners, when Transatlantic was obviously in trouble, that he would pay them pounds 185,000 and take two of the four pubs.

"Transatlantic had a good chance of survival. I wanted it to go well but I had had enough of these people involved," Mr Venables said.

The time of the negotiations, in November 1991, was the busiest time of his career, when he was manager of Tottenham Hotspur and was involved in the takeover of the club, he said.

"I was trying to do a deal with these people but failed. I paid them over the odds. I wanted it out of my way. I had had enough," he said.

When he tried to contact them at future meetings, they failed to turn up, Mr Venables told the court, adding: "They obviously wanted to pay no part in the debt we had in front of us."

In June 1992, Mr Venables paid pounds 144,359 to NatWest to clear the overdraft.

But he says he is now entitled under an indemnity agreement to be reimbursed by Mr Kirby in full or, alternatively, receive one-quarter on the basis that he was a co-guarantor with the other three.

The hearing was adjourned until today.

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