Venables' pounds 1m payout opens way for shot at England goal

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The Independent Online
TERRY VENABLES, who is expected to be made manager of the England football team tomorrow, has struck a last- minute deal to stop one of his companies being wound up. He has also, in separate transactions, paid other creditors more than pounds 1m.

Speculation that Venables, who was dismissed as chief executive of Tottenham Hotspur last May, would be appointed, increased when it emerged that the Football Association had provisionally organised a press conference to make an announcement at Wembley within the next 48 hours.

Nick Trainer, a solicitor acting for Mr Venables, said last night that an out-of-court settlement had been reached with Vincent Isaacs, chairman of the insurance group General Portfolio, who claims he is owed pounds 130,000 by Scribes West, the bar run by Mr Venables and his wife, Yvette.

Mr Isaacs, a backer of the original Scribes club near Fleet Street, brought the winding-up petition against Scribes West yesterday but the hearing was held over, allowing Mr Venables to strike the late deal. Mr Trainer would give no details of the settlement.

Mr Venables has made several payouts in recent months to deal with the fall-out from a controversial loan he took out when he bought pounds 3m of shares in Spurs in 1991.

A third of the money came from Landhurst Leasing, a finance group which has since collapsed and is the subject of a Serious Fraud Office investigation. The loan was secured on assets belonging to Transatlantic Inns, a pub group of which Mr Venables was a director.

However, it has since emerged that the assets were valued at only pounds 87,420 in Transatlantic's books. The pounds 1m raised from the sale and leaseback deal went to Mr Venables' company Edennote.

Transatlantic has since collapsed and E C Viegas, the official receiver, said Mr Venables had paid pounds 500,000 to cover the debts of the group, so settling the claims of all creditors.

Mr Trainer said Mr Venables had paid the creditors, which he was not legally required to do, because of his public image. 'People play on his image a lot. If he does not pay he's on the front pages and the business pages as a bad payer,' said Mr Trainer.

Mr Venables has also agreed to pay Arthur Andersen, the receivers of Landhurst Leasing, pounds 400,000 plus pounds 100,000 a year for four years in settlement of the pounds 1m loan from Landhurst to Edennote.

Mr Trainer said that as the loan was taken out to buy shares in Spurs, and Mr Venables sold them in September, 'he wanted to pay his debts'.

Joe Lovejoy, page 36

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