Venables sells pounds 1m club

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Terry Venables, the former England football coach, announced last night that he had sold Scribes West, the private members club he owns in Kensington, west London.

Venables said he had sold the club, used as everything from an office to a platform for his famous karaoke singing, to free capital for other business interests. The pounds 275-a-year members club, in which Venables originally invested pounds 50,000, was where he went to celebrate England's successful run in the Euro 96 championships.

The club, which is believed to have been sold for close to pounds 1m, has also been at the centre of allegations about Venables's business methods. He is still fighting a Department of Trade and Industry action to ban him as a company director after an investigation into his behaviour as a director of Scribes and three other companies.

He announced the sale yesterday after flying in to Britain from Hungary, where he had coached the Australian team to a 3-1 victory. He said: "Scribes has been a wonderful part of my life where I have made a great many friends and it has also turned out to be an excellent investment." Guests at Scribes have included the pop stars Gloria Estefan and Bill Wyman.

Venables made the decision to sell the club in order to make further investment in a ranch project he is setting up in Spain as a football holiday and training venture.

He is also chairman of the First Division club Portsmouth and has a football consultancy business, Soca International.

He said the new buyers - a company in the leisure industry - had asked for confidentiality until they announced their new plans for the club.