Football: Goldberg decisions 'amaze' Noades

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The Independent Online
RON NOADES, the Crystal Palace chairman who is due to leave the Premiership strugglers in two weeks' time, last night sharply criticised his successor, Mark Goldberg.

Noades was unhappy at the way Goldberg signalled his interest in Paul Gascoigne and Terry Venables while he was in France, and he said he had blocked three decisions on the coaching staff, which were also announced while he was away.

"Amazing things happened to the club and there were one or two more amazing things that I managed to prevent happening," he said. "I was a long way away and I would open the newspaper, like any other Palace fan, and read that we were supposed to be signing somebody or other like Paul Gascoigne, Terry Venables, Ally McCoist, Andy Goram. Anyone available was linked to us.

"You do the deals, then announce them and not announce what you would like to do when it affects other clubs and people who may not even want to join the club. I've put an end to speculation which was unsettling staff, players and management. It is not helpful, but it was meant with the best intentions in the world. Maybe one or two people have learned a lesson from it."

Noades also expressed his amazement at the chain of events after the appointment of Attilio Lombardo as player-manager.

He told ClubCall that he discovered the next day that not only had the club appointed Lombardo as manager until the end of season, as he had agreed, "but that Tomas Brolin was the assistant manager, Kenny Sansom had joined the club and Brian Sparrow was asked to leave. I put a block on Kenny because I had not been consulted and I brought back Sparrow because I had not been consulted."

He said: "I made it clear Tomas was simply assisting in translation, not in any way the assistant. There is only one number two and that is Ray Lewington."

Craig Brown will lead Scotland into the new millennium after signing a new four-year contract. The Scotland manager, who will be in charge until at least 2002, has finally signed after being offered the deal by the Scottish Football Association at the turn of the year.

Doug Smith, chairman of the SFA's international committee, said: "This contract will make him the longest-serving Scotland team manager and is a reward for his excellent record."

Brown was appointed Scotland manager in November 1993, succeeding Andy Roxburgh. Under his guidance Scotland won 20 games, drawing six and losing 12. He steered the nation to Euro 96 and then to this year's World Cup finals, succeeding in difficult qualifying groups.

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