Football: Palace offer share deal to lure Venables

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MARK GOLDBERG, the businessman who is to be Crystal Palace's new owner, is to offer the former England coach Terry Venables a huge financial incentive to join the club.

Goldberg believes the former England coach is the only person who can save Palace from relegation and turn them into a force in Europe. Venables will be offered the chance to return to the club he managed from 1976 to 1980 in the role of coach when the two men meet on Monday.

Although Venables is barred from becoming a company director after a Department of Trade and Industry inquiry into his financial dealings, Goldberg will offer him the bait of a share option scheme that could be worth millions if his plans to float the club on the Stock Exchange go ahead in five years' time.

Goldberg has also moved to refute reports in the Italian press that the Serie A club Juventus are not planning to take up a 10 per-cent stake in Palace. Juventus do not currently own any Palace shares - a move which is prohibited under Italian law - but they are instead set to reinvest the management fee they will charge the club for providing their technical expertise over the next four years to secure the stake.

Brian Horton has been named as the new manager of Brighton and Hove Albion, following the dismissal of Steve Gritt. The 49-year-old Horton, a former Brighton player, has had spells in charge of Huddersfield, Hull, Oxford United and Manchester City.

Don Hutchison has completed his pounds 1m transfer from Sheffield United to Everton. The defender Jon O'Connor moves in the opposite direction. Leeds have concluded the pounds 1.5m signing of the Rapid Vienna defender, Martin Hiden.

Gordon Durie, the Rangers forward who collapsed during Tuesday's match against Kilmarnock, is still in hospital and will be out of action for at least a month.

The Rugby Football Union last night rejected a Football Association request to stage top football games at Twickenham while Wembley is being rebuilt after the 1999 FA Cup final.

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