Football: Planet Venables makes a move

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The Independent Online
TERRY VENABLES has held talks with Robert Earl, the entrepreneur behind London's Planet Hollywood restaurant, in an attempt to cling on to control at Tottenham Hotspur.

Earl, a hugely successful restaurateur, met Venables on Friday. Earlier in the week - with actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis on display - Earl opened Planet Hollywood in London. He is a lifelong Spurs supporter.

Earl is one of a number of businessmen to have approached Venables with offers of help. Venables is hoping to prepare a buy-out of Alan Sugar's shares in the London club. Sugar, the Tottenham chairman, sacked Venables from his role as chief executive nine days ago, only for the High Court to reinstate him.

Venables would have to find nearly pounds 13m to buy out Sugar, but he is unlikely to make any move before a High Court hearing on Tuesday, when Sugar will have to explain why he dismissed his chief executive.

'I have been overwhelmed by the support and offers I have received, including that of Robert Earl,' Venables said yesterday. However, Sugar insisted that his shares are not for sale. 'I don't care if the Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola and Paul Getty have got in a huddle behind Terry Venables,' Sugar said yesterday. 'I'm not a seller and no one can force me to sell my shares. Is that clear?'

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