Football: Ruddock refuses new deal

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The Independent Online
THE sweet-talking of Ossie Ardiles persuaded Nick Barmby that his future lay at White Hart Lane but it is not working on Neil Ruddock, who appears determined to leave Tottenham Hotspur for the second time.

The new Spurs manager had expected to meet Ruddock for another round of negotiations yesterday, but the defender phoned late on Monday to call off the meeting. 'We offered him a super-super deal, much better than his current contract,' Ardiles said. 'But every time we seemed to be close, his 'adviser' seemed to put up another obstacle.'

Ruddock, who left Spurs to rejoin Millwall in June, 1988, came back to White Hart Lane from Southampton last summer in a pounds 750,000 transfer and still has three years of his present contract to run. He claims Ardiles' offer falls short of one put to him by Terry Venables before the chief executive's departure. 'I feel as though I have been let down. Tottenham have kicked me in the teeth and I am angry and frustrated,' Ruddock said after refusing the new deal. 'They have gone back on the first offer.'

However, there still seems to be more chance of Ruddock staying put than of Spurs ever playing a League derby against Barnet. The Bees are in danger of going the way of Maidstone United, the now-defunct club who preceded them as newcomers to the Football League, after a consortium backed out of a deal to buy the club, which was promoted to the Second Division last month.

The 10-man group blamed their action on the League's refusal to drop demands for a pounds 500,000 bond required as a guarantee against the club's possible collapse. The League had given the new Barnet board until tomorrow to find the money or risk the club being thrown out. Barnet are pounds 1.3m in debt and the staff and players have not been paid for five weeks.

Consortium members had agreed to meet all outstanding wages and bonuses, buy a 68 per cent shareholding, take over a pounds 500,000 loan from the wife of former chairman Stan Flashman and make an additional pounds 250,000 loan to the club. However, that deal has been withdrawn and Stephen Glynne has resigned after little more than a week as chairman.

The consortium's head, Alfie Ezekiel, said: 'There is no way we could consider finding another pounds 500,000.'

These days half a million is little more than pocket money to Newcastle United, as they hope to show by spending pounds 3m on bringing Peter Beardsley back to St James' Park from Everton and luring the Ukrainian- born Russian international Sergei Yuran from the Portuguese club Benfica.

David Hay has been appointed assistant to the new Swindon manager, John Gorman. The pair used to be team-mates at Celtic.

Sevilla have refused to pay Diego Maradona pounds 675,000 owed to him on his one-year contract, which expires at the end of the month. The Spanish club said Maradona had 'not met his obligations to the club due to his disordered life'. They said he had not appeared for training and was unfit.