Football: Venables offered role to run Portsmouth

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The Independent Online
Martin Gregory, the Portsmouth chairman, faces an anxious wait to see if he has managed to tempt Terry Venables into staying in English football. Venables has been offered a partnership to run the First Division club and will mull over Gregory's offer during a two-week holiday in Bali as he contemplates his future in the game.

Venables said his links with the Gregory family - which stretch back to his days at Queen's Park Rangers - may help sway him towards joining Portsmouth. "I don't really know where my future lies, but Jim Gregory is an old friend and I will do anything I can to help," Venables said.

Gregory, the son of the club's owner Jim, wants Venables' influence to help revive the fortunes of Portsmouth, who escaped relegation last season on goal difference. The partnership would involve Gregory providing money from the sale of his business empire, with Venables using his expertise and contacts to help Portsmouth reach the Premiership.

"If we can get Terry, this club would take off. He has been a close friend of my family for many years and his experience is second to none," Gregory said. "He would give us the spark that would lift this club up again and regenerate interest in us."

Falling attendances saw Portsmouth suffer a pounds 1.7m deficit in their last financial year, with this year's figures expected to confirm losses in excess of pounds 2m.