Football: Watford turn to Roeder to replace Perryman: Former player takes over at Vicarage Road to dismay of Gillingham

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The Independent Online
WATFORD have moved quickly to secure a new manager, following Steve Perryman's return to Tottenham Hotspur as No 2 to Osvaldo Ardiles. Glenn Roeder, a former player at Vicarage Road, resigned yesterday as the manager of Third Division Gillingham to take over at Watford.

Roeder had been in charge at Gillingham since October last year. Bernard Baker, the Kent club's chairman, said: 'Once again it's a case of the smaller club being walked over.'

Roeder, 37, made over 600 League appearances as a defender for Orient, Queen's Park Rangers, Notts County, Newcastle, Watford and Gillingham. He will not be under contract at Vicarage Road.

Another former Watford player, Kenny Jackett, the youth team coach, will be Roeder's assistant manager. This casts doubt on the future of Phil Holder, the former Brentford manager who arrived at Watford as Perryman's No 2 three weeks ago.

Barnet, who face expulsion from the Football League at an extraordinary general meeting of the League on Monday week, have appealed against the League's decision to award 11 players free transfers following the non-payment of their wages.

The Second Division club, who have debts of about pounds 1.3m, claim to have told the League, prior to last week's release of the 'Gang of 11', that they had found new backers who were ready to meet the League's demands for 'performance bonds' of pounds 500,000 and were willing to pay the wages bill - as long as the League did not cancel the 11 contracts.

However, the League representatives, John Reames (the Lincoln City chairman) and Terry Robinson (Bury) allegedly did not take the offer into account and ordered the players' release. Barnet, in a statement issued yesterday, claim that: 'Mr Reames and Mr Robinson should have disqualified themselves from sitting as members of the commission, as they have already shown extensive bias against the club.'

Barnet also allege that the League is conducting 'a vendetta against the club with the sole aim of removing the club from membership of the League.' They want compensation for the loss of Gary Bull to Nottingham Forest and the proposed signing by Southend of three of the other 10 released players: Derek Payne, Mick Bodley and Jonathan Hunt.

Jonathan Crystal, Terry Venables' lone supporter on the board of Tottenham Hotspur, is to resign on 4 November. Crystal's move pre-empts efforts by Alan Sugar, the chairman, who was threatening to hold a special shareholders' meeting at the end of this month to sack him.

Securing a majority vote against Crystal would have been a forgone conclusion, because Sugar and his boardroom ally, Tony Berry, own more than 50 per cent of the shares. But, under law, the meeting would have to be held and would have been an embarrassing spectacle for the Sugar camp. Crystal now has an extra three months in which he can support Venables from within the club.

Venables remains a director of Spurs, although he has been stripped of his duties as chief executive, following the high profile court battle earlier this summer.