Football: Yorath cautions Venables over Welsh FA's red tape

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TERRY YORATH has warned Terry Venables about the level of interference he will face if he becomes the next the manager of Wales. Yorath, sacked following the principality's failure to reach the 1994 World Cup finals, claims the council of the Football Association of Wales is comprised of "butchers, bakers, candlestick-makers" who still operate in the "dark ages".

Venables, a former England coach, admitted yesterday that there is a possibility of him succeeding Bobby Gould. However, Yorath warned: "When you're out of work anything appeals to you. I would just say to him, take it over with a pinch of salt. You have to present your team to them [the FAW council] and they have to approve it - which goes back to the dark ages. They then actually tell you, if they want to, if they didn't want someone in the squad. I am certain over the past couple of years they might have said to Bobby Gould, `Listen, Ryan Giggs isn't turning up for games. Don't pick him'. That's how stupid they get. They are butchers, bakers, candlestick-makers."

It has also been reported that Venables could be offered a part-time role to accommodate his business and media interests, although the FAW said yesterday no decision will be made until its secretary general, David Collins, returns from holiday at the end of July. "Being an international team manager is a full-time job but with the Welsh FA you never know what they are thinking," said Yorath.

Another former Wales player, Peter Nicholas, has urged the FAW to take every possible step to secure Venables as the next national coach. Nicholas, an international midfielder between 1979 and 1991, played under and coached alongside Venables during his two spells in charge at Crystal Palace.

"Terry would be ideal for the job," he said. "He's an excellent coach and tactician. He knows the game inside out. He's got a proven track record and he's a big name who Wales really need to draw the crowds and draw the players."

Venables is reported to be considering a pounds 100,000-a-year offer from the FAW to succeed Gould, who quit last month. Howard Kendall, Mike Walker and Roy Hodgson are other names in the frame.

There was some bad news for Wales yesterday when it was revealed the 20-year-old Norwich striker Craig Bellamy may miss most of the forthcoming season with a knee injury. Bellamy was carried off during last Friday's friendly at Southend following a challenge by Garry Cross and a scan has revealed a damaged anterior cruciate ligament, which is likely to keep him out of action for between six and eight months. It is the second serious injury within a year for Bellamy, who last December injured the same left knee following a challenge by the Wolves defender Kevin Muscat and spent nearly two months out of the game.

Meanwhile, the League of Wales champions, Barry Town, are convinced they can secure a European Champions' Cup meeting with Rapid Vienna by beating Valletta in the second leg of their qualifier in Malta tonight after drawing the first game 0-0 at Jenner Park last week. Barry's manager, Gary Barnett, said: "I think we controlled the first leg for long periods but just lacked that vital spark in the penalty area."

Barry will make pounds 110,000 from the first round and receive a further pounds 38,000 if they reach the second stage. If they go on to beat Rapid Vienna, a further pounds 500,000 would await them for making the group stages.