Former managers to help Leeds' survival battle

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The Independent Football

Struggling Leeds United has asked three former managers - all of whom were fired - to help out the financially strapped club by deferring severance payments.

Leeds' acting chairman Trevor Birch needs between 3.5 million pounds (US$6.44 million) and 5 million pounds (US$9.2 million) to keep the club running until the end of the season.

He's asking Peter Reid, David O'Leary and Terry Venables to help - Leeds owes the three a combined 7 million pounds (US$ 12.88 million).

Reid was in charge for seven months before being sacked last November.

"If Leeds United want to defer any payments then I am happy with that," said Reid, who was fired as Leeds manager in November after seven months in charge. 'As long as I would eventually get what I am owed then I don't have a problem with it."

O'Leary was owed 4 million pounds (US$7.36 million) when he was sacked in 2002 after four years in charge.

"There has been no formal approach as yet, although doubtless there will be and if there is I am sure it will be looked upon favorably by David," said O'Leary's agent, Michael Kennedy.

Venables took over from O'Leary, but was only in charge for nine months. He got 2 million pounds (US$3.68 million) after his departure last March.

"You are supposed to be paid up straight away," Venables said. "But they asked me whether I would accept payments over 12 months - which is sort of a deferral anyway - and I said that I would. I have now nearly been paid up."

Former Leeds players are also being approached to defer money still owed to them, including Manchester City striker Robbie Fowler, Tottenham striker Robbie Keane and Roma midfielder Olivier Dacourt.