Shilton unhappy at club stance on bill

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The Independent Online
Peter Shilton's trip to his old club, Nottingham Forest, for an FA Cup third-round tie on Saturday could be his last outing as the manager of Plymouth Argyle.

The former England goalkeeper has confirmed receiving a letter from the Devon club's board giving him seven days to setle an outstanding tax bill, alleged to be £50,000, this week or face dismissal, and he feels aggrieved at the club's attitude.

"I am not denying liability for money the Inland Revenue are claiming from the club. I'm just asking for a reasonable opportunity to come up with a payment proposal. In fact, I have already made an initial payment to the club," Shilton said.

"On 28 December, in the middle of the Christmas holiday and busy League progamme, I was sent a letter threatening dismissal if full payment is not made wihtin seven days.

"I feel I am being unfairly stampeded into a corner at a time I should be getting support and backing from the chairman."

Dan McCauley, the Plymouth chairman, said that the club had received a reply from Shilton's solicitor on Friday and would be making a response before commenting publicly on the situation.

However, McCauley said: "This tax was due from Mr Shilton when he joined us as player-manager. It should have been taken care of at that time."

Shilton went to Plymouth in March 1992 and took them to the Second Division promotion play-offs last season. The club's on-field fortunes have nosedived dramatically this season and Argyle, fancied to be in the promotion pack again, now find themselves fighting relegation.

n Steve Bull may try to give Wolverhampton Wanderers a farewell push back into the Endsleigh League championship race before entering hospital for an Achilles tendon operation. Graham Taylor, the Wolves manager, held on to Bull for Saturday's victory at Barnsley and must decide whether to delay the inevitable surgery in order to allow the former England striker to face improving Sheffield United today.