Shilton's Argyle job in jeopardy

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The Independent Online
Peter Shilton's future as Plymouth Argyle's manager was apparently in doubt last night because of another alleged financial problem.

It is understood that Argyle are in dispute with the former England international over an unpaid tax bill. The Second Division club's chairman, Dan McCauley, said the club had sent a solicitor's letter regarding the debt. He has seven days in which to reply.

After an emergency board meeting, at which Shilton was questioned for 70 minutes, McCauley said: "He's had the money but he hasn't paid the tax bill and the onus has come back on to the club. The club is near its overdraft limit and because it has to paythis bill, it means that we have got to renegotiate our finances from outside the club, which is embarrassing for us."

McCauley refused to disclose the sum Shilton owes.

Commenting on the meeting, which was originally called to discuss Plymouth's lowly position in the table, McCauley said: "I didn't feel the meeting went at all well and most of our directors feel that the bridge between us is so wide that it is difficultto know where we go from here.

"We were trying to offer him hope, but he didn't want to listen. The Board is now unanimous. Before it's often been just me, but now Shilton has even lost the support of director Ivor Jones, which is grave as far as Mr Shilton is concerned."

Last week Shilton staved off a bankruptcy petition filed by the racehorse trainer Martin Pipe by paying outstanding stable fees.

Shilton refused to comment on his tax affairs last night, but as he arrived for the Board meeting he said: "It's about time that I had a bit of help from people at the club in what has been a very difficult start to the season."

Duncan Ferguson has finalised a £4m club-record move to Everton. The striker, on loan at Goodison from Rangers for three months, has signed a contract that will keep him at Everton until mid-1999.

The 22-year-old, who has scored twice in 10 games for Everton and helped them to climb the Premiership table, signed the contract before leaving to join Scotland's squad for the game against Greece on Sunday.

However, he has the shadow of a 12-match domestic ban over him and the Scottish FA insists it will apply in England if he loses his appeal next month.

He also faces trial in Glasgow Sheriff Court next month for allegedly head-butting Raith Rovers' Jock McStay last April.

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