Sub-plots thicken for defiant Venables
Sunday 14 January 1996
Venables has been upset that allegations have surfaced against him around the times of England matches in what he sees as an attempt to undermine his position. By announcing his resignation now, he hopes that they will stop in the run-up to the European Championship finals in June. After that time, he will be free to answer them publicly in detail without the constraint of not wishing to embarrass the FA.
He has also made it clear that "unsupportive" members of the FA's international committee, notably its chairman, Noel White, had made his position untenable with their desire to wait until after the championships before entering contract negotiations. Venables admitted that had they offered full backing through his litigation, his decision to quit would have been more difficult.
"It's cleaned up," he said of his resignation. "We are concentrating solely on one thing, Euro 96. People know what's happening and things will settle after the early interest. I think it's a fairly adult way of behaving."
Of the allegations, which he said were being made only through one or two papers, he added: "It's a bit of a coconut shy. You are having to fight with two arms behind your back." He was unable to reply properly because as England coach "you know you are in a privileged position".
Regarding the international committee's reaction to his disputes with the Tottenham chairman, Alan Sugar, the Daily Mirror and Panorama: "If you had everybody solidly in place, I could fight against the opposition, but if someone from within my own structure is making a meal out of it, the position is going to be untenable. It doesn't do us, the team or the country any good."
Despite everything, he has enjoyed the job "immensely", he says. "It has got better and better. It was a little strange in the first few months, but when I settled in it was great that I was able to look at the bigger picture. So far I have been working on systems. From now I will work on detail. It's going to be an exciting time. It's the biggest tournament for us for 30 years and the goal is to try to win it."
After that, the pending legal cases are likely to keep Venables from working again in football until Christmas at least. He will probably therefore miss out on a possible return to Barcelona, his former club.
He will hope to come back, however, and probably needs to, given legal costs. Japan and the US Major Soccer League, which starts this April, suggest themselves as lucrative homes. There appears nothing sinister in his recent holiday in Oman. The Oman FA yesterday said they had neither met him nor were seeking to replace Jozef Venglos.
Venables insists he has nothing lined up. Nor has he thought about the post of technical director with the FA, a slight modification of a previous statement when he said he was not interested. Neither has he considered working with his successor, though he will offer advice if required.
Some in the game have urged the FA to find a way of prevailing upon him to stay. Was there any turning back? An emphatic "no" was Venables's response, though as his predecessor, Graham Taylor, was fond of saying: "Never say never."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Latest in Sport
Germany vs Argentina World Cup final 2014: Five reasons why Argentina will win the World Cup
World Cup Final 2014: Choosing between Germany and Argentina is an impossible choice
Luke Shaw arrives a week early for Manchester United pre-season training after cutting short post-World Cup holiday
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Luis Suarez joins Barcelona: Wilfried Bony, Karim Benzema and the other transfer targets Liverpool should look to replace Suarez with
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...