Transfer row for Venables

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The Independent Online
Terry Venables is facing another controversy, which could conceivably cost him his job as the Soccer Australia coach, after allegations he was involved in transfers of Australian internationals to Portsmouth, a club he is chairman of and partly owns.

Several Australian clubs are to draft letters of complaint to the Soccer Australia board alleging a conflict of interest by Venables. The clubs are citing a 1994 report about alleged corruption in transfer dealings. The report, written by Donald Stewart, a former Supreme Court judge, incorporates a Soccer Australia code of conduct of that covers players and officials. Any breach of it is subject to disciplinary action. In part it says squad members, including coaches, shall not involve themselves in any way in transfers of any player eligible to play for Australia to an overseas club.

Portsmouth are believed to be buying at least three members of the Australian national squad, including the former Leicester and Wolves goalkeeper, Zeljko Kalac, the midfielder Robert Enes, the utility player Hamilton Thorp, and, possibly, a defender, Matthew Bingley. The Pompey manager, Terry Fenwick, watched the players on videotapes given to him by Venables, who said: "There's no conflict in me being chairman of Pompey and coach of the Australian national side. Terry Fenwick has made the decisions on these players. I just sent him some tapes and he looked over them."

The letters of complaint will be discussed by the Soccer Australia board later this month.

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