Venables starts Portsmouth job

Football

Terry Venables returned to the training ground yesterday as he started work as director of football at the beleaguered First Division club, Portsmouth.

After turning down offers to take his talents abroad, the former England coach has joined a club which is losing pounds 7,600 per day and has a bank overdraft of pounds 1.6m. However, Venables denies that he is to pump funds into Pompey.

"I've done that before, and I got hurt," the former Tottenham manager said. "I was told that there are investors waiting to put money in, but that hasn't happened yet. They were probably waiting to see if I actually joined the club."

"The situation is that I'm in control of the club," Venables added. "People have asked me why I chose Portsmouth. The answer is I wanted to enjoy myself for a change. I've had enough of all the pressure and I want to have some fun. I'll take training a couple of times a week and get to as many matches as possible." He also said that the jobs of the club's manager, Terry Fenwick, and his coaching staff are not under threat.

As Lee Sharpe completed his pounds 4.5m transfer from Manchester United to Leeds, another member of last season's Old Trafford squad was on the move. The highly rated striker Jovan Kirovski, who impressed for the United States at the Atlanta Olympics, is joining Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga after the Department of Employment refused to give him a new work permit.

Dani, the Portuguese Under-21 international who joined West Ham on loan from Sporting Lisbon last term, has moved to the Dutch champions, Ajax, for a reported fee of pounds 2m.

Ivano Bonetti, the former Grimsby Town midfielder, has issued a High Court writ against the club and its manager, Brian Laws, in an attempt to win damages for the incident involving Laws at Luton in February which left the Italian nursing a broken cheek-bone.

Bonetti, who has since moved to Tranmere Rovers, has had two operations and is likely to require further surgery to remove a damaged nerve. In May, the Association charged Laws with misconduct over the incident, but the hearing has been postponed pending the outcome of Bonetti's civil case.

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