Shore quits Tottenham board after row over fund raising

By Rodney Hobson
Saturday 01 November 2003 01:00

The boardroom dispute at Tottenham Hotspur claimed a casualty last night as the non-executive director Howard Shore unexpectedly resigned.

Mr Shore told The Independent that the issue of cash raising was central to his departure. He said: "This was not a sudden decision. Being on the board of a soccer club is something most fans would love to do. From a personal perspective I am giving up a lot."

Mr Shore is the second director to quit the six-strong board in the past two weeks. The finance director, Paul Viner, resigned after only a year in the post. He was replaced by Matthew Collecott from Enic, the sports investment business that is a 29.8 per cent shareholder.

Over the past few days, it has emerged that the board of Tottenham has been at loggerheads over how to raise cash for new players. Mr Shore has wanted the board to agree to an equity fund-raising rather than an issue of debt, the preferred route of the chairman, Daniel Levy.

The 42-year-old stockbroker, who became a Tottenham director in 2001, said that his fund-raising expertise was not being used to its full potential. However, he stressed that there was no financial crisis at Spurs: "There is a healthy balance sheet and strong cash flow. I just believe that if there is to be significant investment in players it should come not from debt, it should come from equity raising.

"I also believe that in the right circumstances there could be considerable appetite from third parties for a new equity issue made to all shareholders on a pro rata basis."

With his two main opponents now removed, Mr Levy is in a better position to revive his plan for a £15m convertible bond. Mr Shore made clear yesterday that he believed his role as an independent director was to counterbalance Enic but his views "are not shared by the chairman and parties associated with Enic".

The Spurs chairman and Enic founder, Daniel Levy, said when he produced annual results on Monday that he had abandoned attempts to raise fresh funds.

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