No pressure on Venables to sell

Last updated : 27 September 2002 By Elland Roader
Robbie Keane was sold to Spurs.
The figures disclosed this week do not include transfer fees received from the sales of Rio Ferdinand and Robbie Keane and so, chairman Peter Ridsdale insists there is no pressure on Venables to sell more of his star players.

"These figures reflect three elements, the first of which is loss from normal operations, which as you can see is around £7.9million," Ridsdale told the clubs website.

"They are then inflated by a massive amortisation charge because we've spent so much on enhancing the playing squad, and of course then there is interest.

"We set ourselves targets via a cash injection and we have exceeded those targets by selling Rio Ferdinand and Robbie Keane.

"There is therefore no further requirement to reduce those players Terry Venables sees as part of his ongoing first-team plans.

"We will always try and strengthen the squad at a time the manager wants to which means we will not necessarily have sold first, and it has always been like that."

However, fringe players will be allowed to leave to ease the club's wage bill which rose from 50% of turnover in 2001 to 66% for the last financial year, a ratio deemed as "too high" and which needs to be reduced to a "more manageable level".

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