Monday, July 31 – 1989
Millwall boss John Docherty took an angry swipe at Liverpool yesterday – after making a club record £500,000 bid for Tottenham midfielder Paul Allen.
Spurs chief Terry Venables turned down the first approach but Docherty is determined to capture 26 year old Allen and break the big-club monopoly.
“We use to talk about prices spiralling gut now they are going into orbit,” groaned Docherty.
“Liverpool started it in earnest a few years ago when they bought up everything that was available. And at Wembley last weekend you saw them with Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley, Ray Houghton and Alan Hansen on the bench.
“They might buy up an extremely good player to prevent somebody else from getting him – just to make sure their rivals are not as strong.
“This might be tongue in cheek but it could come to that. Remember that when Spurs were in for Gary Lineker, Liverpool tried to nick him at the last minute.
“I might be reading too much into it, but if you can stop your competitors like that, it’s a wonderful luxury to have.”
Docherty remains firmly in the hunt for Allen and added:
“Spurs have turned it down but I am still interested. It does not mean the deal is dead.”
With Clive Allen having moved from Bordeaux to Manchester City and Arsenal strongly interested in QPR’s unsettled Martin, a transfer for Paul would follow the family trend.
And Paul’s chances of earning a regular Spurs place this season seem slim. Venables has paid £800,000 for Coventry midfielder Steve Sedgley and also interested heavily in turning the loan transfer of Nayim from Barcelona into a permanent switch.
Paul Gascoinge is surely guaranteed a place and youngsters Vinny Samways and David Howells are very much in Venables’ plans.
(Copyright: Daily Mirror, 01-08-1989)