EXCLUSIVE: Venables’ advisers fined

English ICA disciplinary committee officials have fined London-based firm Crouch Chapman £20,000 with £32,000 costs after a four-day hearing last week.

But the firm – which still acts for Venables – says it has been dealt with harshly by the institute.

Senior partner Keith Chapman labelled the institute ‘inefficient’ and added he believed the charge had been ‘trumped up beyond what it need have been’.

The revelation comes as another blow for Venables days after his chances of becoming England manager appeared to shrink after the Football Association issued strict guidelines on the requirements for the next manager.

It is believed the FA is opposed to re-hiring Venables over fears of further embarrassing revelations from his business dealings.

The disciplinary centred on dealings from the 1992/93 tax year when Venables, with the help of his private company Edennote, bought a 28% stake in Tottenham Hotspur football club.

The English ICA is also understood to have criticised some of the methods used by Edennote to raise funds for the purchase.

Fellow Spurs supremo Alan Sugar called on the DTI to investigate the Edennote books. The DTI then made a complaint to the English ICA, including criticism of Crouch Chapman for not qualifying the accounts of the company as an ongoing concern under Section 221 of the Companies Act 1985.

Crouch Chapman partner Keith Chapman, given just 10 weeks notice to prepare for the case, said the firm would wait for a written judgement before deciding whether to appeal against the decision.

He said: ‘The institute is running scared of the DTI. If the DTI had not been the complainant, we would have received a £1,000 fine and a consent order, for what amounts to a minor audit technicality.’

The institute said it could not comment until the 28-day appeal period had passed.

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