[SW19 : Reading back, this might have been dodgy. But it’s also satire and none of it is of course true. That said, because this was written in 1999 I have erred on the side of caution and removed one bit]
Following the rather disturbing news that Virgin Radio have offered Terry Venables a contract to do a radio phone-in on Saturdays, SW19’s ARMY feel dutybound to give you a sneak preview of what it will sound like. Your fearless editor bravely stepped into Virgin Radio headquarters and obtained the transcript of Venables’ pilot show, narrowing avoiding the security guards and the Texas records lying everywhere. Here, then, is what transpired
(music blaring – song is “Money Money Money”)
TV: Hello there me old chinas. Welcome to the Terry Venables Football Phone-In, a two hour programme where you poor people phone in, while I tell you about how great I was for Spurz and how much money I’ve laundered over the years. Right, we have our first caller on the line, a Mr Davidson from Enfield.
CALLER: All right Tel? Tony ‘ere, listen I want to know wot you fink about George Graham being the Spurz manager, I mean it’s a bleeding liberty innit? I don’t want no Gooner shit running the Spurz, I mean wot about all the great Spurz traditions like passing the ball and all that? They ain’t gonna like that dahn the Paxton Road are they? All the greats like Bill Nicholson, and Ossie Ardiles, and Ricky Villa, and of course yourself Tel, they ain’t got no respect for the legends ‘ave they? I want to know wot you fink like?
TV: Well, I agree with you there, cos I reckon the loyal Spurz fans – and there are lots of them I know, they are London’s premier side, don’t forget – will find it hard to accept that there is an Arsenal man at the helm. Although me and George go back a long way, I still don’t think that Spurz will really be Spurz until they’ve got a Spurz man back at the helm. I think you’re right, because Spurz do have these noble traditions they’ve always upheld, and I know that George Graham has won them their first trophy since 1991 but Spurz are an institution, especially in London, and they should remain like that. Thanks for your call Tony, I’m glad you’re supporting the Spurz
CALLER: Yeah, thanks Tel you’ve really put my faith back in the Spurz next year.
TV: Good to see. The next caller is David from Bruce Grove. Dave, you’re on the air.
CALLER: Hi Terry, glad to see you’re back
TV: Thanks Dave, glad you appreciate it
CALLER: No worries, Terry. I’ve been a Tottenham man now for over 30 years, I can remember standing on the Shelf during the Glory Nicholson days, and I’ll tell you, I’m glad to have supported such a massive and honorable club like the Spurz all my life. Anyway, I’d like to know that when you were manager of Spurz, who would you have liked to have played in Europe?
TV: Thanks Dave, I really appreciate all these Tottenham fans calling in. With regards to your question, I would have liked to have played anyone in Europe at Spurz, because I know that when they would have played at such a fine ampitheatre such as White Hart Lane, I knew with those fabulous, loyal and passionate Spurz fans we would have beaten even Brazil in those days. Unfortunately, it never happened because English clubs were banned from Europe, but Tottenham would have been a force in Europe even then. Of course, during my time at Barcelona, I used to run a few export companies in Spain, indeed I think one of them was tied up with BCCI, but I can’t remember. Never mind, thanks for your call Dave.
CALLER: Cheers, Terry, nice talking to you
TV: OK, next on the line we have Andy from Waltham Cross, a big Tottenham area I do believe?
CALLER: Yes, Terry, big Spurz area, North London’s finest I do believe
TV: I believe so too. And what is your question to me?
CALLER: Well, me and the boys were wondering, would David Ginola fit into your all time Tottenham team?
TV: Well, yes, I think that David Ginola is an exceptional player, indeed I think he’s probably the best player in the Premiership at the moment. How he was never picked for the French World Cup squad in 1998 I will never know, he’s such a class player. I think the French manager made a big mistake there.
CALLER: Yeah, I think the French manager made a huge mistake in not picking David, I mean it’s not as though they did much in the World Cup did they?
TV: No you’re right, they didn’t did they? But I think David Ginola is an exceptionally gifted player, and it annoys me that people only concentrate on his supposed diving and his long hair. He’s a far more rounded player than that, his runs could fit into any Spurz team of any era. So in answer to your question, I think that David Ginola would fit into my all time Tottenham team.
CALLER: By the way Tel, just one more thing
TV: Go ahead
CALLER: I recently heard a story that David Ginola was seen leaving your nightclub with a 16 year old male, feeling his arse and calling him “ma cherie petit et masculine”. Do you know anything about it?
TV: Well, I don’t believe that rumour one bit, I think it’s another tabloid rumour that they use to drive these foreign stars out of the Premiership. That said, I do think that Strikers is the best place for footballers to come, they can admire my Tottenham memorabilia [THIS BIT TAKEN OUT] Thanks for your call, Andy
CALLER: Thanks Tel, pleasure speaking to you
TV: And a pleasure to you too. OK, we have an Australian man on the phone now, Michael, who’s originally from Perth but now lives in West Brompton. I assume you’re a Spurz fan
CALLER: Er, no, I’m a Brentford fan
TV: Sorry, we seem to be running out of time before a commercial break
CALLER: Oi Venables, you pom, I want to know how the bleeding hell we managed to lose to a bunch of Iranians in the playoff for the 1998 World Cup. Why can’t you explain that you little…..
(caller fades out. Commercial break)
(music fades in, playing the words “I Got The Brain, You Got The Look, Let’s Make Lots Of Money”, in other words “Opportunities” by the Pet Shop Boys)
TV: Hello, and welcome back to the Terry Venables phone in. A great deal of calls tonight about Spurz, obviously the North London giants are back and raring to go, as ever. We now take a call from Trevor, who I think is from Rushcliffe, up there in Nottingham. Exiled Spurz fan?
CALLER: No I’m not, I’m a Forest fan
TV: Oh well, I am very sorry that you weren’t lucky enough to support Spurz. What’s your point anyway?
CALLER: Thank you. I want to know what your opinions were on Paul Gasgoine’s blatant hack in the 1991 FA Cup Final which injured him severely. When are you going to condemn him for that?
TV: Thank you for your question, I always felt that Gazza was unlucky in that cup final, I felt that if any player should have been walking up the stairs, it should have been Gazza. Not only was he a extremely good player, he was an exceptional character, one which English – and indeed world – football will miss him when he eventually retires. I think that his career blossomed at Spurz, as Tottenham were THE club who could have skillfully nurtured his talents, and made him into an England superstar. Speaking of Gazza, when I managed him in the 1996 European Championships, which we reached the semi-finals, don’t forget, Gazza scored one of the most spectacular goals ever for England that day against Scotland. It was a work of magic, a spark of genius, it was so good it was almost as though it was scored at the Paxton Road End at White Hart Lane in front of all the loyal Spurz fans. Indeed, I took Gazza back to my nightclub after that game, where he drunk 16 pints of lager, threw up over the pool table and then sexually assaulted a female member of staff in the ladies toilets.(laughs) I tell you, Gazza is such a character, one of the best players ever for England and Tottenham
CALLER: But you haven’t answered my question…
TV: Thanks for your call, er, whoever you are. We now go onto another caller, Brian from Hampshire – and who do you support?
TV: Er, all right, not Tottenham?
CALLER: No, I’m a true Pompey fan, all my life. We nearly went out of business because of you, Mr Venables, when are you going to apologise to every Pompey fan for putting us in such a state? When are you going to come clean about how much money you syphoned out of us? What were you up to with our chairman at the time? When……
TV: Sorry, Brian, the line is cracking up horribly here, we’ll have to move on to another caller, I think it’s Richard from Colliers Wood. Richard, you’re on the air
CALLER: Hi, I support Wimbledon…..
TV: Yeah, looks like you made a huge mistake by letting Joe Kinnear go didn’t you?
TV: I will tell you this about my good friend Joe Kinnear, he is an exceptional man, I used to room with him when we both played under Bill Nicholson at Tottenham. When he had his heart attack I knew he would fight out of it, because he is a battler. Him and his wife Bonnie are an exceptional couple. I know he is the man wholly responsible for keeping Wimbledon free from relegation for so long, and I think it’s tragic that he’s been stabbed in the back in this way…..
CALLER: AHEM, that’s not the poing I want to make
TV: What is your point then?
CALLER: Well, I’d like to know why you never bothered picking Chris Perry when he was at the top of his game for England?
TV: Well, as you know, Joe Kinnear and I are best mates, and when he was manager of Wimbledon, and I was England manager, he always came into my bar at Strikers and drink loads of pints of Guinness. He always used to tell me how great Chris Perry was for us, but I always thought that Joe was joking, because – as much as this may not seem right to you Richard – playing for Wimbledon meant that he would have had no European experience, which of course is vital in international management…
TV: …. I did suggest to Joe that if he signed for Tottenham he would automatically have the right European exerience, because he’ll be playing with such international legends such as David Ginola and Ramon Vega, and that would provide the right international experience he would have needed. I know that Chris, who is a great defender, is now playing for Tottenham, so I think that Sam Hammam and Joe know that playing for Spurz makes you an automatic England choice. Does that answer your question, Richard?
TV: Sorry, we seem to have a bit of static from South London, I think Richard said “of course he should play for Spurz, who in their right mind wouldn’t?”. Now we speak to Terry, who I think is calling from New Addington, also in South London. Terry….
CALLER: Oi Terry, I’m a Palace fan, and I want to know why you’ve stiched us up for so much money. We were doing all right until you came in…..
TV: Well, I know that when I was there Palace were in financial difficulties, and it saddens me to see such a great club suffer in so much pain, but ultimately the blame has to rest with Mark Goldberg, who I think made some pretty horrendous business decisions there…..
CALLER: Yeah, you’re right he signed you up as manager…
TV: Cough, sorry about that listeners, we seem to have sound problems again from South London…
CALLER: I want to know why you’re so crap at managing, why you got Goldberg to make you up a contract worth Â£5.1m, and why you refuse to rip up the contract like you said you would
TV: I’m sorry, the lines from South London seem really clogged up tonight, I think there might be some sort of crossed line, let’s try another caller…..
CALLER: Listen to me when I’m talking to you, you tax-evading jailbird, we can’t afford to repair our pitch, the league are gonna kick us out, we’re having to sell our best players because we can’t afford the wages, why won’t you take responsibility you spiv….
TV: Ah, that’s better, I think we’ve sorted our phone lines out now and we can take another call. Edward, I understand you’re calling from Blaby, up there in Leicestershire
CALLER: Yes, I’m a Foxes fan, and now we’ve signed Emile Heskey to a new contract, do you think that we can get into Europe again?
TV: Well, I think that while Heskey has made a reasonable short term move by sticking with Leicester, as commendable as it may seem he’ll stand a much, much better chance had he signed for Tottenham. I think that the young Sunderland lad, Bridges, made a big mistake by not signing for Tottenham. I think that there are some greedy agents around who are threatening young lads’ dream moves here. I know, because at Spurz we’ve now had Heskey and Bridges who would have become megastars at White Hart Lane, but their agents are telling them not to come here, because they think that they’ll become prima donnas or something. I think that agents have a LOT to answer for, what do you reckon Edward…..
CALLER: Oh fuck this, I’m fed up with Tottenham this and Spurz that, what the fuck have they ever done?
TV: Ladies and gentlemen, sorry about the terrible phone lines we have tonight, I’m a director of the telecoms company who supply the phone lines here at Virgin and we’ll sort this out as soon as possible. I’m glad that Edward agrees with me about Tottenham though, I mean even teams of small clubs like Leicester realise that it’s only when they sign for massive clubs like Spurz, with their huge pedigrees, that the talents of their players really shine out, and I think they would be churlish to deny them this. Right, onto our next caller, a Mr Bainbridge I think, calling from what looks like Central London…
CALLER: Oh hello, Mr Venables, I’m from the Department of Trade and Industry…..
TV: Ah good, you want to talk about Sol Campbell staying at White Hart Lane. That’s an excellent move, don’t you think? I know he could earn more money abroad, but playing for a giant of a club like Spurz is surely for the best?
CALLER: …. and we notice that despite yourself being barred from maintaining directorships in companies for seven years at least……
TV: Er, I think that Andy Sinton won’t do as well now he’s left White Hart Lane, don’t you think?
CALLER: …. you have maintained directorships in at least 3 companies, and indeed have made business decisions that you are not authorised to make…..
TV: Ur, it’s nice to see that Adidas are now making the Tottenham kit, it’s nice to see world class companies sponsoring world class teams…….
CALLER: ….we also note that you have syphoned a great deal of money out of Crystal Palace and Portsmouth football clubs, illegally, and immorally, and indeed have pushed said clubs to the brink of bankrupcy……
TV: Oh god, er, doesn’t the cockerel on the West Stand at Spurz look majestic?
CALLER: ….we have made a warrant for your arrest, Mr Venables, and an officer will be dropping by the Virgin Radio studios as soon as possible. You are looking at a long stretch, Mr Venables……
TV: Er, oh fuck, ur….. That’s all we have time for on the Terry Venables phone in, er, don’t forget that Tottenham are playing a pre-season tour in Belgium at the moment, ur, so don’t forget to tune into Virgin Radio on 105.8 FM or 1215 AM for that….oh hell, that’s all from me, goodnight
(headphones slammed down, followed by sound of running footsteps)
(cut to musical interlude, firstly “I Fought The Law” by the Clash, then “Hot Shot Tottenham” by Chas and Dave)