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Friday, May 1, 1998 Published at 07:02 GMT 08:02 UK

Sport: Football

Goldberg poised to purchase Palace
image: [ Mark Goldberg is understood to have secured the takeover cash ]
Mark Goldberg is understood to have secured the takeover cash

Former England coach, Terry Venables, could soon be back in English football - becoming manager at Crystal Palace as early as next week.

The BBC's Paul Stainton says the takeover has been secured (36")
The arrival of Venables at Selhurst Park is dependent on a takeover by club director Mark Goldberg - who is expected to confirm on Friday that he has raised nearly £24m to buy the club from current owner Ron Noades.

Mr Goldberg - a business entrepreneur and Palace fan - has already raised a downpayment of £10m and has until the end of May to come up with the rest of the money.

It was reported on Friday that he has sold 2.5 million shares in his computer company MSB to take an 85% stake in the club.

But Noades said Goldberg would also have to satisfy the club's bankers that he could underwrite Palace's overdraft before formally taking over.

If the deal is ratified next week as predicted, Venables - who is away until next Tuesday - would take over the managerial reins at the club he played for and managed some 20 years ago.

Lombardo to play on

Meanwhile former Italian international Attilio Lombardo remains at the club as a player, despite standing down as manager on Thursday.

[ image: Noades: Attilio agreed to stand down]
Noades: Attilio agreed to stand down
Noades insisted that Lombardo had agreed to step aside as player-manager and describes as "laughable" claims that he had expected to continue in the role for Palace's three remaining games.

"I spoke to the interpreter with regard to Attilio's position because he said he did not want to be manager next season. He did not want to be manager, but wanted to concentrate on playing," Noades said.

"The interpreter phoned me back with regard to Attilio standing down. It was a perfectly mutual thing and Attilio is quite happy with the situation," he added.

Lombardo had always said he did not wish to continue as manager beyond the end of the season.

Meanwhile coach Brian Sparrow has picked the team for Saturday's trip to Bolton.

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