EXCLUSIVE By Troy Shaheen
A ROW over money has seen English football legend Glenn Hoddle pull out of a partnership with Spanish football team Jerez Industrial.
The former England manager withdrew a raft of his own football academy players from the club after it failed to pay back 150,000 euros he lent it in July last year.
It ends a five year agreement which showcased British youngsters in the Spanish third division team, which was forced to field a team of teenagers, who lost 5-0 at the weekend.
Under an agreement signed with both the team and the local city council, Hoddle was expecting to receive the first installment of the loan paid back in October.
But no money has yet been paid and after repeated appeals and threats to pull out support, he withdrew his players just before this weekend’s crucial game with Pozoblanco of Cordoba.
The former Spurs midfielder – who played for England 44 times – returned to England with his players last week, leaving the Jerez club looking destined for collapse.
The Glenn Hoddle Academy – which set up at Montecastillo, near Jerez, three years ago – had saved the team from bankruptcy with the loan, which also provided a roster of English players free of charge.
Local reports claimed that the academy lent an additional 14,000 euros in January to further help the team’s ailing finances.
But when he saw no return of the money the former England manager gave an ultimate repayment deadline for March 7.
When this date passed, he withdrew from the region, relocating to the National Sports Centre at Bisham Abbey in the UK.
Sources say he will only now plan to return to the region for winter training breaks, but it is unlikely to be in the Jerez area.
According to the academy website, it made constant efforts to coordinate a new payment plan with Industrial president Juan Manuel Delgado and the city council, to no avail.
Academy Coordinator Neil Duncanson told the Olive Press: “The unwillingness of the Council to grasp the seriousness of the situation and repay the money loaned is extremely disappointing.”
The Jerez Industrial fans are up in arms, claiming the Britons have abandoned the club over documents which are not legally sound.
A reader poll for local newspaper Diario de Jerez blames Hoddle for the split.
Hoddle began his football academy in 2008, turning down an array of big name coaching jobs to pursue his dream of giving a second chance to England’s youth system casualties.
He chose Spain for its year-round playing conditions, later connecting with Jerez Industrial.
The relationship proved symbiotic during their first season together, with steady fan support and valuable exposure.
Industrial even incorporated the Cross of Saint George into the kit as homage to Hoddle’s investment and the academy developed players who later signed with professional clubs like Sevilla FC, Recreativo de Huelva, and Doncaster Rovers.
With Hoddle and his academy resuming operations in Buckinghamshire, and the Jerez Industrial dressing room empty, the split ends an era of Anglo-Spanish cooperation in Andalucia.