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Brentford will be without boss Allen if Barnet win court battle
BRENTFORD are preparing for a High Court battle on Monday as Barnet apply to take out an injunction preventing manager Martin Allen and physio Damien Doyle working for the Second Division club until a notice period has been completed.
This could force Allen to sit out the rest of the season if he is deemed to be in breach of his Barnet contract, although this seems unlikely. But if Allen was ruled out for a month or more then youth team manager Geoff Taylor, formerly assistant manager at Sheffield United, could find himself in charge of the first team as Wally Downes' No. 2 Garry Thompson, coach Jim Stannard and physio Phil McLoughlin have departed!
Shell-shocked Brentford director John McGlashan told me: "Barnet are claiming we have induced their staff to break a contract. We offered them a compensation package in respect of Martin Allen, including the proceeds from two friendlies, but they have chosen to go to the High Court. We don't know why because we went through their chairman Tony Kleanthous."
Allen left the Conference club last Wednesday with two months to go on his contract, prompting some of their fans to make allegations of traitor', but he insists: "I am comfortable with the way I conducted myself at Barnet - I can sleep easy."
Barnet's anger increased when their caretaker boss Adrian Whitbread, formerly Allen's No. 2, and physio Doyle followed Allen to Brentford on Monday. The north London club sought substantial compensation from Brentford, based on the disruption caused to their bid for the Conference play-offs. Brentford made Barnet a written offer, but Dennis Signy, PR consultant to the Barnet directors, said "The issue of Martin Allen and Damien Doyle leaving is in the hands of our lawyers."
Cash-strapped Brentford also have to make settlements to assistant manager Thompson and physio McLoughlin, who Allen let go so that his own staff could join him. Brentford coach Stannard resigned on Monday after helping Allen make his first team selection. He turned down the chance to become reserve team manager, but might be prepared to return as goalkeeping coach. Geoff Taylor, chief scout John Griffin and physio Matt Hirons remain at Griffin Park.
Allen cut the Brentford squad this week by letting three players go and it looked as if winger Tony Rougier, who was at Reading when Allen was assistant manager there, would also be on his way. The skilful but inconsistent Rougier would probably have been replaced by former Brentford midfielder Paul Gibbs, but a bid to sign Gibbs on a non-contract basis fell through when he received a better offer from Mansfield.
Former Southampton striker Mark Peters and right-back Danny Allen-Page have moved to Conference side Farnborough Town, while striker Lloyd Blackman has joined Dr Marten's Premier League club Cambridge City on loan until the rest of the season.
Peters, 20, who made 20 first team league appearances for Brentford but scored only one goal, and Allen-Page had their contracts cancelled by mutual consent after talking to Allen.
Twenty-year-old Allen-Page's move came only 24 hours after he and Matt Somner scored for Brentford Reserves on Tuesday in their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, a club he played for as a schoolboy.
Dapper' goes in the history books as having the shortest-ever first-team career of any Brentford footballer; gaining a three-minute spell as substitute in the 3-2 defeat at Peterborough United in the Bees' LDV Vans Trophy second round tie last November.
Lloyd-Blackman, 20, who has made four first team appearances for Brentford, spent loan spells at Scarborough and Chelmsford City earlier in the season. His latest loan will expire on May 2.
Defender Lee Fieldwick was also told he could leave Brentford on loan and could be at a non-league club next season.
Allen looked likely to make changes for this Saturday's visit to promotion chasing Hartlepool. And he was presumably using kidology when he said: "On Current form and league positions we don't have a chance, but we'll give it a good go."
A truer insight surely came when he added: "I have told the players that if I see anyone sulking or whinging they will leave."
Tony Rougier has been selected by Trinidad & Tabago for a friendly against Egypt in Cairo next week as part of their build up for the forthcoming World Cup. It is his first international selection for two seasons.