Aston Villa's pursuit of Alex McLeish is 'borderline criminal' - Pannu
Published 14/06/2011 | 10:18
Birmingham City's acting chairman Peter Pannu has threatened Aston Villa with legal action over their suspected pursuit of Alex McLeish.
Pannu says Birmingham will sue McLeish for the £5.4m release fee in his contract if he attempts to take the vacant manager's job at Villa Park.
The acting chairman has also said he will take out an injunction preventing McLesih from accepting the job if he refuses to pay, and called the affair "borderline criminal".
"This is like a conspiracy to defraud," Pannu said. "This is borderline criminal. That's how strong I will put it.
"I will be getting an injunction preventing Villa from hiring him. Either Villa pick up his tab or I will be reporting them to the Premier League.
"Aston Villa's confirmation that they are free now to speak to him confirms all of my suspicions and with a bit more evidence I will be reporting this.
"I will fight all the way. The rules are there for a reason. I don't want Alex McLeish back. If he is going to go I want the money."
McLeish's contract changes at the beginning of July, with his wages dropping by 50 per cent after relegation from the Premier League, but Pannu claims Villa are keen to appoint the Scot before that date.
"I just got an email from Aston Villa, finally replying to all of our queries," Pannu said.
"As expected, their legal department said 'Now that Alex McLeish is a free agent having resigned we are free to speak to him'.
"I can put one and one together now. He thinks he can walk away because the £5.4m compensation is too much for Villa and he cannot let this opportunity pass.
"The urgency of the whole thing with this email coming from Aston Villa shows they can't even wait 15 days when the compensation goes down to £3m.
"Because of this the option left to Alex McLeish and his advisors is to make allegations against Carson Yeung, allegations against the board for interference or whatever b******* excuse he wants to show constructive dismissal.
"In other words he does not have to pay a penny of this contractual obligation, he walks free. This is the strategy they will utilise. It's not rocket science."