Monday 5 December 2016

Brum fury at McLeish claims

Published 26/06/2011 | 05:00

The board of Birmingham have reacted angrily to reports suggesting they interfered in the transfer policy of former manager Alex McLeish.

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The Blues have issued a statement insisting they operate a "robust system" under which every completed transfer is signed off by the manager.

Birmingham claim in the statement, by way of example, that interest in players such as former Liverpool striker Ryan Babel, who is now in Germany with Hoffenheim, Peter Odemwingie, the Nigerian forward who plays for West Brom, and Stoke winger Jermaine Pennant was not followed up because McLeish did not want to sign them.

The Scot resigned from his role with Birmingham earlier this month before joining bitter rivals Aston Villa.

Birmingham are involved in a legal dispute over McLeish's exit and subsequent arrival at Villa, while McLeish has claimed he did not have a free hand in transfer dealings and that the dismissal of the club's chief scout Paul Montgomery contributed to his decision to resign.

The statement from Birmingham read: "The club is disturbed and very concerned with the recent reporting by selective, and we believe agenda-led, reporters suggesting that the Birmingham City board had interfered with the previous manager in the transfer market. That is factually incorrect and the club did, on June 14 release a statement stating our position.

"It is reiterated very strongly that there is a robust system in place whereby only players with the written authorisation of the manager had ever arrived at the club under the previous manager and will still be the case going forward.

"Players recommended by the board, such as Babel, Odemwingie, Pennant and a Chinese player, for commercial reasons, didn't arrive as no approval was forthcoming from the manager.

"Players such as (Fulham forward Mousa) Dembele chose not to come and (Wigan winger Charles) N'Zogbia, due to his sudden demand for a last-minute increase in wages.

"In the case of (Bobby) Zamora, it was felt there had been quite a few injuries and anyway he signed a massive new contract at Fulham.

"As the legal dispute is ongoing, it is appropriate that this myth of interference is put to rest once and for all."

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