Football

Blues board angered by reports

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

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

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, 2011, release a statement stating our position."

The club 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 the Scot 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 continued: "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 due to our approach. As the legal dispute is ongoing, it is appropriate that this myth of interference is put to rest once and for all."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Jermaine Pennant
West Bromwich Albion
Stoke City
Fulham
Ryan Babel
Football
Championship
Alex
Wigan Athletic
Aston Villa
Peter Odemwingie
Birmingham
Liverpool
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