Thanks for saving me a team-talk! Alex McLeish responds to former owners

10 February 2010 01:36
Alex McLeish has warned about the dangers of owners meddling in team affairs as he defended the manager's right to be the sole spokesman on matters involving the dressing-room.

Birmingham City's boss says his former employers crossed the line a couple of times as he thanked them for saving him a team-talk at Upton Park on Wednesday night.

The Scot described comments by new Hammers' supremo David Sullivan and David Gold that they wanted to 'whack' Birmingham 'by five' as 'good banter' but has warned there should only be one voice when it comes to football.

On target: Substitute Phillips celebrates his equaliser in Saturday's 2-1 win over Wolves

'It's just good banter,' he said, after being asked aboutSullivan's words. 'I'll pin them up to the dressing-room wall. Thanksto the two Davids. They have done my team-talk for me.'

However, he was less flippant after he criticised Blues' formermanaging director Karren Brady for over-stepping the mark and he saidthat the manager's right to talk about his domain should be his - andhis alone.

'In my experience in football, the spokesman for the football side should be the manager,' he said,

'One voice': Birmingham boss Alex McLeish

'I have always believed that and I still believe that. 'The game haschanged. It's showbiz. We're in the biggest league in the world and itstands to reason that owners who put their own money into clubs shouldhave a say. But there has got to be some demarcation lines in terms ofteam spirit and togetherness. Those lines were crossed a couple oftimes.'   

Birmingham's new owner Carson Yeung will not be in east London as he has business commitments overseas.

Although the new Chinese owners have played down any talk ofsourness, they have also refused an offer by Sullivan and Gold tosettle an outstanding dispute.  

Yeung is still furious at discovering what he alleges were extra costs shortly after completing a successful £81.5m takevoer.

Birmingham's acting chairman, Peter Pannu, said: 'Carson has had to put in around £7.5m to cover backlogs.  

'In the official conversation we had with the other side they werewilling to return some money to the club. But that was rejected byCarson.  

'The sum of money we want to wrap it all up is substantial. Carsonremains concerned about the bills he picked up. We are looking at itand whether there was an element of fraudulent misrepresentation.  

'The rhetorial question is: 'Would Carson have paid a pound a share had he known the true state of the finances?'"

 WEST HAM v Birmingham: New boy Benni McCarthy ruled out with knee injuryWest Ham v BIRMINGHAM: Alex McLeish forced to tinker as Christian Benitez is sidelinedNo bad blood between Birmingham and Sullivan and Gold, insists Blues chiefBIRMINGHAM CITY FC

Source: Daily_Mail