Monday, 12 March 2007

Public Denials

The Telegraph carries the first public denial of the allegations that appeared in yesterday's News of the World. The article by David Bond states West Ham's former chairman Terry Brown and chief executive Paul Aldridge deny accusations that they were greedy after leaked documents revealed they were offered £9.3 million in salaries and bonuses as part of Kia Joorabchian's unsuccessful takeover bid for the club.

According to contracts drawn up the club's lawyers Herbert Smith and seen by The Daily Telegraph, Brown was offered a £1.5 million bonus plus a £1.5 million annual salary for three years by the Anglo-Iranian businessmen to stay on as chairman if the £100 million takeover was successful. Aldridge, meanwhile, was offered a £1.1 million bonus and a £1.1 million annual salary to carry on running the club for two years after Joorabchian took control. In relation to Joorabchian's offer, Brown said: "I don't think it's greed. Remember this was not a secret deal. The whole board and all the shareholders knew about it. The offer was made to me but the board and shareholders felt it just didn't look right. Aldridge, who was not a major shareholder and did not have to reject Joorabchian's offer, added: "At a very early stage the board and the shareholders were very well aware of the negotiations between the Joorabchian consortium, Terry and me. Yes, it is a lot of money but whether it is greedy is for other people to judge. But there was absolutely no wrongdoing in this."

In other news, Alan Curbishley was in attendance at the game between Sheffield Wednesday and Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. It is believed he was looking at Owls midfielder Chris Brunt who has been attracting interest from several Premiership clubs. He has scored eleven goals this season and has picked up six Player of the Month awards since Wednesday returned to the Championship in 2005. The Irishman's pace and trickery have sparked the Owls' renaissance this season and his consistency has forced the arm of Northern Ireland boss lawrie Sanchez, who made him a regular squad member. A recent poll placed Brunt at number 25 of players currently playing outside the Premiership.

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