Belfast Telegraph

Accies upset at Hendrie treatment

Hamilton vice-chairman Ronnie MacDonald has hit out at West Ham after they failed to see through a £2million-plus deal for left-back Stephen Hendrie.

MacDonald claims the Barclays Premier League club had agreed a deal with both Hamilton and the Scotland Under-21 international but failed to show up to complete the transfer.

Reports of West Ham's ongoing interest have re-emerged in recent days but MacDonald says he is now in discussions with two other clubs for a player who was previously lined up for a move to Crystal Palace before Neil Warnock was sacked as Eagles boss.

MacDonald told BBC Scotland: "We were offered a fee for Stephen by Crystal Palace in December when the previous manager was there, which we more or less accepted.

"While we were in the midst of discussing it West Ham came in and wanted to sign Stephen.

"We then had meaningful discussions and went to London and met the owner and it was then followed up by an offer that we agreed by email.

"At the same time the player agreed terms through his agent and we returned to Bonnie Scotland and waited for the formal offer to appear.

"They then said they would come up to do it in person on January 1. They then said they couldn't make it and would be up on January 4. And after that we said enough is enough. That deal was dead then.

"I believe it has resurfaced in London, I think they saw Stephen play against Celtic on Saturday.

"But we have had two other enquiries and I have told the other two clubs that we have no commitment to West Ham and are willing to listen to offers for Stephen, as we are with all the boys."

Hendrie, who has made more than 100 first-team appearances, turned 20 earlier this month and MacDonald hit out at West Ham, who are co-owned by David Gold and David Sullivan, over their treatment of the player.

"I would love to say I'm waiting patiently for the money but I couldn't care less if I never hear from them again," he said.

"It's one thing a deal between clubs falling through for some reason, but I think it's totally unfair for a player when you give him an offer that he agrees. I know for a fact that the agent also agreed his fee.

"We are not angry, we just want to make sure Stephen understands what is happening and is settled."

On the deal itself, MacDonald said: "There's got to be a bit of commercial confidentiality but I will not be selling a player like Stephen Hendrie with add-ons for £2million. It was well in excess of that with add-ons."

Meanwhile, the Accies vice-chairman says a new manager will be appointed "very shortly". Caretaker player/manager Martin Canning suffered a third consecutive loss when his team went down 5-0 against Partick Thistle on Wednesday night.

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