Belfast Telegraph

Birmingham City to demand £5m for McLeish

By Ben Rumsby

Aston Villa have approached city rivals Birmingham to ask about the legal situation regarding Alex McLeish after the Scot quit his job as manager.

The Blues' acting chairman, Peter Pannu, spent the day talking to lawyers and the club are going to demand £5 million in compensation.

The contact from Villa was not an official approach, but it can be disclosed that an email was sent to Birmingham seeking clarification about McLeish's status.

McLeish announced his resignation via an email on Sunday and the Scot was immediately linked with a move to the vacant manager's post at Villa Park.

Pannu said: “He is still our contracted staff and Birmingham City FC does not grant him any right to speak to any outsiders until the matter is resolved. It's about time discipline is instilled into this game and I am not a person who gets pushed about.”

Meanwhile former England boss Graham Taylor, and twice manager of Villa in the past, criticised his former club for the way they have gone about seeking a replacement for Gerard Houllier, who stepped down due to illness.

“It just doesn't appear to have been thought through and for the first time the ownership of the club is coming under severe criticism.

“This is not being disrespectful to Gerard in any way, but once he became unwell then you have to immediately start exploring what you might do if he doesn’t return.

“It doesn't appear to me and many others that this has been done. They seem to be going from name to name.”

Within 24 hours of McLeish's announcement, nearly 6,000 people had signed up to a Facebook page entitled 'Aston Villa Supporters — We don't want Alex McLeish'.

e NOTTINGHAM Forest yesterday appointed former England manager Steve McClaren as their new boss.

The 50-year-old succeeds Billy Davies who was sacked on Sunday.

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