Agent: Batty Liaison Person For Players And Union

Last updated : 22 January 2004 By Kevin Markey
The players have come in for a great deal of criticism from fans who are sickened that they could turn their back on the club at such a time.

On Tuesday, the most senior players refused to accept a pay deferral, initially 35% and then 30%, figures which would have raised enough money to ensure Leeds could trade until the end of the season.

Batty is understood to have been one of the most vocal against the proposal and he was reportedly backed by Gary Kelly and Jason Wilcox during the stormy meeting at the club's Thorp Arch training ground.

Another group, which included Alan Smith, Eirik Bakke and Dominic Matteo, were prepared to accept a deferral.

But Evans is accusing the PFA and claims the Leeds players are taking their advice from them.

"As PFA representative, Batty is the liaison person between the players and the union, not the players and the club, and fans have to make that distinction,'' said Evans.

"The players went into the meeting with an open mind, but what has happened now is their union has become involved.

"They have stepped in and the players are being guided by them.''

But John Boocock, co-chairman of the Leeds United Supporters' Trust, claimed the players had betrayed the fans and warned them to expect a rough ride when they play Middlesbrough in their next home match.

"The fans reckon Batty had a key role in all this as PFA rep," he said.

"That's disappointing because the supporters have always got behind Batty and they stood by him when he was not being played by Terry Venables.

"I think the players are being pathetic and selfish. It's another own goal by the players and they're acting like real prima donnas. They will get a rough ride against Middlesbrough because fans feel their attitude is an act of betrayal. They will get a chant of 'Eleven greedy b******s'.

"The players are being very stupid because they could have used this as a chance not only to help save the club but also to improve their standing among the supporters.

"But instead they have reverted to type and they are only interested in themselves.

"It's unbelievable when people on such inflated wages say they cannot afford to help."