Pearce: Don't Ask Me To Feel Sorry For Players

Last updated : 25 January 2004 By Kevin Markey

Pearce goes on: 'Let's get something clear. The Leeds United players are not to blame for the club's financial crisis and did not dismiss out of hand the idea of deferring wages to help out.

'They remained open to the idea while the club examined other options such as transfers of top names.

'The players are furious that they have been painted as mean-minded money-grabbers and that information has been leaked about their meetings with the club and PFA last week.

'I understand their angst, but hang on a minute boys. The PFA was only too happy to talk about the meetings. Furthermore, had certain players actually earned every penny of their vast fortunes, then Leeds wouldn't have plummeted from top spot in the Premiership to bottom in two years.

'Only a short while ago, all fingers at Elland Road were pointing onwards and upwards. Now the finger-pointing has turned inward into nasty, stabbing, accusing jerks.

'A lot of people have to hold their hands up and admit guilt to some degree. Players included. Many of them will leave the club, the manager and directors too.

'But that has always happened in football and always will. They'll find other clubs, businesses and rich income streams.

'Perhaps more thought should go to the office workers, matchday staff and fans at Elland Road should the club go into administration. Real jobs will be lost. Mortgages will be foreclosed. Lives will collapse. The dream will have gone for ever for many.

'I understand the players' argument. But don't ask me to feel sorry for them.'