Club angry over 'outrageous article'

Last updated : 26 January 2009 By Bladesmadeditor
Sheffield United Football Club
Samuels who is lead to believe to be a supporter of West Ham United has criticised the Blades in many different aspects on numerous occasions in his column which he writes in the Daily Mail. This time, he published an article regarding the transfer of Matthew Spring to Charlton Athletic. He has accused United of wrongdoings when they clearly haven't, as the statement below published by Sheffield United analyses the situation.

'Sheffield United are 'frustrated' with the publication in a national newspaper of a story concerning the non-appearance of former player, Matthew Spring, in the FA Cup fourth round match against Charlton Athletic.

Earlier this month, the midfielder ended his loan deal with the Blades and returned to Luton, before transferring to Charlton.

The Addicks offered an arrangement whereby they would not play Spring in the cup match against his former club.

However, Daily Mail sport journalist Martin Samuel, continuing his reporting of the so-called Tevez affair, today suggested that Spring did not play 'on the basis of possible third party interference from Sheffield United'

"This is an outrageous article and wholly inaccurate. We have not broken any Football Association and Football League rules," said United Chairman Kevin McCabe.

"For some time now Mr Samuel - whether at The Times, his past employers, or at the Daily Mail where he now works - has pursued a crusade against Sheffield United," added Mr McCabe.

"As usual his reports are without foundation and I suggest he concentrates his time on reporting the truth rather than spurious allegations.

"I gather Martin is a West Ham supporter so, maybe, in some clumsy way, he believes his regular attacks on the Blades helps to protect their wrongdoings over the Tevez affair."

Charlton have also released a statement, and that reads:

"Daily Mail journalist Martin Samuel, writing in his column claimed the Blades had no right to come to a 'gentleman's agreement' with the Addicks that the midfielder - who signed for Charlton from Luton Town - should not play in the match because he wasn't officially a United player.

"But in fact the deal was stipulated in the initial negotiations regarding the premature ending of Spring's season-long loan at Bramall Lane from the Hatters. Although not a permanent signing, Spring was registered to the Blades.

"The Addicks agreed that if United released Spring from his loan commitments, thereby allowing the transfer of the Luton player to The Valley to go through, manager Phil Parkinson would not field the player in any potential FA Cup fourth-round tie between the two clubs.

"At that time, Charlton had still to beat Norwich City in a third-round replay, while United had yet to meet Leyton Orient, their third-round tie on 3rd January having fallen victim to the weather."

To view Samuels' article regarding the Spring situation, then click here.