Paul the other one

  • by Matthew O'Greel
  • Wednesday, 2nd May 2007

Former United MD Paul Aldridge is threatening to sue the Premier League after they accused him of lying over the Tevez/Mascherano transfers.

Last week's enquiry found Aldridge - along with former boss Terry Brown - guilty of concealing vital details regarding third-party agreements. The club were fined a massive ?5.5m as a result.

Yet the enquiry failed to summons Aldridge to the two-day hearing - a situation that he finds baffling, and unacceptable given the verdict.

"Naturally, my sympathies lie with the club I was chief executive of for 10 years in respect of what seems a very harsh sanction," he said.

"However my own personal and professional reputations have been besmirched. The findings accuse me of acting dishonestly and lying.

"This is hardly natural justice in my view. Until the publication of these findings my integrity had never been questioned during my career.

"Accordingly, I have placed the matter in the hands of my lawyer who will be taking the matter further on my behalf."

A press statement released by the enquiry panel after the hearing ended stated:

"Mr Aldridge was not a witness to be called by either party. He has not made a statement.

"We do not know what he may have said ... he has thus not been here to answer for himself, and we can only proceed upon such evidence as we have."

Yet despite failing to offer Aldridge the opportunity to offer his version of events, the enquiry found that "Aldridge ... told a direct lie, namely there was no documentation of whatever kind in respect of these players which the FAPL had not seen."

The former MD has initially expressed his surprise at not having been asked to attend the hearing last week, when he told the Guardian that "I made myself available [to attend] - but no one's asked me."

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