Gregory furious with Brighton (19 Jan)
           Aston Villa manager John Gregory has launched a scathing attack on Brighton chairman Dick
           Knight and the independent tribunal which judged they may have to pay up to £1million for
           teenage star Gareth Barry. 

           Gregory is furious at Knight's weekend outburst against Villa in which he accused the club of being
           ``penny pinching hypocrites.'' 

           Villa paid Brighton an initial £150,000 as ordered by the tribunal in October but have so far
           refused to hand over the £200,000 they were told to pay when the 17-year-old player made 20
           appearances for the club. 

           The club's company secretary Steve Stride has already confirmed that they will not make any more
           payments to the Seagulls until the tribunal give them an explanation of how they came to their

           The figure could rise to the £1million if Barry plays for England - and he has already won
           Under-21 honours and trained with the full squad. 

           Gregory, a former Brighton player, said: ``Dick Knight wouldn't recognise Gareth Barry if he
           stood on Brighton beach in an Albion shirt with a ball tucked under his arm and a seagull on his

           ``We are being asked to pick up the bill for a football club so badly run that it nearly went to the

           ``The fact is if the tribunal had been held in the summer, as it should have been, then Brighton
           would not have got more than £50,000 for Gareth Barry. It kept being delayed. 

           ``But since then he has gone on to play for the Villa first team and has made progress at England
           level and all that has had a massive influence on the tribunal decision. 

           ``It shouldn't have had any influence at all. Compensation is for the costs of developing players. 

           ``In the five or six years that Gareth Barry was at Brighton the furthest he got was being a
           substitute for the youth team. I find it hard to believe that cost £800,000 or so! 

           ``There is only one club being exploited here - and it is not Brighton and Hove Albion.''

Martin Sivorn © 1999.E-Mail Me