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Martin O'Neill signed agreement to leave Celtic for Leeds United

31 Oct 2007 :: by Mojo

Self-publicist Peter "Satan "Ridsdale is claiming that he had a pre-contract agreement with Martin O'Neill, then Celtic manager, in January 2003, to replace El Tel (Terry Venables) whose succession to David O'Leary had run into trouble during its first season.

Why didn't O'Neill take up this £2 million per year deal? Because Peter Ridsdale was forced out as Chairman of Leeds United plc. So claims Ridsdale, in the world's longest list of excuses, a book called United We Fall (or "Why the bastards stitched me up: How a big boy ran up, ruined Leeds United and ran away leaving me holding the debts"), which is currently being serialised in the Sun. [quotes continue below]

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Ridsdale whines,

"Discussions over the phone led to a secret meeting at my house. Martin had come down to discuss terms and reach an agreement in a deal approved by the board.

chairman of Leeds United plc Peter Ridsdale

"At long last, I'd captured the signature I had been chasing for so long - the man I'd wanted before David O'Leary, the man I'd wanted since George Graham's reign.

"This was a coup I couldn't wait to announce. At the third attempt the deal to bring Martin to Leeds was signed, sealed and waiting to be delivered to supporters. It was January 3, 2003.sat

"I'd worked tirelessly to persuade him to come and meet me ever since the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve.

"It meant he was free to discuss his future with other clubs with only six months remaining on his contract with Celtic.

"Excited and animated, he talked about the strengths and weaknesses of each Leeds player, which players he'd like to bring in.

"That day I'd agreed to pay him £2million a year to become the new Leeds manager. He left me with a signed document I could take to my board as evidence he'd finally agreed to come."

News of this will come as a shock to supporters of the Bhoys who saw MON as Ghod! Supporters of both Leeds United and Celtic will await with interest a comment by Martin O'Neill, who is now in charge at Aston Villa. MON is a man who keeps his own counsel and he may well simply choose not to comment at all. But one thing is for certain, like many other people he will no doubt regret having had any dealings with Ridsdale.

There is still one thing that doesn't ring true about the above statement. Ridsdale was Chairman when he sacked Venables, he left the position days later. If the board knew of this signed document why didn't some Board member say that Peter Reid was a temporary appointment because Martin O'Neill was taking over in the summer. Why did the deal fall through because Ridsdale left the club. Was MON joining Ridsdale or Leeds United? It just doesn't add up.


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All rights reserved © 2001-2013 Chris J Hudson
No reproduction in whole or part without prior written consent
Unauthorised web reproduction will be billed at £75 per article or part thereof.
LeedsUtd365 and "leedsutd365.co.uk" are trademarks of MacGold Direct Ltd
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