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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Birmingham release seven players
Steve Bruce
Bruce was fuming when two players refused to play against Bolton
Birmingham have released Jamie Clapham, Chris Sutton, Mario Melchiot, Nico Vaesen and Stan Lazaridis.

And Nicky Butt and Jiri Jarosik have also ended their respective loan deals.

But the club rejects claims that it was Olivier Tebily and Julian Gray who refused to play in the final game of the season against Bolton on Sunday.

A club statement read: "Without naming the individuals involved, the main instigator of any problems is no longer at Birmingham City Football Club."

The statement added: "Reports suggesting that Olivier Tebily and Julian Gray refused to take part in the club's final Premiership game at Bolton are completely false and inaccurate."

Boss Steve Bruce has refused to name the players who effectively went on strike for the match, which ended in a 1-0 defeat at the Reebok.

But he admitted he was left in a state of disbelief at their actions.

Bruce told the Birmingham Mail: "Professional footballers who don't want to play - that's incredible."

Players refused to appear - Bruce
08 May 06 |  Birmingham City


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