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BBC Sport's Jonathan Overend
"What he wanted didn't fit into Birmingham's wage structure"
 real 14k

Friday, 22 December, 2000, 11:12 GMT
Burchill's City move is dead
Mark Burchill
Mark Burchill has been a hit on loan at St Andrews
Celtic striker Mark Burchill's proposed 1.5m move to Birmingham City has collapsed because of a disagreement over his personal demands.

Negotiations had been taking place with a view to the player joining the Midlands club on a five-and-a-half year contract.

But Birmingham City manager Trevor Francis insisted the player's wage demands were excessive and pulled the plug on the deal.

Burchill's agent Blair Morgan said all parties were disappointed that the move had fallen through and that the deal was now dead.

"Birmingham wanted Mark on a very long term deal, so everything had to be right," said Morgan. "The bottom line is they could not meet his financial requirements."

Three months

The 20-year-old has been on loan at St Andrews for the past three months, but that spell ended on Thursday.

The Scottish internationalist is now back training at Celtic Park, without a deal having been concluded.

Francis said he believed the youngster had "moved the goalposts" in his wage demands.

"Our discussions three months ago led me to believe that the kind of money Mark was looking for fitted into our wage structure.

Dressing room

"Players talk in the dressing room about what each of them are earning and as soon as I start to lie to them I've got a problem."

Burchill is back training with Celtic
Burchill is back training with Celtic
"The financial demands were not unreasonable," Morgan countered, also adding that they would not have made Burchill the highest paid player at the club as has been reported.

"I understand that Trevor Francis and Birmingham have to say things to appease their fans and to try and explain why the move did not take place, but it's their choice and I respect that," Morgan continued.

First team plans

Morgan said that Burchill had never wanted to leave Parkhead and that the youngster would be striving once again to work his way into manager Martin O'Neill's first team plans at Celtic.

However, he did stress that the striker needed to be playing regular football at a high standard.

Burchill scored five times during his spell at St Andrews, including one against Tottenham in the club's run to the semi-finals of the Worthington Cup.

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