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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 July, 2003, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
McKenzie angry at Kewell move
Leeds chairman Professor John McKenzie
McKenzie has lost another star player

Leeds chairman Professor John McKenzie has vented his fury at Harry Kewell and the player's camp after the Australian completed his move to Liverpool.

McKenzie is furious at the chain of events which have led to the cash-strapped Elland Road club receiving a net sum of just 3m for Kewell.

Kewell is one of the Premiership's most highly-rated players but McKenzie felt the need to sell him because he could have gone for nothing when his contract expired at the end of next season.

"Whilst I have no intention of entering a debate with those who seek to justify their own position in gaining large sums of money from Leeds United, I can say that I am angry and frustrated at the outrageous situation that has developed over the last week," said McKenzie.

Sadly, the PLC felt it had no alternative but to accept the paltry sum
Professor John McKenzie

"The reality is that on Friday 4 July I agreed a deal of 7m with Liverpool Football Club, which Kewell and his agent refused to countenance.

"Instead they made a condition of not doing a Bosman that we pay 2m to Kewell's representatives, and Liverpool Football Club then reduced the fee to 5m.

"What happened to the remaining 2m, I believe I know, but only Liverpool or Harry Kewell could tell you.

"The PLC was therefore faced with the alternative of taking the net 3m (plus 2.5m in wages) to enable Peter Reid to strengthen the squad or getting next to nothing, if rather like Lee Bowyer, Kewell did a Bosman.

"And in Kewell's case, given his outburst on television and his indication he has been talking to Liverpool for six months, it would be impossible for him to play for Leeds ever again.

Harry and I are both disappointed it's played out like this
Kewell's agent
Bernie Mandic
"So, sadly, the PLC felt it had no alternative but to accept the paltry sum."

Kewell's agent Bernie Mandic has rubbished McKenzie's accusations and has warned that he may take legal action against Leeds.

Mandic points out that Leeds should have no argument with Kewell's 5m price-tag as he claims McKenzie had already agreed to let the Australian go for that sum.

"If Professor McKenzie wants to throw stones then he needs to remember the very documentation he signed as recently as late June," said Mandic.

"If he wants to make wild, outrageous statements then fair enough.

"This was not a money-driven decision by Harry Kewell. The fact Leeds are trying to turn it into that is a problem for Leeds.

"My legal people will wait for Leeds to continue along their path, and once they dig themselves deeply into it, then we will take the appropriate action.

"You have to remember this is a player who cost them nothing, has given them great service for nine seasons, and was due for his testimonial year next season.

"I think Leeds have got a lot from Harry, don't you?"

Leeds chairman Professor John McKenzie
"The system has lost us a lot of money"

Are Leeds right to be angry over the Harry Kewell deal?
2003 Votes Cast
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