• Premier League

Sidwell questions Brady statement

ESPN staff
January 29, 2011
Steve Sidwell is looking to make his mark at Fulham © PA Photos

Steve Sidwell has taken a swipe at Karren Brady, insisting the West Ham vice-chair did not contact him to inform him the club had pulled out of a deal to sign him from Aston Villa.

Sidwell was earmarked as a prime target for Hammers boss Avram Grant, but the club pulled the plug late in the day with Brady claiming they already had too many midfielders on their books. The decision caused a rift in the West Ham camp, with Grant angry about the way things were handled, but it allowed Fulham to step in with a bid.

The former Chelsea man is now settled in Mark Hughes' squad at Fulham and has no regrets about not securing a move to Upton Park, but countered Brady's account of events.

"I had to tell Steve that for various reasons - none his fault - we had changed our mind about signing him on loan," Brady wrote in her column in The Sun. "This was a filthy task but in the end it was decided that, with 13 midfielders and most of the injured about to return, we couldn't promise him regular first-team football and he'd hardly be in a better position than at Villa Park."

This chain of events did not ring true to Sidwell, who told the Evening Standard: "She didn't call me. She didn't speak to me directly. She spoke to my advisors. Now I'm just getting my head down and trying to get myself back on track.

"There is no denying that if it could have happened I would have been happy. "There is no getting away from the fact that West Ham are a big club and they try to play the right football."

But the move to Fulham has handed Sidwell the chance to revive his career and he is delighted with how things have worked out.

"It's fantastic, the way it's worked out," he said. "This is about coming to a club where faith has been shown to me by the chairman and the manager who said, 'We welcome you with open arms, come to us and express yourself'."

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