McLeish gets death threats from Villa AND Blues fans
Published 23:01 17/06/11 By Martin Fricker - EXCLUSIVE
Security was stepped up around Alex McLeish last night after he received death threats from TWO sets of fans.
Furious Aston Villa and Birmingham City supporters issued the threats on Twitter and internet football forums.
Similar threats were made online to Villa’s US owner Randy Lerner, who sanctioned the move.
Glaswegian McLeish, nicknamed Big Eck, quit relegated Birmingham by email and his appointment as boss of their arch-rivals Villa was confirmed yesterday.
It sparked outrage on both sides of Birmingham. One Villa fan said he was planning to shoot “judas” McLeish, while others threatened to harm his family.
A Birmingham fan Tweeted: “Big Eck needs to watch his back now, if he shows his face in the city he’ll get killed.”
Villa chiefs have stepped up security and extra stewards will be drafted in for McLeish’s official unveiling on Monday.
A source said: “There is a lot of bad feeling across the city right now from both sets of supporters. What Alex has done is unprecedented and a few hot-heads have issued threats against him and Randy.”
More than 500 supporters protested at Villa Park over McLeish’s appointment and the club’s training ground was vandalised.
It was also claimed Villa’s ticket office ran out of money on Thursday after fans demanded their season tickets be refunded.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, a close friend of fellow Scot McLeish, urged Villa fans to get behind him.
Birmingham claim Villa “tapped up” McLeish shortly before he quit by email and have vowed to “vigorously pursue” their legal fight.
In a statement on the club website, Birmingham said: “As the club is currently enforcing its legal right with Mr McLeish the matter is in the hands of our lawyers.”