PFA defends Preston players

PA Sport
Preston
.

View photo

Preston

The Professional Footballers' Association does not believe any of Preston's players deliberately intended to undermine their team when leaking information to Sheffield Wednesday ahead of Saturday's npower League One clash.

Preston manager Graham Westley accused four of his players of informing the Wednesday camp of his intended team and tactics in a press conference after his side's 2-0 defeat at Hillsborough. The Lancashire club's chairman Peter Ridsdale has since confirmed tactical information had been divulged, but that it had not been done with any malicious intent.

The PFA's assistant chief executive John Bramhall told Press Association Sport: "We've spoken with one of the players already and a couple have commented on Twitter that they could not believe any of their team-mates would deliberately jeopardise their team's chances."

He added: "The chairman has since said information was given, but that there was no intention to undermine their team-mates and that it was not malicious.

"He accepts that and we would support that - that the information has been inadvertently leaked."

Bramhall said the players' union would continue to monitor the situation, but that Ridsdale's comments had helped to diffuse the situation.

Bramhall added: "You would hope managers would be more mindful of their comments. An allegation had been made. It's a serious allegation against his players' integrity, but you have to accept the chairman's comments that they had been made in the heat of the moment.

"It's difficult to understand why players would jeopardise the chances of their team getting a result and risk putting their team-mates closer to relegation."

Westley, 44, led Stevenage to the Football League for the first time in the club's history in 2010 and secured back-to-back promotions the following season when steering them to npower League One.

He replaced Graham Alexander as Preston boss in January, but the Lilywhites have won only two of the 15 games they have played since Westley took charge and have slipped to 16th place in the table, six points above the relegation zone.

View comments (0)