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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Sullivan 'hurt' by Cunningham critique

Birmingham co-owner David Sullivan was 'hurt' by stinging criticism from outgoing captain Kenny Cunningham.

Cunningham launched a withering broadside in the wake of City's relegation to the Coca-Cola Championship, heavily criticising the running of the club.

Club president Sullivan, co-owner alongside David and Ralph Gold, was understandably disappointed by the former captain's comments.

Sullivan told the club's website, bcfc.com: 'It does hurt when a player to whom we have paid millions of pounds in salary criticises us for not spending enough money!'

Cunningham had earlier told the Birmingham Post: 'I saw bullish quotes from David Sullivan and David Gold about how they were going to bounce straight back up to the Premiership.

'I think David Sullivan made a statement that they would be able to sustain a wage bill far higher than nearly all clubs in the division by comparison.

'When you take into account the huge savings on wages, the parachute payment and the profit the club has earned over the past number of years, that must have given supporters grounds for optimism.

'Given the personal wealth of David Sullivan and the Gold brothers, I would have thought that is grounds for a street party in Birmingham. If I was looking at it objectively I would be putting every penny I have on Birmingham getting back to the Premiership.

'But I don't sense that kind of optimism around the city, speaking to people. Supporters aren't going to be kidded, and I think they realise that money is going to stay in the bank and isn't going to find its way into the manager's coffers.

'The manager is going to have to cut his cloth accordingly, which is totally at odds with the initial statement from the owners.'

A Blues statement retorted: 'The club is currently experiencing an extremely sensitive period; yet Kenny, who remains an employee, has chosen to publicly express his views through the media - without seeking prior permission or consultation - and not directly to any member of the board, despite limitless opportunities to do so.

'As a player who has now been released, Kenny Cunningham has no knowledge of the club's financial position or the ambitions and plans in place to achieve success.'