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By ESPN Staff

Sullivan fires back at Bruce's criticisms

Birmingham co-owner David Sullivan has hit back at comments by former boss Steve Bruce and claimed he was 'deeply hurt and saddened' by his outburst.

Bruce, whose current side Wigan face Blues later today at the JJB Stadium, is still upset at the acrimonious nature of his departure from St Andrews five months ago.

He claimed the City board put greed before friendship when they asked him to repay an advance image rights payment he had received in addition to £3million compensation from the Latics.

Sullivan told the Birmingham Mail: 'I'm deeply hurt and saddened by what Steve has said - and so are the rest of the board. You could argue that it is libellous.

'He's never going to speak to us again and we have to accept that. It is a shame when you consider the six years we had together at Birmingham.

'But it's not going to change his life and it's not going to change mine. We just have to move on.

'If I see him at the game today, I would imagine he will cut me dead so I think we will just blank each other.'

Sullivan said: 'Although I'm not sure it is in the interests of us as a club to answer back (to Bruce's comments) and keep this going, what else are we supposed to do?

'Maybe one day when the facts and figures are released, people will make their own minds up and agree with us.

'We did what was in the best interests of the shareholders and the bottom line is, when someone really wants to go, you can't stand in their way - especially when it was such a fantastic financial offer as Wigan offered.'

Regarding repaying the image rights payment, Sullivan said: 'How is that greed? Steve basically said he wasn't paying it and he would come back and sit there, do nothing and cause us absolute grief.'