EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool issue grovelling apology to Fulham over Dempsey tapping-up affair
00:10 GMT, 12 December 2012
Liverpool have made a grovelling apology to Fulham over the tapping-up of Clint Dempsey in the summer.
A statement from Fulham, expected today, will confirm that in return the club have dropped their complaint to the Premier League over the affair.
The peace deal came only after a personal visit by Liverpool co-owner Tom Werner to Craven Cottage chairman Mohamed Al Fayed was followed up by a letter from Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre admitting that the club’s behaviour ‘was wrong’ and ‘simply never should have occurred’.
Centre of attention: Dempsey was courted by Liverpool in summer
The letter, sent last Friday, confirms that a meeting took place between Werner and Fayed, during which the former apologised for Liverpool’s actions regarding Dempsey last summer.
Fulham blame Liverpool for unsettling the player and creating the circumstances that led to his move to Tottenham on transfer-deadline day.
Ayre wrote: 'Please also consider this letter from me to be an additional expression of sincere regret and apology from our club to your club for our actions last summer. Our club can do better and we pledge that it will.'
Fulham’s official complaint followed a series of clumsy bulletins from Liverpool and their owners, the Fenway Sports Group. The first was an announcement on the FSG website that Liverpool had signed Dempsey from Fulham.
This was followed by an interview on the
Liverpool website with manager Brendan Rogers, in which he talked of
the USA forward in glowing terms.
Full apology: Ayre has expressed regret on Liverpool's behalf to Al Fayed
Finally, pictures of Liverpool's new strip with Dempsey's name on the back were published.
The 29-year-old had been on a summer break in America when the FSG announcement was made, and Fulham’s complaint to the Premier League intimated that their relationship with the player who was last season’s top scorer had not recovered from that point.
Dempsey did not officially go on strike, but told Fulham he wanted to leave.
The club considered he was becoming a bad influence in the dressing room and he did not play a game for Fulham before signing for Tottenham.
On target: Dempsey scored in the recent defeat to Everton