Bruce happy with board despite Upson sale: Gold

Chairman David Gold has insisted Birmingham manager Steve Bruce’s relationship with the board of directors will not be irretrievably damaged by the sale of central defender Matthew Upson to West Ham.

Chairman David Gold has insisted Birmingham manager Steve Bruce’s relationship with the board of directors will not be irretrievably damaged by the sale of central defender Matthew Upson to West Ham.

Bruce was adamant that he wanted to keep Upson until at least the summer but the board accepted a bid of £7.5m (€11.3m) before the transfer window closed at midnight on Wednesday.

It left Bruce feeling “hurt and disappointed” at seeing a player he had claimed was “priceless” being sold against his wishes and he made it clear it was not his decision.

But Gold is confident the board and Bruce can continue to work together although he understands the manager being upset at losing one of his prized assets.

Gold said: “I spoke to Steve last night and he was very down and I don’t blame him. I feel down this morning. I would have liked the player to stay for Steve, the board and the fans and we were 24 hours from that being the case.

“But the nearer we got to the deadline the clearer it became the player did not want to be at Birmingham and, if a club that is more powerful and in a higher league wants a player, it does have the advantage.

“This is one of the most difficult times I have experienced but I am confident there will be no long-term damage to the special relationship we have had with Steve Bruce.

“I am very confident that will be the case. We have a fantastic relationship, we are in this together, and in the last five years have gone through thick and thin together.”

Gold also hit back at claims from Upson’s agent Barry Neville that Birmingham had reneged on an agreement with the player in not accepting an earlier bid from the Hammers.

He said: “No promises were made by the board regarding a figure at which Matthew Upson could be sold. We did not renege on any deal as the agent was saying.”

Bruce failed with a late bid to sign Aston Villa defender Liam Ridgewell but Gold revealed there was the possibility of bringing in a new player during the emergency loan window before it closes in a week’s time.

Birmingham completed a late move for University College Dublin midfielder Gary Dicker who was signed on a six-month loan.

Dicker will link up with former team-mate Kavanagh as the winger was signed on short-term contract after a trial at St Andrews.

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