Bruce confirms eight names out at Birmingham

May 8, 2006

Birmingham City manger Steve Bruce has confirmed eight players, who are out of contract or on loan, will be released as a result of relegation.

Mario Melchiot, Jiri Jarosik, Nicky Butt, Chris Sutton, Jamie Clapham, Stan Lazaridis and Nico Vaesen are all being shown the door.

Bruce, who insists he wants to remain in charge, knows exactly where they fell down.

He said: 'We have not scored enough goals. You're only as good as your strikers. That is why they cost the most money and are so sought after.'

Bruce has also revealed that at least two of his squad refused to play in the final game of the season at Bolton yesterday.

The relegated side rounded off a miserable campaign by losing 1-0 in their final game.

Bruce refused to name the players but was left in a state of disbelief at what amounts to strike action.

'Professional footballers who don't want to play - that's quite incredible really,' he told the Birmingham Mail.

'I wouldn't hang any individual out to dry. But certainly, there was more than one anyway.'

Bruce, though, would not go into any further detail when pressed.

Meanwhile his salary has been slashed by around 50 per cent because of relegation.

He said: 'This was a clause in my contract, it was always going to happen if we lost our Premier League status.'

Bruce will take the next couple of weeks to think things over, before deciding whether or not he is the man to rebuild the side.

'It has been an horrific season, but it is finished now and we need to look forward because there are huge decisions to be made,' he told the club's website.

'In the board meeting last Friday I said `Look, we're all upset and disappointed, raw and angry. Let's take stock and take our time and make sure we go forward as a club to do everything we possibly can to come back here as this is the only place to play.'

'I want the opportunity to take the club forward, but there are a number of things have to be addressed first before me.

'I will take stock of what we've got and make a decision after that.'