Blues chief defends £6m sale of Pennant

July 28, 2006

Birmingham chairman David Gold has defended the sale of winger Jermaine Pennant to Liverpool - and pledged the £7million transfer fee would be used to bring in new players.

Fans have registered their disappointment at the departure of Pennant who was one of City's few success stories as they were relegated from the Premiership.

But Gold insists Blues had little choice over allowing Pennant to move to Anfield once Liverpool had met their asking price.

Gold told PA Sport: 'People have to be realistic. How did they expect us to keep hold of Jermaine Pennant. Did they want us to chain him to the fence?

'It can't be done. Be realistic. Once Liverpool came up with the package they did, and it was the chance for Jermaine to join one of the greatest clubs in the world, you can't say no.

'We said no to £3.5million, we said no to £5million, we were still fighting at £6million. But then you are talking about holding the kid back. He has the chance to double his wages, to play European football.

'People can huff and puff as much as they like about Jermaine leaving but if they were in our position, they would have had no alternative but to do the deal.

'We've got £13million for Emile Heskey and Jermaine Pennant. You could make a case for keeping them if you were talking about £6million. You can't make a case to keep them when it is £13million.

'Money will be made available to invest into new blood because the plan was never to sell Emile or Jermaine.'

Gold has now got the disappointment of City being relegated from the top flight out of his system.

He said: 'I would be useless if all I am doing is mourning the club going down. I see this is a new challenge and am optimistic for the new season.'