Chaos looms for FA over Beattie case, says O'Leary

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The Independent Football

David O'Leary has warned that the offices of the Football Association and the Premier League "will be open seven days a week, 24 hours a day" if Aston Villa are found guilty of making an illegal approach for Southampton striker James Beattie.

O'Leary insisted his supposed indiscretion about Beattie came when fielding questions from journalists after the home game with the Saints in August, for whom Villa tabled an unsuccessful £6million bid.

But he is adamant his comments were no different to those being made on a daily basis by his managerial colleagues when asked about possible transfer targets by the media.

O'Leary said: "I've never been on a charge before and I'm looking forward to going down there and seeing what the premises are like! "We will defend it vigorously and I'm looking forward to defending it vigorously because we don't think we have done anything wrong.

"If anyone was to be charged on what things were said in the media, I think the offices of the FA or the Premier League would be open seven days a week, 24 hours a day!

"I saw on the text on TV yesterday that Graeme Souness says he wants to buy Robert Huth.

Isn't that what we are being charged about? "I think every day managers are responding to questions about players.

You are asked an honest question and you respond.

"We responded quite rightly in the same way after the Southampton game.

"We were asked if we were interested in a signing and we had to give comments back on it."

Meanwhile O'Leary is moving slowly but surely towards signing a new three-and-a-half year contract with Villa.

He confirmed that the proposed new deal was "in the post" from Villa chairman Doug Ellis to his solicitor Michael Kennedy.

O'Leary is now hoping the two minor points he wanted cleared up before putting pen to paper can now be ironed out.

He said: "The chairman said to me that over the last three weeks himself and the club solicitors have been putting the contract together and it is supposed to be on its way to my solicitor.

"Then maybe we can iron out a couple of points that have to be ironed out from it.

"It's in the post.

Whether it has arrived or not, I don't know.

"But it doesn't bother me.

It hasn't been on my mind.

The only time it is brought up is by the media or if I'm in a restaurant and a Villa fan will say when is the announcement on the contract going to be made.

"It has taken a few weeks.

The chairman has been busy but it's in the post and then my solicitor can have dialogue with them in ironing out a couple of points."