Woodward consults lawyers over criticism

Allegations concerning Woodward's standing were made by Andrew Strode-Gibbons, head of a consortium considering a takeover of the club. Woodward said: "I have to be careful what I say, it has gone to the lawyers. I believe in freedom of speech, but not if it's not based on fact, and as far as I could see, that was not."

Woodward initially dismissed the claims, saying: "It's not hard to find players in any dressing-room who aren't happy. I think I have been in professional sport long enough to take these things with a pinch of salt."

Strode-Gibbons, a Hampshire businessman, has said Woodward and the club's chairman, Rupert Lowe, may go if his consortium - one of two interested - completes a takeover. "If we take over, Rupert Lowe would no longer be at the club and it's unlikely we would want to keep Clive Woodward," he said. "We don't feel he has anything to offer."

Strode-Gibbons claimed his allegations were based on conversations with senior players at the club.

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