Gold hits back at Krulak over 'pig' comment

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The Independent Football

David Gold has demanded an apology from Aston Villa director general Charles Krulak for his "pig in the mud" attack on comments the Birmingham chairman made about ticket pricing.

Krulak made his criticisms on a Villa fan website after Gold had said all clubs should drop ticket prices by 20 per cent – Birmingham charged only £15 admission for their last home game, against Bolton. Gold is incensed at Krulak's choice of words in response.

Krulak had pointed out that Villa fans were being charged £55 for the derby at St Andrew's in November although, in fact, the price is £45. Krulak's comments had come in response to a Villa fan asking how Birmingham's pricing fitted in with Gold's "vision" of all clubs cutting admission by 20 per cent.

The former US Marine said: "I am not sure what Mr Gold is after other than publicity. When you get down in the mud and wrestle with a pig, the pig loves it – and you get muddy. I think I will just let him continue to talk."

Krulak has since stood by his quote but insisted: "The 'pig' is the situation, not the person, and was not aimed at David Gold."

Gold said: "I was made aware of the quote but didn't really look any deeper into it nor this whole issue until the last couple of days.

"Then it became to clear to me that many objectionable things had and been said and written. I received an email from our managing director Karren Brady saying how outrageous it was and I cannot just sit by and not defend myself as I am very aggrieved on a number of counts.

"First, it is clear that this was all kicked off by this general on an internet message board as he had not got his facts right. He wrote that it was £55 for the Villa game in November – wrong.

"To then use my name in an analogy about pigs and mud I find distasteful and insulting. Whether it is 'Americanese' or not, he should not have written that kind of thing.

"For the last 14 years I have been at the club, I have been a great champion of Birmingham City and Aston Villa, and have tried to promote both in a positive manner for the good of the city.

"I supported Doug Ellis during his demise [as Villa chairman] and, aware of the sensitive nature of the rivalry, I feel I have brought a fair and balanced view to matters between the clubs and not positioned myself aggressively. Then this man comes along and maligns me, and calls me publicity seeking. Well, what's he doing exactly, writing something like he did and trying to be the fans' friend in this way on the internet?

"I think something should be forthcoming from him, an apology, a retraction, something."