Marlon King has completed a move to Birmingham City after his contract with Coventry expired, incurring the wrath of former boss Andy Thorn.The 31-year-old underwent a medical with Birmingham on Thursday and formally signed with Alex McLeish’s team – who were relegated from the English Premier League last season – on Friday.
The move has angered former employers Coventry, who handed King a short-term deal in September 2010 following his release from prison.
The former Nottingham Forest and Watford striker received an 18-month sentence in October 2009 after being convicted of sexual assault.
Thorn, who succeeded Aidy Boothroyd as manager at Coventry in April this year, had hoped the player would remain with the club who offered him a route back into professional football.
According to Thorn, King verbally agreed a new three-year deal at the Ricoh Arena.
The striker claims Coventry delayed in providing him a written contract, allowing Birmingham to offer terms.
“I feel betrayed on a personal and professional level by what has happened,” Thorn told The Coventry Telegraph.
“I have no idea what sort of advice he has been given but I think he should have considered how well he has done here, the way the supporters have backed him and accepted him.”
“What Marlon is claiming simply does not stack up.”
“He spoke to me last Thursday to confirm he wanted to stay, the story came out in the media that he had agreed to stay with us, yet 24 hours later we heard rumours that he was talking to Birmingham.”
“I am staggered and dismayed at what has happened.”
King confirmed that he verbally agreed to remain with Coventry, but insists he was not provided with a written offer.
“I haven’t done anything wrong,” King said.
“Yes I did phone the manager because I was happy with the three-year deal and I was willing to sign.”
“I said let’s do it, I want to sign. I said get the contract over to me but that didn’t materialise. I called my adviser, Tony Finnigan, and asked what was going on and he said nothing had come through on the computer in writing.”
King joins winger Chris Burke as a new arrival at Birmingham – the Scottish international signed a two-year deal on Wednesday after leaving Cardiff on a free transfer.