Pannu hints at legal action for McLeish

Birmingham City acting chairman Peter Pannu has threatened legal action against former manager Alex McLeish, who quit the club on Sunday.The Scot walked away from the post via an email to Pannu, who was in Amsterdam looking to finalise the signing of PSV Eindhoven striker Danny Koevermans, less than a month after his side was relegated from the English Premier League.

McLeish has been strongly linked to the vacant post left by Gerard Houllier at rivals Aston Villa, but Birmingham are likely to rebuff any attempts to open discussions with rival clubs.

Pannu said on Monday he was considering his legal options after McLeish quit with two years remaining on his contract.

“He is still our contracted staff and Birmingham City FC does not grant him any right to speak to any outsiders until the matter is resolved,” he said.

“I’ll be meeting my legal team. It’s about time discipline is instilled into this game and I am not a person who gets pushed about.”

Birmingham, who beat Arsenal to win the League Cup, were relegated from the top flight following a 2-1 loss at Tottenham on the last day of the season.

Pannu criticised McLeish for his move after the club supported him through a difficult campaign.

“I have just bought him three players of his choice. Having secured him the fourth one, Koevermans, I get an email. It speaks volumes,” Pannu told The Daily Express.

“We spent 40 million pounds, supporting McLeish all the way and what we get is relegation and a snub when (president) Carson (Yeung) gave him unwavering support.”

Former Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton and Portsmouth boss Steve Cotterill are reportedly in the frame to replace McLeish.