Ellis reveals Beattie pact
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Doug Ellis has revealed he made a pact with Everton with regards to James Beattie.Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis has revealed he made a pact with Everton with regards to any potential signing of James Beattie.
The Midlands outfit were in fact reprimanded, but not fined, by The FA for tapping the player up, when he was at Southampton, but Ellis has now spoken of an unusual agreement he made with Everton counterpart Bill Kenwright.
With both clubs vying for the player's services, Ellis rang Kenwright and concurred on a deal whereby they would both offer the same financial package and allow the player to decide on where he would move.
Both clubs were wary of becoming involved in a bidding war and with the player having decided on a switch to Goodison Park, Ellis has been left to reflect on whether in hindsight he believes it was a blessing in disguise and indeed, whether Kenwright stuck to his word.
''The truth of the Beattie talks was that his father rang Villa and let it be known he was interested in joining us,'' Ellis revealed in his autobiography, serialised in the Daily Express.
''Of course his dad did the same with Everton! The Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and I are great friends and I rang him and made a pact that we would agree the same same transfer fee and salary scale and leave it to the player to decide.
''I told Bill it was pointless bidding against each other as all we were doing was pushing the price up. Bill agreed.
''Bill assures me he did not break the agreement and I accept that. So it was a straight choice for the player.
''I got a lot of stick for failing to sign him but the final decision had nothing to do with me.
''The choice of the player is down to the manager, David O'Leary, but I had done my homework and I was never convinced about Beattie.''