Newcastle’s on-loan midfielder Stephen Ireland is attempting to wriggle out of yet another sticky situation after allegedly bad-mouthing the cities of Birmingham and Cork in an interview.
French magazine So Foot quoted the ex-Manchester City star as describing Birmingham as a “crap city” and that he would “rather shoot myself” than live in his hometown of Cork.
So Foot in mouth, you could say.
But football’s master of the implausible explanation has swiftly hit back at the magazine by claiming that he was misquoted and that some of his favourite grannies are from Birmingham. Well, almost.
“I’m upset with what has been printed this morning because I feel like I’ve been portrayed in the wrong way,” he said.
“I was misquoted and things have been blown way out of proportion. That is the reason why I feel like I needed to say something because the quotes are very unfair.
“What I said during the interview has been twisted to sound particularly blunt, and a lot of what was written about my hometown of Cork – which me and my family visit regularly – was just plain ridiculous.
“The comments regarding Birmingham were also taken way out of context as I had only been at Villa a few months and didn’t even live there, so I have no idea what Birmingham is like to live in.
“Everyone I have met from Birmingham have been nice – my girlfriend’s father is from Birmingham, so why would I say that? It’s just crazy.
“I can only apologise if anyone was offended, but the way the interview was written made me sound very harsh, and I am not that kind of person.”
Watch out, Manchester! You’re next.