Craig Bellamy still raging about media’s role in West Ham transfer

Date published: Saturday 15th December 2018 12:22 - Matthew Briggs

Craig Bellamy has furiously revealed the damaging role the media played in his transfer from West Ham to Man City in 2009.

Raheem Sterling last week accused newspapers of helping to “fuel racism” with the way in which they portray young black footballers.

Sterling’s comments came after he suffered alleged racist abuse during Manchester City’s defeat at Chelsea.

Chelsea and the Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident at Stamford Bridge, which was highlighted on social media.

And Bellamy, 39, has also said he was portrayed badly by the media, after The Times claimed he had refused to play for West Ham on the eve of a transfer north.

The former Wales international signed for City for around £14million in January 2009 after being told “the deal was getting done” but later had to, and still does, have to face abuse from Hammers fans after the paper claimed he had gone on strike.

An animated Bellamy, ahead of Man City v Everton, told Sky Sports: “I was always portrayed as a certain individual. I didn’t really speak to the media, everyone knew that and they didn’t have time for me. They only saw the snarling player on the pitch and so they (media) fuelled people’s opinions.

“When I left West Ham to go to Man City I was told to go home because the deal is getting done, but certain journalists put out on the same Saturday that I had gone on strike.

“Can you image what West Ham supporters thought towards me? So my safety was in question; West Ham supporters are not the most forgiving at times. The amount of threats I had on the back of that…

“So I’d like to say ‘as a journalist do you understand what you just wrote there? Do you understand the effect on me and my safety,’ it had to become paramount. But they have no interest in that.”

Bellamy always denied the story and The Times did print an apology, not that had any impact on West Ham’s fans.

“I saw other journalists talking about it and even on Sky. They can write a little paragraph apologising saying it wasn’t true, but the damage is done. When I go back to West Ham they still give me stick over it,” added Bellamy.

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