Balaban threatens to sit tight
By Peter ORourke. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Out-of-favour Aston Villa striker Bosko Balaban has warned the club he will see out the remaining two-and-a-half years of his contract unless the club offer him an acceptable financial package.
The Croatian misfit is unhappy at the way he has been frozen out of things at Villa Park as he is being forced to train on his own and denied even reserve team football.
Balaban spent last season on loan at Dinamo Zagreb but returned to Villa in the summer despite impressing at Zagreb.
Villa boss David O'Leary has claimed he has been offered moves away from the club but the striker has refused to leave.
Balaban insists he will only leave if the club offer him a satisfactory financial offer to cancel his contract much like the club did with Turkish defender Alpay last month.
"It is very strange that the club should treat me like this. It has been a nightmare two years," said Balaban.
"They don't want to give me training or reserve team football. I can't work with the first team or the reserves. I come in every day and work alone.
"To get the best out of me now, I need to go out on loan - but Villa will still have to pay my contract and the chairman (Doug Ellis) is angry about that.
"I can wait. I believe in myself. I will find a club but it is difficult to go because the club insist that they have the last word.
"But I'll wait for another two years if needs be. I am very angry with the club. It is a difficult time for me."
Ellis revealed he had not spoken to Balaban since he arrived back at the club in the summer.
"I've not spoken with Balaban other than when he came back to Aston Villa after the summer, I said, 'you're back' and he said, 'you remember me then?
"I said, 'I'll never forget you, the money I paid for you, my son'. I also told him he had put some weight on," said Ellis.