Steve Bruce: DJ Campbell treated Hull City with contempt
STEVE Bruce has launched a scathing attack on DJ Campbell and his agent, claiming the pair treated Hull City with “utter contempt” when snubbing their offer to join on deadline day.
QPR forward Campbell had looked all set to join the Tigers on Thursday morning when travelling to the KC Stadium to iron out the final details of a two-and-a-half-year deal.
A lucrative offer from Blackburn Rovers then saw Campbell flee East Yorkshire without warning and although a move to Ewood Park fell through when failing to hit an 11pm deadline, the forward’s actions have incensed Bruce.
“Nothing surprises me in football anymore but the way certain individuals behaved on DJ Campbell’s behalf was nothing short of disgraceful,” Bruce told the Mail ahead of today’s Millwall clash.
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“The utter contempt they showed us after speaking to them for the best part of two weeks was incredible.
“I had texts and phone calls saying he was desperate to sign, so to see them abuse us the way they did has left a very sour taste.
“I can understand someone choosing Blackburn over us. I’ve not got a problem with that one little bit if someone offers you a better deal.
“You can still do things the right way, though, and on Thursday DJ and his agent couldn’t manage that.
“There was a total lack of respect shown to me personally and the whole football club. We felt badly let down.”
Bruce’s anger was clear as he recounted a dramatic final day in the January transfer window.
Having made Campbell his number one attacking target over the last fortnight, City believed a deal had been struck when QPR agreed a nominal fee for the 31-year-old.
After staying in a Hull hotel and travelling to the KC on Thursday morning, Campbell and his agent interrupted talks to go for lunch.
However, the pair never returned and failed to answer calls from City officials. A response finally came late in the evening when they asked City if Blackburn’s contract offer could be matched.
“I can understand anyone driven by ambition,” Bruce added.
“I can put myself in their shoes because when I was younger I can remember tearing down the chairman’s door to go to Manchester United.
“But when it comes down to money and greed, that’s when there’s a problem. There’s a need to show a bit of respect too. I always try to show people respect.
“We even met them in the hotel to make sure they were all right and then they turn around and behave like they did. It was horrendous.
“If they’d picked up the phone to my chief executive and said they were sorry but they’d had a wonderful offer, I’d have accepted it. To just disappear and leave us wondering where they had gone, was out of order. There was no integrity at all.”
City’s failure to land Campbell leaves them short of attacking options, but Bruce has hinted towards action in the emergency loan window next week.
Football League clubs are free to trade in 93-day loans from February 8 and City may yet move before next week’s trip to Brighton.