JAMIE ASHDOWN has hit out at Leeds United after finding out on Twitter that he had been released by the club, who he claims showed him a lack of respect.
Unlike six other senior players who were informed by letter on Friday that they would not be offered fresh terms when their contracts expire next month, the goalkeeper did not receive official communication until the following day.
The 33-year-old, whose second season at Elland Road was a write-off due to a problematic toe injury, was not expecting to be offered a new deal, but the manner of his exit has left him with a sour taste in his mouth.
He feels it is be illustrative of the sense of disjointedness at the club, with United’s retained list compiled without the input of manager Brian McDermott, whose relationship with owner Massimo Cellino is looking increasingly strained.
Ashdown, who joined the club in the summer of 2012 on a free transfer from Portsmouth, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It would have been nice for someone to tell me what was going on. I was expecting to get released and there’s no bitterness or anything like that, but it was the way it was done.
“A bit of respect is all you need.
“Every player wants that, no matter what contribution they have made to the club. You want to be treated similar.
“I got a letter a day after everyone else and that was my only gripe.
“It’s just one of those things with everything that is going on at the club. No-one seems to know what is going on. There’s bigger things to worry about and in life, there’s a lot going on.
“I just think these things need to be aired, so it doesn’t happen again.
“These things need to be done by phone call, to be honest.
“Just so you get a response back and then you receive a letter.
“There’s nothing worse than going out like that.
“All you can do is wait and obviously I was waiting for a phone call from someone.
“I’ve no problem with the decision. I’ve had an awful year and from their point of view, it’s probably the right thing to do.
“I was annoyed myself with not breaking in and feel as if I should have been playing. Hopefully, I can make it up next season.”
Ashdown has described the goings-on at Elland Road this calendar year as representing a ‘crazy time’ and the Reading-born custodian admits that the sense of turmoil in the second half of the season left him fearing the club might be relegated at one stage.
Being on the sidelines due to injury compounded his sense of frustration and while his footballing future lies away from Leeds, he is keeping his fingers crossed that the club can find some harmony and stability soon.
He said: “At one time, I was surprised we didn’t go down, with what was going on and the communication between everyone and when the manager was sacked and then reinstated. It was a bit of a crazy time.
“For the lads, it was such a long season. But they stuck at it and they did themselves well, although it wasn’t a great season from a big club’s point of view.
“It was quite tight at one point. It was a blessing that Cellino took over, but at the same time, there’s parts of the job he’s got to do and communication is part of that.*
“They were a good set of lads (at Leeds) and there was not really a bad one in there. No-one would walk out actually; although there was one, but I can’t mention him.
“I just think everyone was unsettled and it was difficult to pick anyone up there. For six weeks, everyone was hoping for it (the season) to end, but for me, I was just hoping it would start again.
“All I had to do was get my injury sorted and try to help. I wanted to concentrate on what I wanted to do and get fit.
“But that’s football and you move on. I hope the club can move on, improve and they can get the money sorted. Players come and go, but the fans don’t.”
Meanwhile, young defender Charlie Taylor, currently on loan at Fleetwood is expected to sign a new deal this week.
On his new deal, Taylor, who has met with United’s new football consultant Benito Carbone said: “I am delighted. It took a bit of time to sort out, but finally I have got it sorted. I should be signing it this week and I am just looking forward to going back there and kicking on.
“They send a lot of clips back (to Leeds) and I think Benito Carbone was watching on TV on Friday.
“I have spoken to him and really enjoyed the meeting and am looking forward to going back to Leeds.
“I think Brian came to watch me at Chesterfield away and there’s been Leeds scouts at Fleetwood and the club are keeping up with how I am doing.”