Viduka stays with sick father - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Viduka stays with sick father

16/01/2004 05:54:39 AM Comments (0)

Socceroo striker Mark Viduka is to remain in Melbourne with his ill father and will miss Leeds United's match against Southampton on Saturday.

Leeds manager Eddie Gray told Viduka it was more important to stay with his father Joe than worry about returning to help Leeds out of the relegation mire.

He told Viduka to make his own decision on when to return to England.

When he does, he is expected to go back to Elland Road, despite speculation the financially crippled club will have to sell the STG3 million ($A7.11 million)-rated striker.

Gray said Leeds had received no bids for Viduka during the current month-long transfer period which closes on January 31.

But a Leeds source said the club was reluctant to part with the powerful goal scorer anyway because it would have no control over where any proceeds went under a deal struck by former chairman Peter Ridsdale.

Player-leasing agent Registered European Football Finance Ltd is owed STG21 million ($A50 million) by Leeds after providing the cash for Ridsdale's spending spree, which included buying Viduka from Scottish club Celtic for STG6 million ($A14.23 million) in July 2000.

Any money made from selling Viduka would go directly to the leasing company.

Leeds has until Monday to find a buyer or major backer or faces going into administration with debts of STG82 million ($A194 million).

Four successive losses have sent the club to second last on the premiership table and scared off potential buyers who are reluctant to invest in a club destined for first division.

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