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04th Dec 2014

Brad Friedel demands apology from Tim Howard over autobiography claims

There won't be much hugging the next time these two come face to face

Neil Treacy

It’s all kicking off between the American goalkeepers.

Brad Friedel has hit back strongly against Tom Howard’s claims that he actively tried to block his move to Manchester United in 2003.

The Everton keeper claimed in his upcoming autobiography, “The Keeper”, that he had sought a recommendation from Friedel for his work-permit application before joining United, and that his countryman refused to sign off on it, and also claimed that Friedel actively tried to prevent him moving to the Premier League.

Howard wrote: “Man U told us that Friedel had refused to submit a statement on my behalf.

“Friedel was among what was then a handful of American players in the Premier League; his influence was huge. Having himself been denied several times, he understood better than anyone exactly what was at stake. Why wouldn’t he vouch for me?

And Howard then went further, by claiming that Friedel “hadn’t merely refused to sign a statement on my behalf, he had actively tried to block my transfer. He’d written to the appeals committee suggesting that I shouldn’t be given a work permit at all.”

Everton v Swansea City - Premier League

But Friedel has called those claims “nonsense”, and said that while he didn’t sign Howard’s work-permit application, he has “never done anything negative toward a U.S. player.”

Speaking to ESPN about the allegations, the Spurs keeper said: “It (the letter of recommendation) was sent to me, and the only thing that was true on it was my name. The letter was full of exaggerations that the people on the PFA [Professional Footballers’ Association] and appeals committee would have seen through.

“Yes, I refused to sign that. We got the letter and said ‘We have to change this, because this isn’t true.’ We made our changes and sent it back. They didn’t like what I was going to sign, so they didn’t use it. And that was the end of the matter. There were a lot of rumors going around that I signed or got a petition together — some nonsense like that — against Tim Howard after he got granted his work permit.

“To be honest with you, all we’re looking for is an apology. We can’t get the book reprinted. I’m not looking for monetary gain. I just want an apology.”

Someone’s talking balony, but we’re not sure who it is.

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