Bailey move spurred by racism


February 10, 2017
Dejected Leverkusen players Charles Aranguiz (left), Stefan Kiessling (centre), Leon Bailey (second right) and Omer Toprak (right) stand on the pitch after the Bundesliga match between Hamburger SV and Bayer Leverkusen at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, Germany, Friday, February 3.

Craig Butler says his client, Leon Bailey, moved away from Belgian club Genk to German Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen because they felt the falling out between both parties was irreparable.

The rift is alleged to have been caused by, among other things, racism.

Butler accused some Genk fans of racism when they criticised Bailey for his sending-off in a 6-0 loss to KV Oostende in November.

Butler said Genk did not do enough to protect Bailey.

"Unfortunately, this incident did happen, and Genk did not protect my son and there was no immediate action [by the club], aimed at ensuring the guilty parties were removed from future games," he said.

"I defended Leon in the media and on Facebook, and did my best to support him in our home; however, there may be a few that were racially and verbally abusive and threw beer at Leon, but for the most part, there were good fans at Genk."

Bailey also missed Genk training on a number of occasions in order to seal the Bayer transfer.

Butler also took issue with the fact that his son, Kyle, was not placed in Genk's first team as the older Butler was hoping and he also allegedly threatened Genk with a loophole in Kyle's contract allowing him to leave for Ajax Amsterdam by paying out the remainder of his salary.

The younger Butler has since transferred to KVC Westerlo, also in the Belgian first division.

Butler said that both his clients were not happy at Genk and said that they're in better places now.

"Leon left the club because we agreed to leave Genk a year before the next step," he said. "We gave them a year and a half. It was time for the next step in his and Kyle's progression."

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