Date: 3rd July 2008 at 4:39pm
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Martin O’Neill has spoken on the official site and insisted only one thing is delaying Barry’s desire for a move to Liverpool.

Liverpool simply will not meet the clubs valuation of the player, and no amount of whinging will change that.

O’Neill also admitted he was resigned to losing our ‘former’ captain after Barry informed the club he wished to leave after the meeting. O’Neill knew then, Barry’s mind could not be changed.

‘We’re really disappointed that he’s not going to be with us, he’s made his mind up to go to Liverpool.

‘You can talk and you can talk and talk but the bottom-line was that when he came back from the England game in Trinidad and Tobago he told me he wanted to leave.

‘When somebody says they want to leave a football club there’s not much else you can do about it. We’d had a meeting a few weeks before that, Randy, myself, Gareth and his agent and he said that Champions League football was what he wanted to do.

‘So this idea that we have not done anything in our power to keep him, I’m afraid I totally and utterly disagree. Why on earth would we not want to keep our very top player at the football club when we’re trying to improve?’

This is pretty much what we all knew and why Barry’s endorsed wibble to the News of the World has been met with such derision. Davies, Mortimer and others can say it’s unfortunate how things have turned out, and that we should look back fondly on Gareth Barry if they want.

Fact remains in a childish moment, he tried to apply pressure to aide his move instead of remaining professional. That was his choice, his doing and taking that action, Barry soiled his reputation not only amongst the Villa faithful, but as can be seen by comments of fans from other clubs in the wider footballing community.

That will recover over time, but the disrespect shown to our club and our fans will probably never die down.

And that is a shame for a player who gave us 10 yeas good service and had remained a model professional.

He knew he could leave when Liverpool matched our valuation – if only he hadn’t authorised the NotW article Barry would, by many, be understood and loved.

O’Neill continued:

‘Gareth has made his position clear and after that it’s straightforward. We’ve put a valuation on him and Liverpool value him differently at the moment. That’s what the stalemate is, it’s nothing else.

‘Gareth has pointed out he wants to go and if Liverpool come up and meet our valuation, he will go. That has been the case since the beginning of June when Gareth said he definitely wanted to go to Liverpool.

‘We put a valuation on him and we have based this valuation on a number of straightforward issues – not least that he’s actually a top quality player.’