York City manager Alan Little today hit back at flak from fans over the transfer of winger Paul Stephenson, writes Stuart Martel.

The City boss revealed that Stephenson earned £50,000 a year at Bootham Crescent but his contract was up and the player wanted to leave.

Said Little: "Paul Stephenson earned £50,000 a year at this club for three years. We took Paul very cheaply because he was on a big salary of £50,000. His contract was up and he wanted to leave the club. We have speculated on Paul Stephenson's wages.

"We cannot see us paying those wages for another two years. Why should we take criticism, it is part of football today.

"I do not know what Hartlepool are paying him."

"I am not going to take flak over Paul Stephenson. I did not want to lose Paul, I thought he was a great player. But his time was up and he wanted to leave.

"People have got to realise what Paul earned at this club. We pay damn good wages here and it is about time those players realise they earn good money."

He also reacted angrily to suggestions there was disharmony at the club. "This club and this team of players are totally together," he said.

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