The Professional Footballers’ Association have vowed to defend Morten Gamst Pedersen after comments made by Blackburn Rovers’ global advisor Shebby Singh.
Singh recently said that the Norwegian midfielder was ‘not contributing to the team’ and had ‘lost his legs’ – comments which have irked the PFA.
The players’ association released a statement today saying that the public criticism of such a key senior player is simply not on and have made it clear that they will continue to defend the player.
"The PFA have been in discussions with the players at Blackburn Rovers in relation to the recent comments made by Shebby Singh," read a statement on the organisation's official website.
"We share their considerable disappointment that anyone connected to Blackburn Rovers would make such disrespectful comments about a player like Morten Gamst Pedersen. The feeling within the squad is that as a group of players they support each other but particularly someone like Morten who is so respected within the club and indeed the game.
"Personal criticism of this nature is never acceptable and the players are shocked that someone from within their club has seen fit to make such comments. Whilst accepting that anyone can have an opinion on football, someone in such a position of responsibility should be more mindful of the comments he makes particularly when you consider what a valuable member of the team Morten is and the great contribution he has made and continues to make to Blackburn Rovers and Norway.
"Any comments that are made should be based on fact, and it is our understanding that the club's statistics on prozone over the last season completely disproves any such uninformed views. He should be mindful of bringing the game and the club into disrepute and being completely disrespectful to a player who has served Blackburn Rovers with distinction during his eight year career representing the club in 260 matches and scoring 34 goals.
"The situation has not been helped by the subsequent apology which didn't seem to retract the comments, rather Mr Singh simply implied he was 'too honest for his own good'.
"The PFA are very concerned about this situation and naturally we are fully supportive of Morten and the other players at Blackburn Rovers."