‘Mel sold me to win over the fans’

Jonathan Pereira has hit out Real Betis Coach Pepe Mel for loaning him out to Villarreal so as to make the player ‘the fall guy’.

In an episode at training after Betis’ 5-1 defeat to Sevilla in the derby, Pereira [pictured, centre] was reported as having argued with fans who were criticising the team.

The striker, who came on midway through the first half of that game, has not appeared for the first team since and this week completed a loan move to Villarreal until the end of the season.

“In the present circumstances of the club and the player, this is the best deal to meet the interest of all parties,” read the club’s statement in confirming the 25-year-old’s transfer.

For Pereira, the reason he is out of the club is Mel’s reaction to seeing him confront those supporters in training.

“[Mel] decided to sell me as the bad guy and to win some applause back from the fans. Rather than downplay the issue, he has preferred to sell a player,” critised Pereira to reporters as his presentation.

“Leaving at this time, I still only have nice memories [of the club and its fans]. It has been very difficult, I have had a bad moment and it is as shame because I did not expect it.

“I did not expect this, I did not look for this way out either, but like I said, there are images you see of a Coach who wants to look like he is in control, instead of supporting his players.

“I think it is something that is very ugly for his part. He who sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind.”

Tags Jonathan Pereira Mel