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It's all kicking off on Twitter, Pru...


Kahnee

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According to his twitter account seems he was given 30K cash and 2 mercs when he was at Rushden and Diamonds. When they realised they weren't going to get promoted R&D demanded them back and threatened to top him if he didn't. Instead of topping him they sacked him instead and kept his registration to prevent him signing for someone else. Loads more to tell apparently, but this could all be made up by him obviously, but he doesn't seem very happy.

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Neon Lights

 

Much of Twitter's allure stems from its ability to open windows into previously unseen worlds and today Leon Knight used the social networking site to throw back the shutters on life in the Blue Square Premier League.

 

As a young, richly promising Chelsea striker Knight was mentored by Gianfranco Zola but after a decade of assorted, seemingly squandered opportunities with 13 clubs he has enlisted Twitter to rail against the collapse of a proposed move to Darlington.

 

A series of colourful tweets depict an existence in which Mercedes cars, a £3,000 Cartier watch and Marc Jacobs glasses assume immense importance for a player whose recent traverses of planet football have taken him to Greece, Scotland and, briefly, California.

 

The move to Darlington was supposed to be a re-entry into the English game after Rushden & Diamonds sacked Knight for "continuous breaches" of the club's code of conduct, in 2008. The Northamptonshire club kept his registration and made it clear they would demand £30,000 from Knight for its release were he to join another English club, so he resolved to play outside England until his contract expired this summer. Darlington duly believed they were free to sign the striker, now 28, as a free agent but Rushden & Diamonds activated a one‑year contract extension agreed when Knight joined, four months before his sacking.

 

Despite the former England youth international subsequently unleashing what he describes as "a volcano" on Twitter, the mooted deal immediately collapsed. "Rushden and Diamonds are entitled to retain his registration and are entitled to claim compensation," a Football Association spokesman confirmed today. Apparently alarmed by his client's outpourings, Darren Lewis, Knight's erstwhile agent, shut down his own Twitter account today as he tried to distance himself from the player's tweets.

 

Undeterred, Knight claimed his former employers were deliberately trying to destroy his career. "They don't want me to move. They don't like me for some reason and they are doing this out of spite. This is not about the money they want, they are doing this just to get at me," he told The Northern Echo.

 

"I've held my tongue for long enough and I've got to speak out ... I've started a volcano on Twitter. Some people wouldn't believe what goes on behind closed doors at a football club.

 

"At first I didn't want to say anything because I was worried about what might happen but now I've got nothing to lose so I might as well say how I feel. Rushden are taking the mick out of me."

 

"They are ruining my life and I won't let them get away with it. I've got two kids and a wife but they don't care. They're just trying to finish me but I won't let them. I will sit it out for the next year and hopefully I'll be back in English football next season."

 

When contacted by the Guardian today, Rushden and Diamonds refused to comment about the tweets from a forward most recently found plying his trade at the little-known Greek side Thrasivoulos Filis, undergoing a trial at California's San Jose Earthquakes and briefly turning out for Hamilton Academical.

 

If only Knight had listened to Zola's pleas that he stay behind after training at Chelsea in order to polish his technique alongside him. Instead such encouragement fell on deaf ears and a Stamford Bridge insider recalls how the Hackney‑born teenager used regularly to be seen accelerating through the club gates in his car as Zola stayed behind to hone the skills which had made him an international superstar.

 

After one first‑team appearance for Chelsea – in the Uefa Cup against Levski Sofia – Knight was loaned to QPR, the second stop in a nomadic career punctuated by frequent fall-outs with managers and fellow players.

 

"Leon's got talent but he doesn't work at it and he's also got a very big chip on his shoulder," said one of his many former managers. "He's a nightmare."

 

Knight's love of the bright lights saw him dubbed "Neon Light" by fans during a stint at Huddersfield but he enjoyed his most successful stint with Brighton between 2003 and 2006. Even there his time ultimately ended in acrimony when a spectacular row with the manager Mark McGhee saw the striker thrown off the team coach in the middle of the New Forest en route to a New Year game at Southampton.

 

At another club he was fined for breaches of discipline so frequently that directors estimated he had forfeited around five months' worth of wages.

 

Sadly such self‑destructive behaviour seems all too emblematic of a tantalisingly gifted forward who, his critics claim, has long been his own worst enemy.

 

 

Sounds like John Terry's c***ishness rubbed off

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