Jamaica international and rising Bayer Leverkusen star Leon Bailey has signed with UK-based sports agency Unique Sports Management (USM) who has in turn partnered with local-based Phoenix Sports Management (PSM), which is managed by his adoptive father Craig Butler.

Under the arrangement, Bailey seems set to continue being managed by Butler.  On one hand, the move could give the red-hot winger an inside track to fulfilling his dream of playing in the English Premier League, and on the other, it is hoped that it could also open doors for other players currently managed by Butler’s PSM.

USM currently has the likes of Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Chelsea's Reece James, West Ham talisman Michail Antonio and Newcastle's star striker Callum Wilson listed among its clientele.

Bailey has been in red-hot form for the German club this season, in total scoring 9 goals and providing 6 assists in 18 matches.  As such, the player is back on the radar of several major clubs, including quite a few in England.

Ahead of the January transfer window, however, USM agent Mike Appiason has indicated that the player is very likely to stay put.

“Leon is a fantastic player with an even better story.  He is having a fantastic season so far as are Leverkusen. No doubt he will have many takers but for now, his focus remains solely on helping Leverkusen finish the season as strongly as possible,” Appiason told SportsMail.

For his part, Butler was pleased with the move, which he hailed as a step in the right direction for both Bailey and USM.

“Collaborations are the order of the day to maximise opportunities. Having an honest, hardworking, and experienced team in England is key to our long-term plan for Leon and the plethora of super-talented players we have coming through the Phoenix All Stars Football Academy from all over the Caribbean so we chose to partner with Mike and his team at USM,” Butler said.

Sophia Smith Butler, a woman believed to be the mother of Jamaican football player Kyle Butler is standing behind her son, who earlier this week accused his father of physically abusing him.

“I stand with my son and support him 100 per cent in the statements he has made. The days of slavery are done and over,” the mother posted on Facebook this morning in what is the latest twist to the developments that began days ago when the 22-year-old Butler posted disturbing pictures of what he said were injuries suffered at the hands of his father, football agent and coach Craig Butler.

“I’ve had enough of this abuse and it’s time u understand,” Kyle posted on social media Monday while revealing wounds he said he said he suffered during an attack while training at Mona High School.

Later that evening he posted again. “My mother has been abused mentally and physically by this man for several years. “I really don’t want to put this out in the media but you should all know the pain and the abuse that I’ve been enduring since I was 9 years-old….that my mother has been enduring”.

The elder Butler has since denied those claims in a statement released to the media on Tuesday.

“Let me categorically state that I have not been abusive to my son on that date or any other date. I have encouraged him and helped him to achieve his full potential. I have worked hard to create opportunities for my son of which he enjoyed for years,” Butler said in a statement.

However, in an interview on Nationwide Radio on Tuesday, Kyle backed up his statements and provided detail on the physical abuse he said his father inflicted on him. Those claims have now been given additional credence by the mother, who said the family and her boys have suffered long enough.

“People owning other people are done and over. Our creator does not even force us to worship him, he gives us free will,” she wrote.

“Yet mere creatures of dust believe they should demand people to bow at their feet and be subjected to abuse, robbing them of their human rights and dignity. When you take that, what is left? The damage that one narcissistic personality can do to the lives of others is literally unimaginable.”

She invited any friend on friends list who is a talented writer to reach out to her to inbox her, as she seeks to put her experiences into a book she intends to publish.

 

Jamaica U-23 representative, Kyle Butler, has maintained he is not surprised by his father Craig Butler’s denial of the alleged altercation between the two, which left him with a lacerated arm.

Now deleted photos of the 22-year-old posted to social media earlier this week, showed an injury that he claimed was meted out to him by an unnamed abuser.  He, however, later revealed that the injury occurred after a fight with his father and the Phoenix All-Star Academy owner following his refusal to attend a training session.  The younger Butler claims the injury was sustained after his father threw a knife at him.

The senior Butler has denied any claims of abuse and earlier stated Kyle had sustained the injury after falling on a stick, while at training.  In a subsequent press release he admitted things had become strained between himself and his son, but again denied allegations of abuse.

’I’m responding in this way of my son Kyle Butler allegations of my being physically abusive on the evening of November 30, 2020. My heart goes out to my son as he battles with some major issues and now these unfounded allegations.

“Let me categorically state that I have not been abusive to my son on that date or any other date. I have encouraged him and helped him to achieve his full potential. I have worked hard to create opportunities for my son of which he enjoyed for years.  There was no complains then.

“I’m cognizant of the many issues Kyle has gotten him self in and things that my profession and principles would never allow me to be a part of.  This has created a major problem in our relationship as I have stated that this is not the path any parent would hope for their child.  I am hoping that he will find his way and recognize that his family loves him and want only what is best for him,” Butler’s release, partially read.

While insisting he was somewhat disappointed by his father’s denial of the incident, the younger Butler held that it fit the pattern of being another string in an unsettling, tightly woven yarn of abuse.  In his mind, it is part and parcel of a destructive personality trait.

“That’s what he did with my mother too.  Every time he would abuse my mother he would run to the police and file a report quick, but that’s fine I have the medical reports and everything,” Butler said in an interview with Nationwide Radio.

The player also took the time out to reveal that he was not seriously injured and was recovering with the rest of his family.

“I’m fine.  I’m with my family, me my mother and my sister.  I’m in a little pain, I’m really disappointed.  I’m really hurt that he is trying to go out of his way to lie to make himself look like he is the victim when he is the culprit but that is what you deal with when you have narcissistic people.”

 

 

Jamaica U-23 representative, Kyle Butler, has revealed more details of the alleged incident between himself and father/manager Craig Butler, which led to the wounds seen on his arms in widely circulated social media photos.

According to the younger Butler, who lashed out on Tuesday amidst claims of having suffered years of abuse, the incident happened after he had refused to take part in a training session.  The senior Butler, who has denied the allegations, initially claimed that the injuries seen were suffered after his son 'fell on a stick'.  Kyle, however, disputed that version of events.

“All I said was that I was not going to train.  So, I went into the car, took out my shoes, and said I was walking home because he said to leave the jeep.  While I was walking he asked me, ‘If I feel like is suh it ago guh.’ He grabbed me by my hair, punched me in my mouth, punched me in the back of my head,” Butler said in an interview with Nationwide Radio.

He went on to claim that when the altercation was broken up, his father went to his van took out a knife, and threw it at him while he was leaving the premises.  The player attempted to dodge the object, but it still caught him on the arm.

“The knife could have hit me anywhere else.  I have no reason to lie, I have no reason to attack this guy.  Why would I fall on a knife at training, why would I fall on something so sharp that it goes through my flesh, at a football field, tell me, how does that make sense?’

In a released statement, the senior Butler continued to claim the allegations were unfounded and that his son had been battling ‘major issues.’

I’m responding in this way of my son Kyle Butler allegations of my being physically abusive on the evening of November 30, 2020. My heart goes out to my son as he battles with some major issues and now these unfounded allegations.

“Let me categorically state that I have not been abusive to my son on that date or any other date. I have encouraged him and helped him to achieve his full potential. I have worked hard to create opportunities for my son of which he enjoyed for years.  There was no complains then.

“I’m cognizant of the many issues Kyle has gotten him self in and things that my profession and principles would never allow me to be a part of.  This has created a major problem in our relationship as I have stated that this is not the path any parent would hope for their child.  I am hoping that he will find his way and recognize that his family loves him amd want only what is best for him.

I hope my son will get the chance to show how talented he is and believe in himself as I have always believed in him.  I only ask that the public allows us the privacy to work through this matter,” Butler’s statement read.

 

 

The agent of Bayer Leverkusen star, Leon Bailey, has reacted angrily to statements made by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) in response to comments made by his player on Instagram.

Earlier this week, JFF president, Michael Ricketts, and his general secretary, Dalton Wint, indicated anger at comments the player made suggesting the organization would be at fault if the Reggae Boyz were not at the next World Cup in Qatar.

The JFF was also displeased with Bailey’s criticism of Reggae Boyz coach, Theodore Whitmore.

Bailey had suggested that Whitmore’s squad rotation policy was counterproductive and didn’t engender the building of chemistry among players.

According to Butler, Bailey’s comments were made to a friend talking to him about his life, suggesting that the player was free to have an opinion in his private capacity.

Both Wint and Ricketts had suggested that there were contractual obligations that the player had that would make his comments out of order but Butler has refuted this as well, saying while Bailey has been playing for Jamaica, there is no contract between him and the JFF.

Wint had said he would be issuing a cease and desist order on the player in a bid to show the JFF would not be tolerating that kind of behaviour but Butler has said the organization has no legal standing to issue such an order given that the two entities have no contract.

“We as the management of Leon Bailey had sought a contractual agreement with the Jamaica Football Federation with the player. In this way, the player would be entitled to know what is and is not expected or allowed by the JFF and our client would be also aware of what to expect as compensation for his services.

“To date, our client has not been provided a contract to agree or not agree to,” read a statement from Phoenix Sports Management on Butler’s Facebook page.

“Article 3 of the Fifa statutes address the right to freedom of speech and also the responsibility of officials to ensure that freedom of speech and expression is not compromised,” read the statement.

Butler also went on to say Bailey’s statements were right on the money with the JFF being directly responsible for the success or failure of its senior unit given that it was in charge of team selection.

“He [Bailey] lay the responsibility for success or failure directly at the feet of those ultimately responsible for selection, team management and business negotiations. The Jamaica Football Federation

There can be no Authority without Responsibility,” the statement read.

“Nothing in Bailey's verbiage was libellous or inaccurate,” it went on.

Butler went on to speak about player compensation, placing the blame, at least in part, for an injury Bailey suffered because of the lack of payment.

“Our client has had to pay his own airfare to games. Our client suffered a hamstring injury which was clearly contributed to by having to fly 13 hours with several stops in economy and then asked to train the very next day,” Butler’s statement read.

According to Bailey’s management team, issues like the one mentioned in the statement are just some of the facts Bailey could have revealed but chose not to, even though it is his right.

“Our client has to date not been compensated even one penny by the JFF after promising to pay the players after the last game. Our client had not exposed this to the public or that this was an across the board situation of mismanagement by the JFF.

Our client could have said many things yet he decided against doing anything other than put things in true perspective.”

According to Phoenix Management, Bailey has spoken out about poor treatment in his capacity as a club player but faced no sanctions by the club because it was seen as his right. The same, he said, has been true of others in the JFF hierarchy, who have faced no sanctions.

“Carvel Stewart president of HARBOUR VIEW FC RECENTLY made some scathing remarks regarding the JFF and its leadership and protocols. Yet we haven’t heard of any sanctioning of this a JFF board member in a leadership capacity,” read the statement.

According to Phoenix management, Bailey’s statements are correct and it stands behind them.

But the management team went even further, suggesting Bailey would stop playing for the national team if it were proven that any of his statements were untrue.

“Should it be in the best interest of football, Leon has no problems taking time off international football if his countrymen and teammates believe his statements are untrue.

He has to travel long distances to come back to Jamaica from Europe to train and perform for his country. If the country does not want him, then we will consider our options for him during international breaks to be to work on his attributes and skills.”

Cassava Piece, Grant’s Pen, Commons, and Stony Hill are some of the first communities in Jamaica to begin benefitting from the Leon Bailey Foundation.

Leon Bailey and his manager Craig Butler, through his Phoenix Academy, had announced recently, a partnership to help alleviate the inevitable hardships that would come to especially poorer communities amid economic downturn, a symptom of the spread of COVID-19.

According to reports, more than 100 people from the communities benefited from the foundation’s gift of groceries.  

“We see the needs of our people and will do our best to help where it counts most,” said Bailey, a Jamaican winger, who plies his trade for Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga.

Before the spread of COVID-19 shut down football the world over, Bailey had been rumoured to have, not for the first time in his fledgeling career, been the target of English Premier League clubs. Chelsea FC have been banded about as frontrunners for the star’s signature after it was said the club had been preparing an £85 million bid.

However, there is also interest inside of Germany with Bayern Munich said to be on the lookout.

While there is no football and obviously no transfer business, Bailey has found a way to give back.

According to a report in the Jamaica Observer, recipients of groceries would be receiving every two weeks.

The package of groceries includes flour, rice, corned beef, salt fish, baked beans, sausages, condensed milk, cooking oil, and toiletries.

“We want to help as best as we can and are giving out packages each day, so they can at least cook food and be okay for the day, and tomorrow we come again,” said Butler, who is in Jamaica while Bailey remains in Germany.

In a video message, Bailey implored other sports stars and those who have the means to, to join in his campaign to help fight the spread of the Coronavirus.

“Anyone who wants to help the movement and play a part can reach out, and together we can overcome this obstacle. So, please, guys, be safe, stay strong and look forward to better days. Keep our fingers crossed and believe in God,” he said.

The foundation is a partnership among Bailey, the Phoenix Academy and Empire Entertainment.

Bayer Leverkusen and Reggae Boyz player, Leon Bailey, could become the most expensive transfer in the country’s history if the rumours that Chelsea are preparing an £85 million transfer bid.

The 22-year-old, who has been on and off the radar of English teams over the last two years, scored a wonder goal for Leverkusen against Rangers in the Europa League recently, reminding many of his talent.

Bailey had been on the radar of other top-flight English clubs like Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United but after his March 12 strike, Chelsea became favourites to land the player’s signature.

Bailey still has three years left on his contract.

The winger has only had four appearances for the Reggae Boyz following protracted negotiations with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), but has 105 with Leverkusen, notching 24 goals.

His performances for Leverkusen have also created interest from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, a move that would be agreeable for his agent and father Craig Butler.

However, Leverkusen are not likely to entertain selling to a rival.

Jamaica international and rising Bundesliga star Leon Bailey has been cautioned about his poor disciplinary record so far this season by his agent and guardian Craig Butler.

The 22-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger has received two red cards in five appearances so far.  The dismissals, which came against FC Koln and Borussia Mönchengladbach were the first of his career. 

The player’s latest infringement, which occurred against Koln, was pushing his hand into the face of Kingsley Ehzibue.  Bailey has, as a result, been suspended for three Bundesliga games and handed a fine of €20,000. Butler has insisted the player’s recent trend is one that cannot continue.

"Of course, I talked to Leon about his red cards again,” Butler told Bild.

"Leon has to understand that defenders want to stop and provoke fast players,” he added.

“I told him that I would not come back to the stadium if it happened to him again.  It will be interesting to see whether this threat actually bears fruit.”

Bailey, who has scored three goals and claimed one man-of-the-match award so far this season, will miss the start of the second half of the season against Paderborn in two weeks time.

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