Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre has labelled Dave Whelan a "comedian" after the Wigan Athletic chairman's quotes during the Reds' search for a new manager.
Ayre felt Whelan's conduct was "disappointing" and "unprofessional" whilst the Reds spoke to Wigan boss Roberto Martinez as they sought to recruit Kenny Dalglish's successor.
Brendan Rodgers was instead appointed by the Fenway Sports Group, owners of the Merseyside club, but Ayre is angered by 75-year-old Whelan's behaviour.
“From our point of view, we did all the right things. We approached the clubs we needed to approach, and conducted ourselves properly at all times," Ayre told the Liverpool Echo.
“It is disappointing, then, that Dave Whelan felt the need to run the kind of sideshow he conducted via Sky Sports News and various other media outlets.
“To be honest, I always thought John Bishop was the biggest comedian in the north west, but Dave Whelan seems to have taken that mantle over the last couple of weeks!”
Whelan regularly appeared on Sky Sports News offering tidbits and insight into the discussions between 38-year-old Martinez and John W Henry, and even claimed the Anfield club had made Martinez an offer. Something which Ayre claims is incorrect.
“That is patently not true,” he said. “It is important to understand that we ran a proper search to find a new manager, and that part of that involved us speaking to a number of candidates.
“We make no secret of the fact we spoke with Roberto Martinez, but that is all we did. He is a great guy, and I can’t speak highly enough of his professionalism and conduct.
“But for his chairman to make suggestions like he has, and suggestions that just aren’t true, well it is disappointing to say the least. We can say with absolute certainty that the only person who was made any offer by Liverpool Football Club is Brendan Rodgers.”
Ironically, Whelan was unavailable for comment.