Aberdeen: Derek McInnes critical of Ladbrokes for exit rumours

McInnes angered by SPFL sponsor Ladbrokes

Aberdeen's Derek McInnes has criticised Scottish Professional Football League sponsor Ladbrokes for fuelling rumours he was leaving the club.

On Wednesday, Ladbrokes suspended betting on manager McInnes parting ways with the Pittodrie club.

The bookmaker was named the SPFL leading sponsor in May, in a two-year deal worth over £4m.

"For the main sponsors to be involved in instigating it, I think is disappointing," said McInnes.

"I was a bit baffled by the whole thing. You start to get calls from press guys and you soon realise it's something that's gathering a bit of momentum.

"They have a responsibility to work with the clubs, as main sponsor, and not work against clubs and managers. There have been other managers who have been put under pressure unnecessarily; the job is difficult enough.

"It isn't helpful. Any sponsor should be working alongside clubs to try and foster relationships rather than work against them."

Aberdeen had issued a statement on Wednesday to reassure fans that the rumours of McInnes's departure were "without substance or foundation".

McInnes, who was named Premiership manager of the month for September on Thursday, stressed that he is happy in the north east of Scotland.

"I'm working for a chairman who is rock solid," he said. "We've made good progression, we're sitting at the top of the league, we've got players on long term contracts and I've got my staff in that I wanted.

"This is my club and I've committed to a four-year deal."

The Dons' boss took September's award having already won the prize in August.

Aberdeen beat Celtic, Hamilton and Hearts last month before a loss to Inverness Caledonian Thistle and an October 5-1 defeat to St Johnstone.

Steven Maclean (left) scored twice when St Johnstone defeated Aberdeen 5-1
Steven Maclean (left) scored twice when St Johnstone defeated Aberdeen 5-1

"A bit surprised to get the award but they gave their reasons for it, and obviously I pick it up on behalf of everyone here," said McInnes.

"It didn't feel as good as when you get it any other time, obviously after the heavy defeat. Although it was a decent month for us, it didn't finish off the way we wanted.

Aberdeen top the league after 10 games, one point clear of Celtic.

In September, McInnes's men were also knocked out of the League Cup by Championship side Hibernian.