Redskins president Edward Bennett Williams yesterday disputed George Allen's claim that the coach learned of his firing Wednesday night from his son, Greg.
"I told him Saturday he had to sign the contract we offered him by Monday." 'OK, George, our negotiations are concluded."
Did Williams believe Allen knew he was finished with the Redskins Monday?
"I would think so," Williams replied. "He asked me to write him a letter of permission for him to negotiate with other teams, which I did. And which Allen accepted."
Allen said he had taken his wife, Etty, out to dinner Wednesday night to celebrate her birthday. On returning home, he said, his son, Greg, told him he had heard about the firing on the radio.
However, it was learned that Allen was in Los Angeles, presumably checking into the Ram's coaching job.
He supposedly did not return home from California until late Wednesday night.
Williams was disturbed by a front-page story in yesterday's Washington Star in which Allen was quoted as calling Williams "devious, deceitful and a Jekyll and Hyde." Allen also called Williams a "cold fish."
"I think he reacted in anger," Williams said. "But if he felt that way, why did he want to stay?
"I don't have any ill will towards George. If I had, I wouldn't have spent four hours with him in my office Saturday trying to get him to sign the contract. I told him it was six months since we'd agreed on the contract, and he should sign. But he said he wanted to talk to his lawyer (Ed Hockstratten of Los Angeles).
"On Monday, I said, 'George, this is it.' I still couldn't sign him. He said he hadn't talked with 'Hook' yet.
"That's when I concluded there was no way I could sign George Allen while the Los Angeles job was still open. And that was three days before it was revealed what happened."
Williams also denied Allen's charge that he interfered in Allen's coaching business.
"It's not true," Williams said. "He's had carte blanche to do as he pleased with the team for seven years. The only thing I've done is sign checks."
Williams said he will move quickly to fill the two jobs of head coach and general manager. Jack Pardee, who resigned as head coach of the Chicago Bears yesterday, flew to Washington to be interviewed by Williams.