In a lengthy rebuttal to Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward's claims of unfairness, bassist Geezer Butler took the iconic band's website this week to lambast his former bandmate for airing the group's dirty laundry in public. “I feel sad to see the Sabbath reunion becoming a bit of a soap opera on the internet," the statement begins. "It has been a very tough year for us as a band: having announced our reunion plans, only for Tony to be diagnosed with lymphoma, leaving us no choice but to postpone the proposed Sabbath tour; and then for Bill to go public on his site about an un-signable contract." According to Ward, he was offered an "un-signable" contract to play a few upcoming shows with the band for free and "see how it goes." “None of us knew how Tony was going to respond to his intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy," Butler's statement continues. "Ozzy and myself flew to England to be with Tony, and on his ‘good’ days, we’d meet at his home studio and put ideas together for the upcoming album, all sitting down together, no drummer involved, just three of us quietly putting together ideas. We thought when we had enough songs together for a full band rehearsal, we’d move back to LA and put the whole thing together with Bill. “To our surprise, Bill issued a statement on his site saying he’d been offered an un-signable contract. He hadn’t told any one of us he was having contractual problems, and frankly those things are worked out between our representatives, and never between the four of us – let alone in public.” The group recently took the uncharacteristic step of cropping the images on their web site to remove Ward, an action that many fans have found unsettling. “I do hope to play with Bill again some day. For whatever reason it wasn’t meant to be this time. Bill’s made his decision and I have to respect that."