LATEST: Iron Maiden's manager has blasted Sharon Osbourne and the organisers of the Ozzfest for allegedly sparking the near riot that ruined the British rockers' final night on the tour.

The RUN TO THE HILLS group was pelted with debris onstage in San Bernardino, California on Sunday (21AUG05), while Osbourne followed the band's departure from the tour on Monday (22AUG05) by blasting frontman Bruce Dickinson for "berating" her husband, headline Ozzy Osbourne, and "belittling" the Ozzfest audience from the stage.

But in a statement released yesterday (23AUG05), Maiden's manager ROD SMALLWOOD has hit back at comments levelled at his group by Sharon Osbourne, insisting the Ozzfest tour was a shambles.

He fumes, "In 30 years in this business and after hundreds of gigs I have never seen anything anywhere near as disgusting and unprofessional as what went on that night (Sunday).

"The scale, viciousness and concentration of the throwing made it obvious that this was a premeditated and co-ordinated attack. Assaulting musicians while performing by throwing bottle tops, lighters and eggs at them from just a few yards away is vile, dangerous, criminal and cowardly."

The Ozzfest tour rolled into New Mexico last night (23AUG05), with Velvet Revolver filling Iron Maiden's slot on the bill.