Ambrose gone for good

IPSWICH Town have been dealt another devastating blow after being told Darren Ambrose will not be allowed to stay and play for them for the rest of the season.

IPSWICH Town have been dealt another devastating blow after being told Darren Ambrose will not be allowed to stay and play for them for the rest of the season, writes Derek Davis.

Contractual problems forced the two clubs to abandon ideas that he would help in the remaining seven games of Town's play-off push.

After picking up the 19-year-old for a bargain price of less than £2m, The Magpies were initially happy to allow him to return on loan and Ipswich were prepared, and able, to carry on paying his current salary.

But the Premier-ship giants, who posted record six-monthly profits on Monday, insisted that Ipswich should pay in full the player's new improved salary.


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Blues chairman David Sheepshanks said last night: "We were not able to agree to that and Newcastle United were not prepared to agree a compromise.

"It was disappointing having to do this transfer in the first place but it is doubly frustrating that we were not able to bring Darren back.

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"We were prepared, and able to carry on paying his current salary until the end of the season."

There were also worries that the Football League or the Premier League may have concerns about a player being loaned back to a club in administration, even though Town are deemed a club in distress.

In the end they were not asked to take the unprecedented step. Football League spokesman John Nagle last night confirmed: "We were not asked to make a decision on the matter."

Although Ambrose, who agreed a five-year contract, will be eligible to play for Newcastle in their Premiership match with Everton on Sunday, April 6, it is unlikely he will be thrust into action straight away. The Magpies are allowed to play him and if he were to get on he would be the first player to play after being bought during the 'closed' transfer window as he has come from a 'club in distress' – unless Hermann Hreidarsson beats him to it at Charlton.

Ambrose is enjoying his first full senior season after making his debut against Arsenal last season in the Premiership and may have benefited from a little more time developing at Ipswich.

The 19-year-old from Harlow, who has recently bought a house on the outskirts of Ipswich, will now move to Tyneside later today.

While saying his farewells at the Town training centre yesterday afternoon, Ambrose told me: "I would have loved to have stayed but that is not going to happen. I have had a brilliant time here and can't thank the supporters enough for the way they have been with me.

"I'm now going to a huge club who I'm sure will be playing Champions' League football next year, so it is a wonderful opportunity.

"I'm extremely excited but I have to admit I'm also a bit scared about the whole thing."

The impressive youngster, with 11 goals to his name this season and leading in assists at the club, has already won his first England Under-21 cap and is bound to follow in the footsteps of Titus Bramble and Kieron Dyer in winning further international honours.

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