Carlos Edwards takes ‘big drop in wages’ to stay at Ipswich

PAUL Jewell has spoken of his delight after stand-in skipper Carlos Edwards agreed to stay at Ipswich for at least another year.

The Trindad and Tobago international this week ended any fears that he might have to move away from Suffolk to prolong his Championship season.

Jewell yesterday dropped his biggest hint yet that Edwards – a natural attacking wide-man – could be used in other positions next season after spending the whole of this campaign at right-back.

And the Town boss applauded the current captain for agreeing a new deal on reduced terms, hinting other players nearing the end of their contract might have to follow suit.

Of Edwards, Jewell said: “I know there are a lot of players out of contract this year but we are pleased to have Carlos for at least another year.

“He has played right-back for virtually all the time I have been here, but he can play a number of positions – wing back, out wide. He has been a consistent performer.

“Carlos has taken a big drop in wages and that is the way we have to run our team. The big wages are getting less and less in the Championship. People are looking at Rangers and Portsmouth and realise it could happen to them.”

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Jewell reiterated that Town’s 2011/12 campaign – which saw them flirt with the relegation zone less than two months ago – and the changing financial climate in the game has led to a repeat of last season’s contracts saga.

There are currently seven first team squad members facing the prospect of becoming free agents in the summer and the manager admitted he faces some tough decisions in the weeks ahead.

He explained: “We have already started planning for next season, that has been going on for a while.

“It is a difficult situation as a manager. I said last year that I didn’t want to be in this situation, but it has been that type of season where things have not been as we would have expected or wanted.

“I think the players understand that the football economic climate is changing out there and the money isn’t around as much as it was not so long ago.

“We will have to sit down and talk to their agents in due course. If they want to stay, we will try as we would like to keep them. But if they have better offers elsewhere, then that’s life.”

The remaining players out of contract at the end of the season are Richard Wright, Ibrahima Sonko, Tommy Smith, Lee Bowyer, Jason Scotland, Grant Leadbitter and young American keeper Cody Cropper.