Exits paved way for Star strikers

BLUES chief executive Simon Clegg has revealed that star strikers Daryl Murphy and David Healy would not be at the club if Alex Bruce and Jon Stead had not been loaned out.

Elvin King

BLUES chief executive Simon Clegg has revealed that star strikers Daryl Murphy and David Healy would not be at the club if Alex Bruce and Jon Stead had not been loaned out.

Clegg, who has organised the release from his contract of Welsh international defender Ben Thatcher, says that club owner Marcus Evans has still not decided what finances will be available in the summer to strengthen manager Roy Keane's squad.

Clegg will be leading player contract negotiations when the transfer window opens again in the summer.

“I am in regular contact with Marcus but he is increasingly allowing me to run the business,” said Clegg.

“He wants me to lead player negotiations and we are delighted with the impact that Daryl Murphy and David Healy have already made.

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“But when you are talking about players who are on Premier League wages with their parent club it needed Alex Bruce and Jon Stead to go out to allow us to bring the strikers in from Sunderland.

“Roy Keane has been realistic with his expectations in the transfer and loan market and if Marcus sees a player who can come in and help the club get to the Premier League he will look at it seriously.

“There has been no discussion yet on a budget for the summer.”

Thatcher has not played a first team match since, was under contract until June.

Clegg said: “We thank Ben for his contribution and I'm sure he'll be fixed up with another club next season.”

And reflecting on Ipswich Town's financial position at a time when Portsmouth have gone into administration, Clegg went on: “No one would forgive me if Ipswich Town fell back into serious money troubles again.

“I have a responsibility to keep a strong fiscal control.

“Portsmouth's problems are a sad day for football, but hopefully through the pain football will come out the other end in a stronger position.”