Ipswich keeping Bullard next season has to be a long shot

JIMMY Bullard has not written off the possibility of staying at Portman Road to help Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell mount a serious Championship promotion challenge in 2011/12.

But in all honesty it has to be a long shot.

Bullard was a key member of Jewell’s Wigan side that won a place in the Premier League in 2004/05 after just pipping the Blues for an automatic promotion place.

The extent of Bullard’s wages was a big talking point when he moved to Ipswich on loan from his parent club Hull City last month.

Hull said Ipswich were paying around half of his reported �42,000 a week wages while Town were putting the figure at nearer �10,000.

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With his contract at the KC Stadium having until June 2013 to run, the midfielder is hardly at the age of 32 going to jeopardise his final playing pay days.

So for Bullard to remain at Ipswich next year it would mean Hull continuing to pay the bulk of his salary.

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A proved player of Premier League, Bullard can help lift Town up the table in the remaining weeks of this season starting with three points against Portsmouth at Portman Road today (kick-off 3pm).

But whether he will be here next August as much as he may want to be the figures do not add up.

“Come the end of the season, I should be able to give a positive answer to what might be happening next season,” said Bullard.

“But I hope finance does not prove to be a big stumbling block.

“Finance is not everything that I am about. Football is my main prerogative.

“I’m enjoying my time here, but at the same time I have a lot of respect for Hull.

“I’ve got two-and-a-half years left on my contract and I respect that contract. I have some great mates at Hull.”

And reflecting on the reasons for his first ever loan move Bullard, who was called into the England squad without winning any caps three seasons ago, said:

“I came here with an open mind; a chance to play football.

“I spoke to Hull executive Adam Pearson and I think it was best for both parties.

“It meant that I played some football, and financially I felt it would help to get the books straight.

“I was thinking ‘Hold up, I’ve got to try and play some football’ when the next day I had a call from an agent and the day after that I had a call from Paul Jewell.”

Bullard has no regrets at all about his move to Portman Road, adding: “It’s been brilliant, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

“The boys have been fantastic and I feel like I have been here a long time, although it’s only been about three weeks ago.”

Bullard has revealed that his family have become staunch Ipswich supporters over the last few weeks explaining:

“They come from the East End are all Ipswich fans now. It was a long way for them to go to Hull every week, but it’s now an hour and a half down the A12 for my Dad and he loves it.

“He’s smothered in blue! He loves Ipswich.

“I’m staying at my parents sometimes, but also at a hotel.”

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