Jason Scotland set to accept pay cut to stay at Ipswich Town
JASON Scotland is set to accept a pay cut and sign a new contract at Ipswich Town.
Blues boss Paul Jewell reluctantly admitted earlier this week that the club ‘could not afford’ to trigger a clause in the striker’s contract.
The Trinidadian’s current deal states that if he starts 19 league games this season then he would automatically get another year on the same money.
Town are looking to reduce their wage bill ahead of impending new Financial Fair Play rules though.
And that meant Jewell was reluctant to give the 33-year-old – one of the club’s higher earners at present – the two more starts he required.
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Instead, keen to keep the front man at the club following an impressive campaign, he kick-started negotiations over a new, reduced terms, deal.
And the Blues boss is hopeful that Scotland – fit again following a recent abductor injury – will put pen-to-paper next week.
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“He’s spoken with the owner (Marcus Evans) this week and I believe there has been progress,” said Jewell.
“I’ve always said to Jason that I don’t want to get into a messy situation where I can’t trigger that clause, but we have to do what’s right for the club. I’ve always been open and frank about that, both publicly and with Jason.
“Hopefully he’ll agree to the new terms and we can carry on because he’s been terrific for us.
“We missed him last week at Watford because he can change games from the bench, as well as being able to help us from the start. He’s definitely going to have a role to play Jason.”
Scotland’s fellow Trinidadian team mate Carlos Edwards finally signed a new one-year deal yesterday, as expected, but midfielder Grant Leadbitter is among those nearing a potential Bosman free departure.
“I spoke to Grant yesterday, but it was more of a football conversation really,” said Jewell.
“Before we started any financial talks I just wanted to hear what he had to say about the football side of it. If he’d have said ‘I’ve been here three years now and I think I need a change’ then we wouldn’t have gone down the route of making offers.
“I just wanted to find out what he was thinking and he’s told me what I was keen to hear him say. He says he enjoys it here and wants to stay.
“For different reasons it hasn’t quite happened for him here at times and I think he has been frustrated because he knows he can be a really good player.
“Over the last six games he has been terrific for us and he looks a different player to me at the moment – he looks like he’s got goals in him.
“Confidence spreads like wildfire throughout the team and 100% that’s helped him. He’s now playing in a team that expects to win football matches and that makes a big difference.”
Leadbitter rejected the offer of a new deal earlier in the season and is now likely to be offered reduced terms like many out-of-contract players will be in these tough economic times.
“The players won’t be offered buttons, but they will have to be realistic,” said Jewell.
– See today’s EADT for full preview of Ipswich v Barnsley.