Leicester won't stand in McAuley's way

LEICESTER City will not stand in the way of Gareth McAuley if he wanted to join Ipswich Town.The Foxes chief executive Paul Aldridge admitted relegation will be a financial blow to the club and while players' contracts have clauses in them meaning they will be paid less the club could struggle to keep some of its stars.

Derek Davis

LEICESTER City will not stand in the way of Gareth McAuley if he wanted to join Ipswich Town.

The Foxes chief executive Paul Aldridge admitted relegation will be a financial blow to the club and while players' contracts have clauses in them meaning they will be paid less the club could struggle to keep some of its stars.

It is understood McAuley, who signed anew deal in January when Ipswich made a bid for him, has a clause in his contract allowing him to talk to clubs now that city have dropped into league One.

Aldridge said: “It will be a process over the summer because the players have contracts. What the club might like to do is not always what happens.

“Clearly we have good players who are desirable. Until we sit and talk to the players and their agents, I don't know what their desire is. If a player really has his heart set on going then it's difficult, but that's not to say we have had that.”

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Aldridge said: “We are a football club and we have never been in this division. That's the biggest blow and throwing a cheque at that won't make it go away.

“It's a financial blow, no doubt about it, but it's not the catastrophic one of falling out of the Premier League. It's a big blow but we do have incomes and we do have a reduction in our costs.

“From a sporting perspective, for our dream and goal to get back into the Premier League, it's a big dent in it. It's more of a sporting blow than a financial one.

“The majority of players have got a contract where all basics and bonuses are reduced in the lower division. The overall amount for the same number of players will be less in this division than the Championship.”

He added: “The rest of the club is something we have to look at. We would have looked at it anyway, as any business would. Clearly we have to look at it from a slightly different perspective.”

City's relegation is likely to see players attracting attention from other clubs. Richard Stearman and Joe Mattock have both been linked with Premier League moves in the past.

Aldridge said any decision on manager Ian Holloway's future would wait until Mandaric returns to the country.

Aldridge said: “You don't make quick decisions after something like this. We need to reflect, calm down and when we come back make good decisions. (Holloway) is bitterly disappointed. He is slightly more upbeat but he is still very disappointed.”