SIMON CLEGG INTERVIEW: ‘I will share negotiating duties with Marcus Evans’
With the close season upon us, transfers, contracts and season tickets come to the fore. In an Star exclusive, STUART WATSON spoke to Ipswich Town chief executive Simon Clegg about the summer ahead.
“The identification of players is a matter for the manager, then it’s a case of where they fit within the finances that we’ve got available.
“There’s no particular budget, but in very broad terms Paul (Jewell) has got some understanding in terms of what monies may be available. Then it’s down to Marcus (Evans) or I to undertake the negotiations and try to make those deals happen.”
Asked what determined whether he or Evans negotiated player contracts, Clegg said: “It depends on a whole range of issues. It may depend on the quantum of what’s being discussed – at the end of the day it’s Marcus’ money. It might depend on where he is in the world. It may depend upon relations that he or I may already have with the agent. “There’s no one particular model.”
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“If Paul comes to us and says he wants Wayne Rooney I think we all recognise it’s not going to happen with the sort of budget that we’ve got, but I think he has been quite sensitive to budget.
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“We have demonstrated previously that Marcus is prepared to support him financially with some reasonably expensive signings; you look at Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (�600,000 with add ons) and Michael Chopra (�1m) last season.
“Not withstanding the dynamics of financial fair play, money will be available going forward.
“Let me just say that already, less than two week days beyond the end of the season, there are already some live issues.
“At the end of the day it’s the manager’s job that’s on the line. We’ve employed a professional manager to deliver what we want delivered for this football club. His reputation and his future employment rests on that. Therefore, we’re not a club that effectively sends our manager in to fight with one hand tied behind his back.
“I passionately believe that the manager needs to be the major driver behind the decisions as to who comes into the club, so long as we can provide him with the resources to do that. I don’t think there can be any arguments in terms of resources having been available over the last few years since Marcus joined the club.”
PAUL JEWELL’S CONTRACT
With the Blues manager now entering the final year of his two-and-a-half year contract, Clegg said: “Of course it’s something we will have to assess at some stage. Marcus and I tend not to necessarily draw lines in the sand on these issues though. You just have to see how it goes.
“We’re highly conscious of the issue. I think there’s a bit of a perception out there that the season comes to an end and all of a sudden the chief executive, owner and the manager think ‘crikey, there are contracts to deal with’. It just doesn’t happen like that.
“We’re constantly on top of these things, despite the fact that some of the fans might not think we are. We quite rightly keep our cards close to our chest though because not to do that would cause you all sorts of financial pain.
“There is a lot that goes on in the football club which, quite rightly from a business perspective, fans are not aware of. We are on top of these things and we deal with them in a timely manner as and when we have to.”
PART TWO TO FOLLOW ON MONDAY