Town stars left fuming over chief executive ‘players will not hold club to ransom’ comments
IPSWICH Town players went into Saturday’s Championship game at Bristol City ‘fuming’ over comments made by club chief executive Simon Clegg.
BLUES players went into Saturday’s Championship game at Bristol City ‘fuming’ over comments made by club chief executive Simon Clegg.
The man, who fronts Town for reclusive owner Marcus Evans, said that the club would not be held to ransom by wage demands made by members of manager Paul Jewell’s squad, who are currently in the throes of discussing the offers of new contracts.
“The manager is clear in his own mind who he wants to keep and how much he wants to pay. If it goes beyond that he won’t pay,” said Clegg.
A source close to the Portman Road club said today: “The players were left fuming after reading that.
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“The club has done little to get contract talks moving for months, and the players have been patiently waiting.
“Money is not the main factor and they are not asking for the earth.
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“Lesser professionals in similar situations would have feigned an injury or two by now to ensure they were fit to take on a challenge with a new club next season.
“But there has been none of that. Players are keen to stay and they have families that are keen to stay.”
It is believed that there is relief within the camp that manager Paul Jewell has now increased his involvement in contract negotiations - with Damien Delaney set to sign his new deal early this week.
Other senior players offered deals are Gareth McAuley, Colin Healy, Brian Murphy and Arran Lee-Barrett, with skipper David Norris still in negotiations and understood to be happy to stay despite heavy overtures from Portsmouth and Wigan.
It is to the players’ credit that they put their feelings to one side and turned in a magnificently committed display in Saturday’s 1-0 win after playing with 10 men for more than an hour.
Jewell stood up for his players after the game, stressing that they are not greedy, and Town fans can expect nothing less than 100% from his men when Norwich City visit Portman Road on Thursday night.