'It's the wrong structure... sheer madness' - Lambert wants change to contract approach
PUBLISHED: 11:28 03 January 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Paul Lambert believes Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans needs to change the way the club handles players' contracts.
Jonas Knudsen is the latest in a line of players to enter the final six months of their deal without agreeing new terms, with Lambert revealing the Dane ‘has his eye open for something else’ during the January transfer window.
That leaves Ipswich needing to decide whether to sell Knudsen now for a reduced fee or lose him for nothing at the end of the season. The 26-year-old is able to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club from now.
Luke Chambers admitted his own contract situation ‘messed with his head’ after he discussed terms with Nottingham Forest before having the option taken to extend his deal just hours prior to its expiry in 2017, while Cole Skuse opted to contact Evans himself earlier this year when his own deal was inside its final six months.
Lambert believes the club should make a greater effort to ensure those situations do not arise in the future, which he says will give the club greater stability within its playing staff.
“He’s entitled to do what he wants, but this should have been taken care of with 12 months to go,” Lambert said of the Knudsen situation. “It shouldn’t have gone into six months to go.
“The club has to look at that. You can’t keep letting contracts run down otherwise you keep having the same cycle where eight guys go and eight guys come in and you’re building team after team. It doesn’t work. It’s the wrong structure. That’s my opinion.
“If you keep getting loans, loans, loans, loans then you may as well throw you money in the street. It’s not normal. The club has to have a stable base form which to build.
“Maybe get one or two loans, no problem, but you can’t keep relying on ones that are not your own players.
“You can’t bring in eight or nine players one summer. That’s sheer madness.”
Along with Knudsen, who is almost certain to leave Ipswich, either in January or at the end of the season and has been the subject of interest in England, Denmark and Germany, Teddy Bishop is out of contract this summer after the Blues took the 12-month extension option last year.
Chambers, Dean Gerken, Grant Ward, Tom Adeyemi, Jordan Spence, Myles Kenlock and Luke Woolfenden are also out of contract at the end of this season, but there is a 12-month extension clause in all of their deals.
The Blues recently extended the contracts of young goalkeeper Harry Wright and striker Ben Morris to the summer of 2021.
IPSWICH TOWN CONTRACT SITUATION
IN LAST YEAR (WITHOUT EXTENSION OPTION)
Knudsen, Bishop, McKendry
IN LAST YEAR (WITH EXTENSION OPTION)
Gerken, Chambers, Ward, Adeyemi, Spence, Kenlock, Emmanuel, Woolfenden, C.Smith
CONTRACTED UNTIL 2020
Skuse, Edwards, Harrison, Roberts, Dozzell, Downes, Rowe, Sears
CONTRACTED UNTIL 2021
Bialkowski, Nsiala, Nolan, Jackson, Huws, Folami, Cotter, Nydam, Drinan, Morris, Wright
LOANS FOR SEASON
Donacien (to become permanent), Pennington, Chalobah, Elder