U’s won’t bend on agent principles

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward says the club would rather miss out on transfers than bend its principles when it comes to agents.

The U’s had looked set to sign defender Aden Flint from non-league side Alfreton Town last week.

However the 21-year-old decided to join Swindon Town instead following a last-minute bid from Wiltshire club.

And following Saturday’s hard-fought 0-0 draw at Huddersfield, Ward has hit out at the way the transfer was conducted.

He stressed: “The player himself doesn’t disappoint me at all. Other people disappoint me.”


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He blamed the influence of agents in football for the collapse of the move.

“The chairman (Robbie Cowling) and myself have principles and we’ve stuck to those principles and those standards. That’s maybe one of the reasons the player has gone to Swindon but we’ll not compromise our principles and that’s for the sakes of Colchester United.

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“We’ve stood firm and we won’t get turned into a ‘things at all costs’ mentality.

“It’s got to be right and this one wasn’t right.

“I don’t blame the player at all, he’s been swayed by other people with other agendas who perhaps haven’t put him at the forefront of that.

“We’re not saying the club will not pay money to agents, but the chairman and I have principles about how we want to run this football club and we won’t bend from those.

“In this instance we’ve missed out on what we think is a really good player and that will happen again in the future if the principles aren’t correct.

“In the long run though we think that will be beneficial to the club.”

He added: “We didn’t find out (that Flint had chosen Swindon) until late on Wednesday – I had a text message and the chairman had an e-mail.

“Cliff Richard sang ‘you don’t talk anymore’, or something like that, well people don’t talk anymore – it’s e-mailing, texting and all these Twitter things.

“Nobody has spoken to me, we just know that he’s gone (to Swindon).

“Once Swindon were interested we thought he would go there because (their manager) Danny Wilson’s son plays for Alfreton.

“We’ve done very well without him for 20-odd games so far this season though, we’ve done very well without him today and I expect my team to keep doing well without him.”

– For match preview of Brighton v Colchester, see tomorrow’s EADT.

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