By Matthew Gooding
Monday, May 30, 2011
George looks to cut club wage bill
CAMBRIDGE United have transfer-listed seven of their highest-earning players as they look to slash their wage bill ahead of next season.
Goalkeepers Simon Brown and Danny Naisbitt have been made available for transfer, together with five unnamed outfield players.
Manager Jez George said: “The fact is that we have six players who collectively will account for two-thirds of the entire playing budget for next season. Obviously this is a situation the Club cannot afford to happen.
“I have spoken in detail to each of the players and, where appropriate, their agent. In five of these cases all parties have agreed that the best initial way forward is to circulate their names for permanent transfer or long term loans.
“In addition, the Club cannot afford two senior goalkeepers and for this reason, with the agreement of both Danny [Naisitt] and Simon [Brown], we are circulating their names to gauge interest.”
Naisbitt and Brown were both handed two-year contracts last summer by former manager Martin Ling, but neither established themselves as the club’s number one keeper during 2010/11.
Among the other players made available are likely to be player/assistant manager Paul Carden and striker Daryl Clare, both of whom spent the latter part of last season out on loan at Luton and Alfreton respectively.
The other mystery men could include midfielder Adam Miller, central defender Brian Saah, winger Conal Platt, and left-back James Jennings, all of whom were brought to the club by Ling.
George has been charged with making dramatic cuts to the club’s wage-bill, with chairman Paul Barry having stated that spending would be cut by at least 25 per cent next term.
However the manager has already signed Kidderminster midfielder Tom Shaw, and has a shopping list of potential replacements should players depart.
George said: “We have a number of targets who fit our profile of young, hungry and ambitious players who we are endeavouring to sign and would be within the individual wage ceiling imposed by the Board.”
Midfielder Simon Russell is currently considering whether to exercise an option to extend his contract by a year. Despite reports suggesting the former Hull man had been asked to take a cut in wages, George said the option would give Russell a substantial pay-rise, and that he had been asked to consider taking a smaller increase.
“Simon has until 30th June to inform us whether or not he will be exercising his option but I have explained that the Club cannot afford to pay him the higher salary,” said George.
“As a free agent at the end of his contract, he has the prerogative to speak to other clubs which he is doing so at present. Whilst I have expressed to Simon my desire to keep him at the Club, we cannot pay wages that are not affordable.”
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