Date:Tuesday January 7 2014
Manager Nigel Pearson has remained calm about the current contract issue at the club that could see us lose 10 players - including himself - unless they are sorted.
Speaking to the Leicester Mercury about the issue, which is certainly going to come to the fore this month, because players whose contracts expire in the summer can now at least sign pre contracts with clubs outside of the country, Pearson said nobody at the club can let that derail our season now, but, at least for little old me, his comments show clearly he's not happy that it is dragging on this long.
'Whether it worries me or not, I have no control over the situation. I will continue to stress the importance of us being in a very good position. It's very much in our hands what happens between now and the end of the season. We cannot talk about what ifs regarding contracts, they expire and players get sold. I don't see what the big issue is. If we do well, I'd like the think things will take care of themselves in a positive manner.'
Pearson goes on to add however that another thing he can't control are people asking questions about the situation, and says that he feels across the board clubs are more reticent now to extend contracts early because of the Financial Fair Play rules.
'This season is a bit different to others, some clubs have disclosed their financial figures and it does not make easy reading. Clubs have to look at their strategies, and whether we like it or not, we are not immune. We are trying to come into line with that.'
Rightly, and regardless of concerns, Pearson then adds that obviously as a manager with a long term plan he'd love the players to know they are secure so it's not an issue and they can focus on the football, but equally at the end of the day they are professionals and he fully expects them to get on with their jobs irrespective of contract situations. Maybe a bit chicken and egg, players may perform better to earn a new contract and there is the worry that players will get complacent knowing they have a long term contract, but the other side is players perform better knowing their future is secure and they don't have worries, and players perform worse because sub consciously it will affect their focus.
'But I can't do much about it so I won't spend too much of my time wasting energy on dealing with something I have no control of.'
Clubs may want to wait a bit longer now because of financial obligations, but well into six months left is pushing the boat a little bit too far for me. Yes sometimes you look at clubs extending contracts of players who have 18 months left on their original deals and so on, but 6 months is hardly 18.
Our performances last season and this season will have highlight other clubs to our players and whilst deals can't be done within this country yet at least, it doesn't mean there aren't ways of letting players know they are fancied elsewhere, let alone the possibility of pre contracts with clubs abroad.
The players in some ways also haven't been quiet about their frustrations, especially given their commitment this term and skipper Wes Morgan has been particularly vocal about his concerns that through no fault of their own - this team could be broken up purely because there seems no willing on the part of the board to even enter discussions yet.
If the board are concerned about rewarding at this stage more Premiership based wages because of our position, and rightly from a financial perspective taking the view that until the last game we won't know about our promotion credentials, then players can still be presented with an either/or contract in my mind.
It can still be win win, and clause based surely.
Vital Leicester on:
Vital Leicester on:
Date:Tuesday January 7 2014
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