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|An Air of Resignation |
at 12:41 20 Sep 2012
If you went for a job interview and suspected the Management team interviewing you were unlikely to be with the company within a year, would you join? I wouldn’t. Why risk the current job security you currently enjoy? Surely waiting for the right job elsewhere would be more sensible?
As I embarked on my 110-mile journey home to Milton Keynes after last night’s appalling display, listening to Radio Suffolk and hearing my fellow supporters phone in with exactly the same gripes I had, it occurred to me that we’ve all been looking at these on-going transfer sagas from the wrong angle. There’s been much talk lately about failed signings at Portman Road. We seem to agree fees with other Clubs, give players medicals which they pass with flying colours only to then read a few hours later that the deal is dead. I think we’ve all assumed that this is because of rumoured “unreasonable wage demands” in most cases, or perhaps the length of contract offered has been unacceptable to the player in question. In my case I’ve even accused the Agent’s greed as being solely responsible for the collapse of many potential signings in recent months. It’s well documented that as a Club we are one of the lowest contributors to agent fees.
On last night’s show people were phoning in and claiming that Marcus Evans had perhaps lost faith in PJ and so wasn’t prepared to put the money in any more. Personally I don’t think so. I mean, why bother even agreeing a fee for a player if you have no intention of backing the Manager with the personal terms he wants to offer? You’d just say “there’s no money”, or that “players have to be shifted on before the squad can be added to”. Despite what some fans would have you believe, we’re not an unattractive choice for players, we’re not stuck in the middle of timbuctoo and totally cut off from the rest of society as a certain Roy Keane claimed, so I have my own theory as to why we seem to fail with attracting the right player. What if the player asked one simple question to our CEO….
“is the gaffer still going to be here next year?”
That’s not an unreasonable question to ask is it? In fact, any player with half a brain would ask it and for the footballer who doesn’t, well that’s why he has an agent. The agent would most certainly have raised that particular concern with Simon Clegg. PJ is in the final year of his contract and we’re not performing well so it would be easy to make the assumption that this is his last season with us.
Of course it’s unlikely that Mr Clegg would have given a definitive answer to this question, but it is possible that the answer he provided was less than convincing. He probably changed the subject and attempted to distract the agent and potential new signing with the dazzling new paintwork of the turnstiles. But for any player reading between the lines the answer would have been provided and it’s extremely likely that no assurances would have been given. So the player leaves the stadium that night after having his tour of the “premier league facilities” that we so regularly read about and he goes home to ponder his options: a) join a decent club who have stagnated in recent years but are likely to bring in a new Management team before the end of the season, or b) take the offer from the other club which is no bigger than Ipswich but can offer some form of stability.
If I was in a similar scenario in my profession and had two offers on the table with similar circumstances then I know which option I’d choose.
Last night there was an air of resignation at Portman Road, not just amongst the supporters but more worryingly amongst the players too. An all too familiar sinking feeling, a lack of direction from the bench and perhaps even a lack of direction from a higher level. I think it’s fair to say that we all need something to happen now to give us all back a sense of optimism and hope. That hope and optimism is usually only found through some big news. A new signing to be more precise. So Marcus Evans now finds himself with the need to make a crucial decision. Perhaps the biggest since he took control of our beloved club. Does he sack PJ or does he make a bold statement to the fans and players and offer PJ an extension NOW. It would raise eyebrows to do the latter, on the back of recent results and the start to a campaign which has already seen us ship in 13 goals, but it would help clear the ever muddying waters and help everyone understand what the direction of the club is. I’ve been sitting on the fence over the PJ in/PJ out debate, but my backside is starting to get numb and I’m getting fidgety. I need to clamber down off this fence now, and so does Mr Evans. Perhaps then we may be able to get the players we desperately need, able to provide them with assurances that the man employing them will be with us for the duration of any contract they sign.
I purchased my tickets for Barnsley away yesterday and I pray that I’m making that journey with a reason to be optimistic.