Skuse: Relegation Wage Cut Only Right
Thursday, 14th Mar 2019 15:39
Cole Skuse is the first to admit it is appropriate that Town players should suffer a drop in wages if, as seems increasingly likely, the club are relegated this season.
The experienced midfielder, 33 later this month, and his team-mates will see their earnings reduced if they remain at Portman Road and play their football in League One next term.
Skuse said: “It’s only right in my view. You get paid a certain amount to play in the Championship but if you’ve failed in the Championship you shouldn’t be earning the same in League One. If the owner thinks he should pay you less then he pays you less.
“It’s not something you want to touch on when you’re negotiating a contract. It’s not great if you say to the owner ‘I want X but if go to League One I still want X’.
“I wasn’t going in to negotiate my contract thinking the club was going to be in League One. That wasn’t in my mindset at all. But it’s realism now and if it happens it happens.”
It’s not as if Skuse is writing off Town’s chances of pulling off a miracle escape, but he admitted: “While it’s not mathematically confirmed it’s going to be very, very tough. The games are going fast and the gap has stretched so it’s a tough ask for us.
“We can only try to do what we can do, try our hardest, but it’s such a surreal feeling right now in terms of the atmosphere and the morale, not just round the training ground but in the town itself.
“I’ve bumped into people at various places, or I’ve been receiving texts, and even with the attendances at home and the Ipswich fans at our away games, there’s been such a positive vibe about the place.
“We know it has been a dreadful season for the club and for the town. It is so surreal because it doesn’t feel how you would think it would. I know we’re sat at the bottom of the league but you can often lose true of where you are when you’re walking round the place and everyone is so positive.
“You get 20,000-plus for a home game [Reading] and over 1,000 fans travelling to The Hawthorns – it’s really, really surreal.
“It’s going to be like that for the rest of the season, I’m sure. The fans are still going to come out and be so positive. They deserve a huge amount of credit, both home and away.”
Asked if it was a case of people with their heads in the sand, Skuse replied: “Everybody understands the situation we are in and if they say they don’t, or they’re hiding away from it, there’s something wrong. For me personally – and I know Chambo has touched on it in the past – you don’t get away from it.
“You are taking it home with you and it affects your everyday life. It’s really, really tough to take.”
Despite a run of form that has seen them lose just one of their last six league games – the other five were all drawn 1-1 – Town’s situation at the bottom of the table has worsened and after wins for relegation rivals Rotherham and Millwall on Wednesday they are now 13 points, plus goal difference, from safety.
Skuse added: “It’s not true when people say they don’t look at other things – of course they do. You might be sat there watching Bayern Munich against Liverpool, but you’re also sat with your phone right in front of the screen looking at the scores coming in.
“When you see them you’re absolutely wounded, you’re gutted. It has been spoken about again this morning – and I know it has been said before – but all we can do is try to take care of ourselves and produce as many points as we can. What will be, will be.”
Skuse, a regular choice since arriving at the club in 2013, has been occupying the role of substitute in recent games. Illness cost him his place in the home game against Derby and for four of the five subsequent fixtures he was named as one of the substitutes, while starting the game at West Bromwich Albion last weekend.
He said: “It has felt very strange being sat on the bench. It’s not something that I’ve had throughout my career really and to be honest it’s not something I want to get used to. I want to be out playing minutes but it has been different.
“I missed a game when I was ill and the lads did well. The gaffer pulled me in and said the lads had done well and there’s no way I could argue with that. I knew they deserved to keep their places and if I’d been in the team and doing well I’d be very much aggrieved if I was left out.
“But there is still a lot of football left in me. Only when I wake up one day and think I’m feeling the ill-effects of all this will I know within myself that I’m coming towards the end.
“I’m not at that stage yet. I’m 32 – nearly 33 – but I’m not a 32 or 33-year-old that’s had various injuries. I’ve had minimal injuries and I look after myself very well off the field, for which a lot of the credit must go to my wife. I feel as good as I did when I was 27 or 28.
“You get far more help now than when I first started playing. Back then I think my recovery day, Sunday, was sat in the Dog and Duck and I had four or five scoops.
“The game’s changed a fair amount, so your recovery and your preparation for games are far different.”
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