No contract giveaway at Bolton Wanderers
DOUGIE Freedman has put Wanderers’ out-of-contract stars on notice, saying he refuses to repeat mistakes of the past by agreeing deals too early.
Six players – Stuart Holden, Chris Eagles, David Ngog, Andre Moritz, Tyrone Mears and Zat Knight – are free to speak to other clubs next month, should they so wish.
But Freedman believes it would risk the club’s financial future by making promises at this stage of the season – and aimed a barb at previous regimes by suggesting contracts had been too easily handed out in the past.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Charlton Athletic, Freedman “On one side you are trying to make sure the club is financially okay but on the other you are trying to be responsible for people’s families,” he said.
“It‘s a difficult time to gauge it right now, you probably need to wait until February and see where we are.
“There’s a huge difference if you are in the Championship or Premiership, whether you are at the top or the bottom.
“But we are in a business and I have to make sure the money is right going forward.
“I can’t put the club in any financial trouble by just throwing out contracts left, right and centre, which seems to have happened.”
After Gianfranco Zola’s resignation at Watford earlier in the week Freedman is now the sixth longest serving manager in the Championship.
Tomorrow he will come up against Chris Powell – the division’s longest-serving boss – with the former England full-back under significant pressure having seen his side take just four points from a potential 21.
Freedman has found himself placed under scrutiny, not least after the club’s worst start to a season for more than a century. But he credits his own job security to the fact he shares a long-term view of Wanderers’ future with owner Eddie Davies and chairman Phil Gartside.
The Whites boss is confident the working relationship he has at boardroom level will produce results in the long run.
“I’m so privileged to be at a football club that has got plans,” he said.
“The guys upstairs know my plan and I’m trying to implement their policy.
“Of course, along the way you are going to have to get results, I understand that, but it doesn’t half help when behind the scenes you are sticking to a plan.
“What I mean by a plan is keeping the Financial Fair Play things in order, signing the right DNA and age of players going forward and promoting younger players – that is what I am trying to implement.
“That is what I am being asked to do and I think chairmen have got to sometimes have those policies to give their managers a bit of a guideline.
“I find it extraordinary that managers get such a short amount of time to make a difference but so rarely get a plan of action.
“I am so proud to work at a football club that has got a plan, that is working towards something.
“Yes, I am disappointed with where we are, yes, I’m disappointed with Sunday’s result (the 3-2 defeat at Wigan), but I do think we’re on course.
“You can never tell in football whether you’ll get time, it can all strike quickly, but I’ve only been at it a year and I’m the sixth longest-serving manager in the Championship.”