Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman aims barb at departing big earners
DOUGIE Freedman aimed a barb at some of the big earners axed from his squad yesterday – claiming they did not contribute enough to the football club.
Wanderers confirmed Chris Eagles, Tyrone Mears, Zat Knight and Jay Lynch would not be offered a new contract, reportedly wiping £60,000 a week off the club’s wage bill.
Andre Moritz, Stuart Holden and Arran Lee-Barrett are discussing a new deal for next season, although it is understood that terms will also be significantly reduced as the Whites continue to cut costs.
Freedman broke the news to players at the end of last week but there were no surprise names when the club officially announced their retained list on Monday morning.
“It was difficult in most cases but not with one or two, who need a fresh start,” the manager said of his decision.
“That’s what I told one or two players, we are moving the club in a different direction and I don’t think they contributed enough to the football club for what they have drawn out of it.
“Others are more difficult because it’s simply because of the circumstances we find ourselves in with the Financial Fair Play. We have to make those decisions.”
Freedman has been promised scope to bring players in this summer after clearing out some big ex-Premier League earners.
And the Scot took a swipe at some of the departing players as he looked forward to having some breathing room in his budget.
“Part of what it means to be a manager or a coach is to bring in players who actually want to be coached and move forward,” he said.
“Monday mornings they turn up and actually want to improve themselves.
“I’ve found too many players since I have been here that do not want me to change their lives.
“Their lives are okay – they don’t want to go out on loan, they only want a new contract. They sit down, score no goals and say their life is okay.
“Now it gives me an opportunity to get something in return for what Eddie Davies signs cheques for every year.
“It gives me a chance of getting a player who is going to give 100 per cent and is committed to getting better.
“I’m not promising finished products who are going to shine every day but I’m promising players who want to represent this football club the right way.”
Much has been made of the fact Wanderers will be receiving reduced parachute payments next season, and that they have further work to do in order to bring losses into line with Financial Fair Play guidelines.
Freedman is well aware that costs must come down – but he insists the budget at his disposal is still generous enough to create a successful side.
“When you are holding the wage level we are and halve it, it’s still quite generous in this division,” he explained.
“When you come from a club that I did (Crystal Palace) and it’s a quarter of it, then you’re still quite happy with half.
“Yes, we are going to drop back but it’ll still give me quite a healthy budget to bring in players that I feel can take the club forward.”