Club chairman Andrew Jenkins on Potts, Dempsey and Michael Knighton
Chairman Andrew Jenkins spoke today about the summer departures of Brad Potts and Kyle Dempsey, to Blackpool and Huddersfield respectively, and about the initial stages of the Michael Knighton takeover talks back in the early 90’s.
“I was disappointed, as most fans were, to lose the services of two of our outstanding young home-grown players as they now move on to further their careers,” he said.
“These players were very important to the squad last season, as we fought off the danger of relegation, and we were determined to keep them at the club if at all possible.”
“I would point out that with Brad Potts we tabled the best contract ever offered to a young player as the interest in him grew from scouts and other clubs,” he continued. “However, after a number of improved offers it became apparent that he was seriously contemplating the possibility of a move, and we had no alternative but to accept the Blackpool bid.
“This, I should point out, was after having taken advice that we would have received less than the deal on the table had we progressed the matter to a transfer tribunal.”
“As you will be aware, Kyle attracted the attention of a number of clubs through the middle part of last season and we did, in fact, turn down offers on more than one occasion,” he explained. “We concentrated on putting together a new contract for him as we knew that his current deal was due to expire at the end of the campaign.
“After much negotiation we came to a satisfactory agreement, but a stipulation was that the contract had to include a get-out clause. This is not unusual in any way, in this day and age, as clubs and players try to find the best solution for all concerned.
“Unfortunately this clause was triggered last week, by two clubs, and we were then duty bound to allow the player to enter into talks.
“Naturally Kyle preferred going to a Championship club which, in matter of fact, gave Carlisle United the best deal from a business point of view, particularly once he decided that he wanted to move on and take on the challenge of playing at a higher level.
“As I say, we wanted to keep the player, but we had to listen to his wishes and then act accordingly. We are bound by requests from both clubs, with Brad Potts and Kyle Dempsey, not to discuss the financial aspects of the transfer deals but I can say that the Dempsey move in particular has a greater value than the figure which was reported at the weekend.”
And speaking about the recent interview with Michael Knighton, he said: “It was amusing for me to read that Michael suggested we should ignore the current confidentiality agreement and reveal the identity of our potential investors.
“It’s interesting to note that when Michael first approached the club he insisted that he met one of our directors down in Leeds, well away from Carlisle, and a confidentiality agreement had to be signed before he would enter into those initial talks. At the end of the meeting he informed the director he wasn’t even allowed to reveal his identity to me.
“This remained the case for a prolonged period, until such time as Michael felt he was ready to go public with his intentions. Again, this shows that such talks have to be conducted in a correct manner until all parties are happy they are ready to take the next step.
“I fully understand the frustration the supporters feel at the confidentiality clause which has prevented us from talking about the current investment proposals. I can assure you we feel the same frustration, but we are also acutely aware that getting the best outcome for Carlisle United sometimes means conducting our business as quickly and as fully as possible within the guidelines we are set.
“I can also say that as soon as we are in a position to release information, to the satisfaction of the outside parties involved, we will do so at the earliest opportunity.”