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Interviews

MANAGER: It can go quickly or it can take forever

Paul Simpson with an update on the transfer window

13 January 2023

Interviews

MANAGER: It can go quickly or it can take forever

Paul Simpson with an update on the transfer window

13 January 2023

Another interesting week in the transfer window saw Jack Stretton exit the building with John-Kymani Gordon and Alfie McCalmont coming in the other way.

Speaking first about the new arrivals, gaffer Paul Simpson said: “We think with Jack Robinson and the two this week we’ve had three very good additions.

“That’s what we hope, and as with any transfer that’s all you can ever say. Every signing you make is a gamble, but what I would say is that we’ve done a lot of background work.

“We’ve been watching them for a long time, we’ve had lists of players that we’ve looked at, and we felt these were the right ones.

“Jack gives us the cover on the left, as wing back or a centre back. He’s strong and athletic and he’s very comfortable on the ball.

“Alfie has had good first team experience through his other loans and he’s really keen to get more appearances. He’s a full international, and that in itself shows he’s got something about him.

“And JK is another exciting one for us because he’s young, he’s really keen and he’s been around Palace’s first team for the last few weeks. He’s been training with them and on the bench and he’s keen to get here and show everybody what he can do.”

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“The thing that excites them all is that they know they’re here for a reason,” he continued. “There’s no point in me bringing people just to develop, they need to be able to make an impact, if at all possible.

“If they don’t do the job it’s me who is the fall guy, so it’s great if they can come in and help us. We obviously want them to grow and develop as players and people, but we also want them to do a job. I think they’re all capable of doing a job for us at this level.”

With some work done the follow-up is bound to be ask if there’s any more imminent.

“I don’t really know, I don’t know if we’re close or not,” he told us. “I was hoping we would have had one more done by today, and I’m told that we might be moving forward with it again, but as we speak it’s hit a stumble.

“As with all loans, transfers and movement of players it’s never straightforward. It can go quickly or it can take forever.

“I had to make a trip down to London earlier in the week, which isn’t easy with train strikes and everything, and that was to make sure we got one done. You’ve just got to go through the process and I’ll never bank on anything until it’s done and they’re in the building.

“With JK we had that conversation in London and everything was fine, it was moving along, but we still didn’t get him into the building until Friday.

“He had other options, some closer to home, but thankfully he’s chosen us and we can all get on with working together now. They can take time, so we’ve just got to be patient.”

On the departure of Jack Stretton, he explained: “I spoke to Strets, and it all happened quite quickly. The finance director at Derby gave me a call to say a bid had been accepted for him, and that a club had been given permission to speak to him, so I asked if he would tell me about the offer.

“I spoke to the board here and it was one that we could match, but when I looked at the finances for the deal it would have pushed Jack way above our highest earner if we’d done it. Certainly over the length of any contract that we’d have offered.

“I also knew that if we’d made a counteroffer, Stockport would have matched or beaten it. Money does talk and it isn’t a criticism of us, or what we do, it’s just the simple fact that Stockport are able to do more. Dave Challinor is getting backing in that way.

“They see Jack making a difference for them so they’ve done the deal, and all I said to Jack was good luck, but I hope you have a stinker when you come up here.”

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Possibly more than in previous windows the club has been plagued by rumours, mostly sparked across the various social media platforms. 

“I do understand why people do it because with a little bit of knowledge they feel they have some power and they feel it gives them a bit of street cred,” he commented.

“Look, it doesn’t help us because as I’ve said many times, we are not a club that’s awash with money. We’re having to really work hard to strike deals to get things over the line, and that’s why we have to try to stay under the radar with everything.

“We don’t want to tip people off that we’re trying to make things happen, so when you get stories coming out on social media from people who say that they want to support the football club, and they’re spouting off about things, it really doesn’t help.

“I know for a fact that players who we are interested in, some of them here now, have had contact from other clubs based on people finding out that we were looking at it, when they hadn’t known there was a possibility prior to that. It doesn’t help us at all.

“I can’t stop it, because I know it’s the way of the world, I know it’s how people do things because they want to be on social media with information, it just doesn’t help in our situation.

“Thankfully it didn’t get in the way of these three too much, but I think it has delayed one other. We’ll see. If it doesn’t happen it’s not something I can do anything about. We’ll just have to look for somebody else.”

“It’s why I haven’t commented on this much because I realised after the Doncaster game that I’d spouted off and revealed too much, which sets things off again,” he concluded.

“We’ll release news when we have it, that’s the way you have to be. The way the world is, we can’t avoid the fact that everybody wants to put things out, and I’ve heard about rumours over the last few weeks of players who are leaving for huge transfer fees.

“I can tell you that they aren’t going to leave unless I get a phonecall, and I certainly haven’t had any. I don’t know where these rumours come from, I don’t know where they start, but it’s something that happens.

“It’s been going on since whenever it was that newspapers came out. I always remember reading things in the News of the World and Sunday People, or wherever, and it would leave me thinking, wow, I had no idea they were interested in me, then it turned out there was never any truth in it.

“Sometimes the information is correct, and I really don’t know how it gets out. I certainly don’t want it to get out, but you’ve just got to get on with it.

“I promise everybody that as soon as there’s something to know it’ll come out when it’s going to happen.”


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