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MANAGER: It's a tough market at the moment

Paul Simpson on the hunt for new faces

26 June 2023

United boss Paul Simpson used the Fixture Release breakfast on Thursday morning [event sponsored by MKM Building Supplies] as an opportunity to update the business audience on the current state of affairs with his pursuit of new faces after being asked if he’d be looking to add some good signings ahead of the first game.

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"Well I’m hoping that we’ve got some good players here already, and I’m certainly not intending to bring in any crap ones!” he responded.

“What I can say is that at the moment it’s a really difficult and tough market. The thing with contracts in England is that player contracts expire on 30 June but, if a player doesn’t have a club, the club he’s about to leave or he’s been released from is financially obligated to pay them until the end of July.

“That’s different in Scotland, where I think player contracts expire on 9 June, and they get no pay from anywhere after that date if they’re not fixed up.

“That means that when you’re speaking to players who have been at  they know there’s no rush for them, because they’ll still be getting paid.

“They means they can be calm about it all, in some cases perhaps a little bit smug, because they know they can wait a little bit longer. In turn that means we might need to remain patient.”

“We are working at it every day, and we think we’re close on a couple, but it means nothing until they get here and they’ve signed,” he added.

“Until that happens, and we’ve seen this before, there’s still an opportunity for them to go elsewhere.

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“That said, I’m hoping to get news on possibly three ahead of next Wednesday, but let’s wait and see. There are no guarantees, it might not happen, that’s just the nature of where things are at this stage of the summer.

“I’m also waiting for final responses from the players we offered contracts to at the end of last season.

“I know there were some eyebrows raised when Kris Dennis went to Tranmere, but everything there was done properly. We made him a very good offer, but it was performance related for a second year on the deal with us.

“He’s at a stage of his career where you can’t guarantee how many games he’ll play, and I didn’t want to have a player on a good contract who wasn’t playing.

“This isn’t about Denno, we offered him a deal because we wanted him to stay, but we don’t want to weight the club down with financial burdens, and that means we’ll always do things in a way that we feel benefits the club.

“We’ll continue to do it that way, we’ll keep doing the work with that at the forefront of our minds, and if it means we have to work that little bit harder, that’s what we’ll do. I’m a big believer that hard work doesn’t kill you, if anything it makes you stronger and better.”

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