HASLAM TRIES TO DEFEND BARKER SALE
STAGS chief defends Barker move
CHAD website, 04 January 2007
MANSFIELD Town chief executive Keith Haslam today defended the club's decision to allow top scorer and club captain Richie Barker (32) to join Hartlepool United.
Barker joined Danny Wilson's men for an undisclosed fee and Mr Hsalam said: "You don't want to lose players like Richie Barker but at his age it was a good move for both parties.
"If he had been 28 it might have been different, no disrespect to Richie as he is a model professional.
"But at 32 years of age and the money Hartlepool were offering it was a no-brainer really.
"I can't comment on the fee or wages as we have signed a confidentially agreement with Hartlepool that we won't discuss any financial items with the media.
"I believe they have offered him an excellent package which I am sure is comparable with right at the top level for strikers in our division.
"At his age that was too good a move for him - I don't believe that package would be on offer anywhere else.
"I couldn't have afforded to match it, don't forget we have a 60 per cent cap on salaries here on income. (comment from Martin - Barker was already under contract, so Haslam didn't need to match it). With the gates and various other things we can't lift players' wages by that significant amount."
With Barker signing a new two-year deal in the summer, Mr Haslam admitted the club could have forced him to stay.
But he said: "I think that would have been unfair on the player if he could get significantly more money from another club.
"But the terms had to be right for us too. Back in October Hartlepool made an offer for Richie and he went up there and agreed personal terms.
"But the deal moved slightly and I pulled out. There are two parts to every move. The player has to agree and so does his club.
"I know Richie was very fond of Mansfield. But we had been very good for him. He was in Rotherham reserves when we took him on. It is a two-way stream.
"Richie has scored goals - you can't hide that. He has scored six or seven and the rest penalties, though they still need to be scored.
"Now Billy is out looking for a replacement and he will be given money. That is not always in transfer fees and can be towards a larger salary. I know he already has one or two names in mind."
Mr Haslam said he had no idea yet how much the club would receive from the sell-on clauses from Liam Lawrence's move from Sunderland to Stoke City.
"There will be an amount of money but we are not privy to that right now.
"We don't know exactly what he went to Stoke for though we have requested details of the transfer from the League.
"I don't know where the £125,000 figure has come from but it is naive to say that when we don't know the figures it is based on." (comment from Martin - it is clearly explained here, based on the OFFICIAL Sunderland website, and the details of the ORIGINAL transfer clause, which Haslam himself commented on).
Stags fans are worried other players could follow Barker out the door this month.
But Mr Haslam assured: "We don't want to let any other players go from this club.
"They are of a good age and we want to keep players like that."
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