Friday 1 May 2009

Ward to stay?

Addicks supremo Phil Parkinson knows that as he prepares for life in League 1 with a smaller budget to play with, the squad must be downsized dramatically. With a whole host of players out of contract, it's going to be a busy summer for Charlton as new faces arrive and others depart. 'There's a lot to sort out,' said Parkinson. 'A lot of players are out of contract so there are a lot of decisions to be made.' (Possibly also about Parkinson himself, but for now he is clearly in charge).

One player Phil Parkinson would be keen to sign on a permanent basis is on-loan defender Darren Ward, who was told by Wolverhampton Wanderers this week that they would not be requiring his services when they return to the Premier League next season. Parkinson said: 'Darren wants to come back down south. He's certainly added something to our squad, not only as a player but on the training ground.'

'He's a good example to the younger players. It's only on Thursday that he was told he wasn't wanted at Wolves so I haven't had a chance to speak to him about his future.'

Ward seems to have done a useful job in central defence alongside Hudson, although he may be departing and question marks surround the future of Jon Fortune who has been out of contention through injury in the latter half of the season.


Kings Hill Addick said...

Even before his payrise when Wolves won promotion Richard Murray described Ward's wages as being more than the budget for the whole defence for next season.

On that basis I can only assume that the talk hinting that he might stay is to encourage season ticket sales.

Even if we get new owners they are unlikely to want to pay one player more than the budget of a whole defence, particularly bearing in mind that we probably have higher budgets that the other teams in the division.

Sadly Darren Ward seems to have a contract that prices him out of the level that he is good enough to play in. I would expect him to be in Wolves reserves or on loan again next season.

Wyn Grant said...

But he is being let go by Wolves so can't stay there - and can't ask for a big salary. The clear hint was that he was in the frame.

Ketts said...

Ward CAN stay at Wolves Wyn.As KHA says he has a contract which does not expire this summer & has a clause which gives him a pay rise following Wolves' promotion.

He may be surplus to requirements at Molineux but the club have to honour his contract.His agaent will no doubt negotiate a golden handshake & then it's a question of what he will settle for but Wolves can not just show him the door.

Anonymous said...

Fairly obviously Charlton will only sign Ward if he is affordable. Parkinson is saying that he'd like to sign him if he is and that makes sense. The questions then are, 1) What kind of deal is Ward looking (incl does he want first team football)?, 2) What other offers might he get and 3) What arrangement can he come to with Wolves? If Wolves don't need him they may be prepared to cut a deal to offload.

More generally, the summer is going to be absolutely critical. In my view (and with hindsight because I didn't see it this way at the time), Charlton's problems now result from unbelievably bad squad management by Pardew in the summer of '07. He spent money (transfer fees and wages) very ineffectively and, more debateably, sold/released the wrong players (if only he'd taken £2/3m for Thomas and shot, sorry I mean got shot, of Ambrose).

Whoever the manager is, this summer's squad management will make or break next season. For what it is worth, I suspect that this critical issue probably increases the chances that the Board will back Parkinson. I know that won't be a popular view.

johnny73 said...

I think Parkinsons comments are directed as much to the board as they are the fans.

Parkinson can want as many players as he likes. But will the board give him the money to sign them? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the Board face a major dilemma. Whilst they may be wealthy individuals by "normal" standards their pockets are not very deep in the context of the economics of modern football. However, not spending money on the squad is not an option because that would simply guarantee that their investments will become worthless. The challenge is to cut costs whilst at the same time providing the manager with sufficient room for manouevre to make promotion a possibility. For this reason they need a manager that they can work with and trust. As I noted above, after the bad experience with Pardew, the more reasonable and flexible Parkinson may seem an attractive option.