Upon our relegation from the Premier League back in 2012, many of you will remember a certain tough tackling centre midfielder activating a release clause in his contract to leave the club. He did so believing that he had better options to sign for – I seem to remember Liverpool’s name cropping up. However, he failed to sign for a Premier League club, found himself on a short term deal at Ipswich Town, then in the MLS.
Nigel Reo-Coker, now aged 33, most recently played for IK Start in the Norwegian second division. He is now without a club.
Reo-Coker certainly looked the part in the Premier League – he worked hard, got stuck in, and was good enough on the ball. I did not doubt his quality at that level, and expected him to sign for another Premier League club.
However, football does not always work like that. Just because he may not have deserved to be relegated, did not mean that he was going to find another Premier League team so easily; the reality is that he was an integral part of a team that went down.
Now, Jay Spearing is a player who I think is definitely good enough to play in the Championship. However, the season has already started, and he is yet to sign for a club. He is said to have rejected what Bolton could offer earlier on in the summer in the hope of a better offer.
You cannot blame him for it, really. He may have seen this as his last chance for a big Championship contract. However that contract has not come.
With the terms of our embargo having changed, we can now only offer a reported £4,500 a week to players.
However, my advice to Jay is this. Swallow your pride, take a big pay cut and brave it for a season. If we get out of the embargo and you play well, you can get a pay rise. If you want to move on, you can do so and will have more options after a good season back in the Championship.
It will be worth it in the long term for your career, and you can come to a team which you fit into. Don’t wait too long, and find yourself back in League 1 on the same terms. Believe me, it ain’t worth it.