Awford reiterates Pompey contract stance

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • No rush for Pompey to deal with 12-out-of-contract players
  • Talks continuing with Butler and Webster

Andy Awford has reiterated no decisions will be delivered on his out-of-contract players until the season’s end is in sight.

However, talks with Dan Butler and Adam Webster over fresh deals are continuing.

The players know that, they are as good as gold and will get truthful answers when we are in a position to be able to give them.

Andy Awford

The contracts of 14 Blues players are up this summer, allowing Awford scope for a major clear-out.

They include current first-team regulars Ryan Taylor and Joe Devera, in addition to Wes Fogden and Ben Chorley.

Others, who aren’t around the match-day squad at the moment, are Nicky Shorey, Patrick Agyemang, Tom Craddock, Danny East, Ben Close, Bradley Tarbuck, Jack Maloney and Paul McCallum.

Despite the likes of Taylor and Devera impressing in Pompey’s present run of one defeat in nine matches, there will be no altering Awford’s timeframe.

It’s a different scenario for youngsters Butler and Webster, who have been in talks since before Christmas.

For the remaining dozen the wait will continue, with 11 fixtures remaining before the campaign finishes.

Awford said: ‘Dan and Adam aside, there are 12 players out-of-contract.

‘The issue you have is if I call one of those 12 in and say “look I am going to give you a new contract or not give you a new contract” I will then have 11 knocks on the door asking what’s going on.

‘We are not in a position yet to give all the answers, so I am not going to cause problems for myself.

‘The players know that, they are as good as gold and will get truthful answers when we are in a position to be able to give them.

‘That probably will be the end of the season or if we are sat mid-table, you can probably get some answers a little bit quicker with a couple of games to go if there is not too much to play for.

‘I am hoping that’s not the case, we still want to be competitive right the way to the end.

‘I had the list through the other day of players who are going to be out of contract at their clubs. I thought we would be quite high, but it’s every club. It’s nothing new really, it’s normal.

‘I don’t think the players worry about it. The 12 would love us to offer them an 18-month deal now, of course they would, to get it right in their heads.

‘But most clubs at our level only sign players for the year.

‘You wait until the end of the season and either get another deal or you don’t.

‘It’s no big deal to be honest, the lads are fine with it.’

In the meantime, there is the issue of tying Butler and Webster to the club on deals tabled since the end of last year.

Awford added: ‘The decision was taken by the club to look at that at Christmas.

‘There have been talks and then it stuck for a little bit, now it has taken shape again so we will see how it goes.

‘I don’t really get involved in the negotiation stuff.’