Mel Morris has announced plans for a major squad cull, which could lead to as many as ten senior Derby County players being shown the door this summer.
Speaking at a Supporters’ Charter meeting – as reported by Joel Clyne – Morris announced that under a new, tightened wage structure, a squad of around 16 senior professionals will be supplemented by loan signings and young players from the club’s academy.
Morris said that the new structure will only have room for ‘five to seven’ players classified as ‘high earners’, plus ‘seven to nine’ players on more standard Championship contracts – meaning that many of the current crop of 23 pros will have to leave.
If the plan is implemented effectively, it would leave Gary Rowett with a core of proven, quality players to work with, but the new manager would be obliged to include some younger players in his matchday 18.
On the back of Morris’ comments, it seems safe to assume that up to ten first-teamers will be free to go this summer. Getting this many players off the wagebill would give Rowett room to recruit five or six new senior pros and loanees, while staying within the proposed structure.
Player wages are confidential and it’s impossible to know who earns exactly what, but to illustrate the task facing Rowett, if his retained ‘high earners’ were as follows:-
Then that could mean the club would look to sell or release the following players:-
If the list of ‘mid-ranking’ professionals Rowett chose to keep included:-
Then Rowett would need to sell several more squad players to give himself room for new recruits:-
Younger players hoping for more opportunities next season could include:-
Of course, the identity of the players staying and going will be determined by Rowett after he has had opportunity to assess the squad, but it is clear that he is expected to implement a major clear-out – or ‘redevelopment programme’, as Morris euphemistically termed it in his statement welcoming the new manager. There will be no room for sentiment, with certain long-serving cult heroes just as likely to be shown the door as some of the recent high-profile flops.
More of Morris and Rowett’s comments from the Supporters Charter meeting can be read at www.dcfcpodcast.uk/supporters-charter-meeting.