Ian Baraclough: Club will not overstretch itself on contracts
SLIGO ROVERS manager, Ian Baraclough, has said he doesn't want to lose any players from the League winning squad. But he cautioned that the club would not overstretch itself in terms of offering new contracts.
Speaking after Rovers were presented with their first League title in 35 years, Baraclough admitted it was possible that the club would have to say goodbye to some players because they couldn't afford to keep them for financial reasons.
He said some players had been offered new contracts but stressed that the club would not overstretch itself.
He said: "Too many times in the past teams have won a League trophy and gone to the wall. That can't happen to this club and it won't happen. So we will offer the best contracts we can. If we can't compete with bigger teams then so be it. Then it's my job to try to bring in other players"
He said he was hopeful a lot of players from the squad would decide to stay with Rovers because they were so well looked after at the club.
"They know what they've got here - they know what's on offer. There's Champions League football. They're looked after like Princes.
"We've enjoyed working every day on the training pitch. They've come in, worked hard and relished it. "We bounced off each other. We can't offer the most money but we can certainly look after our players. The players are adored, they wouldn't get that anywhere else"
The manager agreed there was a sense of urgency about getting into talks on contracts.
He said he wanted to 'get the team over the line' before they started serious negotiations. He had spoken to a lot of the players already but it was a case of finalising figures to make sure the club didn't overstretch itself.
He stressed that none of the players had told him that they wanted to leave. Any dialogue he had with them was about how much they loved being at the club and working with the manager and the staff.
"They know they are looked after here and hopefully we can deliver a similar squad for the fans for next year", Baraclough added.
"The players are adored by the fans here. They can't walk down the street without getting recognised, people shaking their hands and thanking them. For me, that means a great deal. I'd rather stay somewhere that you are loved by people and you enjoy playing in a place like the Showgrounds" He said it was the culture of Irish football that clubs had to wait as long as possible to sign players because it saves money.
But he hoped to have a fair 'chunk of the squad' sorted before he went back to England in the next few weeks.
He said he would be taking in a lot of games in England and watching a lot of players.
"I think there will be a lot of people in England who would jump at the chance of playing Champions League football", Baraclough added.