End of Marshall rule in Town
IPSWICH today sensationally offered goalkeeper Andy Marshall a free transfer.Boss Joe Royle delivered the bombshell news to the ex-Norwich number one this morning.
By Mel Henderson
IPSWICH today sensationally offered goalkeeper Andy Marshall a free transfer.
Boss Joe Royle delivered the bombshell news to the ex-Norwich number one this morning.
It leaves the much-maligned Marshall free to sort out a deal elsewhere, but it doesn't necessarily mean his Portman Road career is over.
Royle admitted: "If Andy doesn't get himself fixed up with a new club he will be back here for pre-season training in July. He has another year left on his contract.
"He knows he is going to have competition for his place. I am looking for a new keeper and I am confident I will have another one here in a few weeks' time."
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Marshall, 28, was signed on a free transfer from the Canaries in July 2001, soon after Town finished fifth in the Premiership.
He has made 65 appearances but has had a problem winning over the supporters, not just for his previous connections but a lack of consistency between the sticks.
He was preferred by previous boss George Burley to Italian import Matteo Sereni, currently on loan with Serie A outfit Brescia.
However, soon after Royle's arrival in October last year he brought in Everton keeper Paul Gerrard on loan, a sure sign the new boss was far from convinced that Marshall was the answer.
Later in the season, prior to the East Anglian derby, Royle promoted reserve James Pullen, but he failed to grab his big chance with an unconvincing display against Grimsby.
Pullen has since been informed that he can leave on a free transfer, despite also having one year of his contract still to run.
Royle added: "Andy came here having been voted Player of the Year at Norwich, but for whatever reason the move hasn't really worked out for him.
"Andy would probably tell you himself that he didn't have the best of seasons. He's a smashing lad and a great professional and I'm sure somebody out there will remember him."
Marshall is also a victim of the Portman Road cash crisis, with Town desperately trying to trim costs as they look to exit administration in the next three weeks.
Royle admitted: "Andy is one of our highest wage earners and we have to be mindful of the expense involved."