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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Joe to meet money men

PUBLISHED: 17:02 21 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:54 02 March 2010

JOE Royle was today meeting with the money men at Portman Road - and the outcome will have a big bearing on the futures of the nine Ipswich Town players whose contracts expire at the end of next month.

JOE Royle was today meeting with the money men at Portman Road - and the outcome will have a big bearing on the futures of the nine Ipswich Town players whose contracts expire at the end of next month.

The Blues boss is to meet with the nine early next week before taking a family holiday.

Town will collect £250,000 for reaching the First Division play-off semi-final, but there will be no parachute payment from the Premiership this summer and the players' budget for 2004/05 is likely to be reduced from £7million to £5million.

With Marcus Bent, Pablo Counago and Martijn Reuser on contracts until June 2005 and believed to be receiving £2.5 million a year in wages between them, Royle will have to make some severe cost-cutting.

Chris Bart-Williams, Alun Armstrong, Jermaine Wright, Jim Magilton, Richard Naylor, Lewis Price, John McGreal, Fabian Wilnis and Chris Makin are the players whose contracts expire this summer and they will spend a worrying weekend before finding out if they will be offered a chance to stay at Portman Road.

If Marcus Bent, Counago and Reuser see out their contracts it might also mean the enforced sale of one of the talented youngsters on Town's books - Darren Bent, Ian Westlake or Matt Richards.

Royle said today: “I will be seeing the players individually next week and announcements will be made after that.”

One person to be offered a new contract is coach Tony Mowbray. He took over as caretaker manager between George Burley's departure and Royle taking over in October 2002.

He has been offered a new deal on the understanding that he will be released to take up any manager's role elsewhere.

Royle added: “I have been delighted with Tony's contribution. I would love him to stay and we have offered him something.

“Tony is a manager in waiting and we know he will make his own way eventually, but until then he can make a big contribution to Ipswich.”

Matt Elliott has returned to Leicester City and Foxes boss Mickey Adams insists the defender is still part of his plans.

He said: “Matt has been getting first team football at Ipswich and has proved he can handle the First Division. I have not heard anything to suggest he is going elsewhere. He is still the Leicester club captain so don't write him off.”

City had Marcus Bent on loan for most of last season and would like to keep him, which would no doubt suit Ipswich, but the financial implications may prove a problem.

The Town boss confirmed he had heard nothing about Charlton being interested in Darren Bent and had not been contacted by anyone regarding the young Town star.

“We have received no offers for anyone and I don't expect any for a month or so,” said Royle.

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