We 'could not turn down' Wigan Athletic bid

St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown has moved to explain why the club decided to sell two of their key players - including skipper Jason Kerr to Wigan Athletic - at the end of the summer transfer window.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 2:22 pm
Jason Kerr

Eyebrows were raised in some quarters when last term's double cup winners sold their captain Kerr to Latics and then midfielder Ali McCann to Preston on Tuesday.

Some supporters have expressed concern at the decision and questioned whether the club should have demanded more money for the two players.

Brown has responded to criticism by issuing a statement on the club's website outlining why both Kerr and McCann were allowed to leave.

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It said: "In terms of our captain, Wigan Athletic met our valuation. From a club and, in particular, a financial point of view, it was an offer we could not turn down.

"Also, for Jason, we could not stand in his way. He was an excellent leader and a first-class individual.

"I thought Jason was going to be the only one that we sold. We turned down numerous bids for several of our key players during July and August.

"I feel it's vital to explain how this deal came about and how we reached our final decision.

"Most importantly, we had no intentions to sell Ali in this window.

"I met with the manager at McDiarmid Park from 4pm on Tuesday. At that moment, after reluctantly accepting Jason's decision to leave, two offers came in for Ali, which were both rejected.

"An increased offer came in from Preston around 5pm, which was also turned down.

"Shortly after this, it was made abundantly clear to Callum (Davidson) and I that Ali wanted to move on, and from a footballing perspective, challenge himself at a higher level.

"We were also made aware that the financial package which had been offered to him was life-changing and potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"I sat with the manager and assessed the dilemma we had.

"Would we stand in the way of a player's development and prohibit him from being set up financially for life? Or do we decline that to have potentially an unhappy player who would no doubt have left in January?

"After a long, difficult conversation between Callum and I, we decided to let Ali go.

"We subsequently reopened dialogue with Preston and renegotiated to get the overall transfer fee we wanted to achieve.

"With the add-ons, it will surpass the value of £1.75million which we put on him back in May. That money will be reinvested back into the football department.

"I must stress this was never an easy decision, but with regards to Ali, both Callum and I have a clear conscience.

"We have also kept our policy intact whereby we nurture young players in our fantastic youth academy, send them out on loan and develop them in the first team.

"That tried and tested process provides them with a platform to kick on in their career.

"It is of paramount importance to us to keep this policy intact as other players watching on can see that we are not a club that will block their development path.

"I hope this information is insightful and gives you a clear understanding of how decisions are made.

"Like you, I am a St Johnstone supporter, but I often have to remove that from the thought process and take all things into consideration when making vital decisions."

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