It may only be 12 days since City breathlessly clambered into the Premier League, but already Steve Bruce has begun sculpting the squad he hopes will prosper there.
The club are retaining the services of four of the players whose contracts were due to expire: the defensive trio of Abdoulaye Faye, Paul McShane and Liam Rosenior, plus reserve keeper Mark Oxley. There had been a little uncertainty of new anointed cult hero McShane’s future, with rumblings of civil disorder in the event of his departure, though this has thankfully been averted. Rosenior’s adaptability has counted in his favour, while Faye’s colossal presence and experience can only be useful.
Twelve players are leaving, and one name stands out among them – that of Jay Simpson. He’s won the majority of people over with an effective season filled with hard-working and selfless displays, but ultimately his goal record has remained so patchy that making the step up to the top flight seems difficult to imagine. He leaves with the best wishes of the Tiger Nation.
Also on the way are Sonny Bradley, Danny East, Paul McKenna, Andy Dawson, Jamie Devitt, Francis McCaffrey, Seyi Olofinjana, Kealan Dillon, Mark Cullen, Lewis Clarkson and Danny Emerton. The departure of the much-loved Dawson at the end of his testimonial season is likely to herald a return to Scunthorpe, while McKenna’s sterling efforts during the earlier part of his City career are worthy of being acknowledged. Olofinjana was an expensive and ponderous mistake, while the rest of them – young lads in the main – seem far better placed to enjoy a career in professional football than the sort of player the club was releasing 15 years ago.
With upwards of £50,000 per week cleared from the wage bill, we now wait to see who that’ll be spent on.