Date: 25th June 2009 at 2:07pm
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Joe Colbeck is the only remaining Bantam that Stuart McCall wants to sign a new contract. The rest of the squad have moved on (although not, as yet, to anywhere confirmed) or signed.

The former Player of the Year, who I believe could be a key member of our squad for years to come, is currently 22. This makes things difficult.

Under the current regulations surrounding transfers any club who loses a player before they turn 24 is entitled to compensation (assuming they have offered the player a contract, hence one of our difficulties in signing Dean Furman).

For a player with undoubted potential, and the product of substantial investment that is not a situation the club want to develop. Therefore, we want to offer Joe a new contract.

We don’t want to offer him a contract that expires at the end of next season, allowing him to leave for free because it takes him beyond his 24th birthday. And we can’t start throwing 3 year contracts around.

That leaves a 1 year contract offer on the table and that, understandably, isn’t necessarily the security that Joe is looking for.

The language coming from the club is that this will be resolved and that Joe wants to stay at City but the press coverage will no doubt alert other clubs to the fact that the winger might be available. And. with his potential, and age on his side, that would be an attractive proposition to many of our league Two rivals should they be able to get the best out of him.

When Colbeck, Nix, Law and Furman went on holiday to Mexico I don’t think anybody thought that we might start the season without any of them! And whilst that’s unlikely it is concerning that these contract negotiations have been dragging in this way.