JASON Scotland will not start two more games for Ipswich Town this season – unless he accepts a cut-price contract offer from the club.
The Trinidadian striker is tantalisingly close to triggering a 19-game clause in his contract which would automatically give him an extra year on the same money.
However, manager Paul Jewell – whose side have little left to play for this season – has now reluctantly admitted that it does not make financial sense for the club to keep the 33-year-old on as one of its higher earners.
“The clause that he’s got we can’t afford to give him basically,” said Jewell. “If the clause is triggered it’s decent money and with this financial fair play rule, and the tough economic climate, we are having to look at reducing wages.
“I never wanted to get into this situation where I couldn’t play a player because of a clause because that’s messy for everybody.”
Scotland has missed the last two games after picking up an abductor strain in training, but has trained all weekend and should return to the bench for tonight’s Championship visit of Middlesbrough.
“Jason has met with Simon (Clegg) and I’m not quite sure of the outcome on that yet,” added Jewell. “I think the club have made Jason an offer and I believe he is considering it.
“Jason understands the situation. He knows he’s a year older and he’s been very reasonable about it. I don’t know what the figures are, they’re not really for public domain anyway, but the new contract will be on lesser terms.
“I spoke with Jason about all this a long time ago. I think he’s been a really good player since I’ve been here. He’s a good, positive lad around the place, he’s started games and done well, he’s come on as a sub and done well.
“He’ll continue to be a valuable member of our squad over the remaining games because it’s not all about the players that start a match, it’s about having options that can change the game too.”
Meanwhile, Scotland’s fellow Trinidadian Town team-mate Carlos Edwards – who himself took a pay cut recently in order to stay at the club – said: “It is always nice to secure something before the end of the season. There are still a few of the lads who need to sort themselves out but the gaffer knows that and that will be dealt with as soon as possible.
“I hope Grant (Leadbitter) and Jason will follow suit. We haven’t spoken much about contracts but all I can say is that the lads are eager to secure their careers here at Ipswich. I hope they can follow in my footsteps in that way.”