St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson says the Scottish Premiership club were powerless to stop Jason Kerr and Ali McCann moving to Wigan Athletic and Preston North End.
Captain Kerr moved to League One Wigan on Deadline Day for a fee of around £600k while McCann swapped Perth for Championship Preston at the 11th hour for £1.2 million plus add-ons. Both were instrumental in St Johnstone’s League Cup and Scottish Cup victories last season and Davidson says he couldn’t deny them the chance to head south.
Davidson said: “We would not turn down bid after bid because this is part of their development. I want Jason to go on to play for Scotland and for Ali to have a brilliant career. The timing was unfortunate because we didn’t really have any contact from the clubs until the last day of the window.
“With Ali’s one, I was just about to go home. I thought it wasn’t going to happen – that was late into the night. I didn’t think I’d lose him all window or even that last night. Both boys wanted to go. These were life-changing moves.
“People will say that we could have held on to Ali (who had two years left on his contract compared to Kerr’s one) for another window but you can’t choose when an opportunity comes along. I obviously spoke to Ali and he was desperate to go. Both players absolutely loved it at St Johnstone and that did make it hard for them to leave.”
NTOF now offers a YouTube channel featuring exclusive interviews, post-match discussion, in-depth debate, and much more – LIKE and SUBSCRIBE and don’t miss any of our videos.