St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown has explained the club could not turn down transfer bids from Preston North End and Wigan Athletic for Ali McCann and captain Jason Kerr.
McCann has joined Preston in a deal which could break the club transfer record held by manager Callum Davidson. Kerr meanwhile departs for Wigan for a fee of around £600k, both deals concluded on Deadline Day. It resulted in anger from the fanbase but Brown has moved to calm the situation.
He has explained why the League Cup and Scottish Cup holders could not turns down the bids: “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 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.”
“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. That money will be reinvested back into the football department.”
Meanwhile, McCann has paid tribute to St Johnstone after his move to Preston: “St Johnstone are a great club. I’ve been there since I was young so it was difficult leaving because they’ve done so much for me when I’ve been growing up but an opportunity to move down to a club like this is just too much to pass up.
“It was a bit weird with no fans and all that, we finished fifth in the league in the end and to win both cups was just incredible to be a part of. It was a great group of lads so it’s a bit sad to move on but it’s a great opportunity so I can’t wait.”
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