Fresh Pompey deals put on hold

Jed Wallace. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace. Picture: Joe Pepler

Contract talks with Jed Wallace and Pompey’s other free agents this summer have been put on hold until their Football League future is secured.

Wallace is one of 15 members of the first-team squad whose existing deals expire at the season’s end.

Yet with a caretaker manager in place following Richie Barker’s exit and a relegation battle ongoing, Mark Catlin has revealed all contract discussions are presently shelved.

The Blues’ chief executive said: ‘Player contracts should be put on the backburner until the end of the season or until we are safe before that period.

‘They are totally on hold. Players need to concentrate on the job in hand, the manager needs to concentrate on the job in hand and as a club we need to concentrate on the job in hand and that is getting as many results as we can from now until the end of the season.

‘I won’t be talking with any player until our league position is sorted out – and that also includes Jed.

‘We have gone really as far as we can with him.

‘He is taking advice from his advisers, there is obviously an impasse there otherwise he would be saying he was leaving or he would be signing.

‘We made the decision – along with the other players – that we will put this to bed now until the end of the season.

‘The offer is there, if you want it come back and talk, likewise if you don’t want to discuss it just get on with your football and enjoy your football and do what you do best.’

Meanwhile, Catlin has moved to clarify the absence of a recall option when David Connolly joined Oxford on loan in January.

The chief executive insists Football League rules prohibit such a clause as it was a window-to-window loan agreement.

He added: ‘With David it is a window-to-window loan deal, so there is no recall clause because we’re not allowed to put a clause in it.

‘David has been in touch, though, wished everyone 
well – and I believe he has done the same with Andy Awford.’