Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Footitt deal is in the air
At 29, the fast bowler is coming to his peak and has a year remaining on his current deal. His current contract will doubtless see him among the best paid in the club, but it is unlikely that he couldn't get a better deal elsewhere.
On his recent England duties, he will doubtless have seen and heard the sums on offer around the circuit, presumably being interested in the salary undoubtedly picked up by David Willey in his move to Yorkshire, that was announced today.
I am sure that Mark and his agent are looking for the best available deal at a key stage of his career and the next three years are likely to be the most potentially lucrative for the player. His injury issues are behind him, his pace is good and he is a very good bowler. In what is a short career, I don't blame him or the agent for their stance. Whether Derbyshire can match those demands is a moot point.
Every player has his price and it is all well and good to say, as I read elsewhere earlier, that we should do what it takes to keep him. With respect, that is nonsense.
Derbyshire will make the best offer they can afford to the player, but that is all. They won't break the bank, for the simple reason that we have to finance a squad, not just one player.
If Mark gets - and I'm plucking a figure from the air here - an extra £20K a season, why shouldn't Wayne Madsen and Wes Durston, respective captains, get parity, or better? Don't you think that the agents of other players might not want their client looked after too?
If we are to retain the best of the youngsters, we need to look after them. If we want to bring in a couple of Kolpaks, we need to have the money to do so. If we hope to recruit from other counties, we need to have a budget to do that.
David Willey going to Yorkshire blocks the path of an existing player or two on their staff and there will be one or two of them unsettled. It is the case with any signing and it may open doors for other counties, including Derbyshire, to pick up good county cricketers.
I hope Mark Footitt stays and plays for us for a number of years, but Derbyshire will balance his demands against the returns. He is a fine four-day bowler, but doesn't play T20. Logically, if a more affluent county comes in for him and money is his sole motivation, then he will go, perhaps even before the end of his contract. As we all know, they aren't really worth squat these days, when the benefits are seemingly all with the player and little with the club, if a player wants to go.
A better summer for us would have helped and no one can blame Mark for looking at what is out there, perhaps resulting in some silverware in his career. Yet how many counties, outside of Yorkshire, can guarantee that?
I have no doubt that discussions will continue through the autumn and winter and we will all keep a wary eye on developments. Just trust the very good people at the club to do what is required. We may or may not keep Mark, but I wish him the best either way.
But either way, the club will continue.
And I await your comments with interest...