Date: 6th June 2014 at 6:55pm
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Manager Neal Ardley has today confirmed that agreement couldn’t be struck with 20 year old full back Jim Fenlon over a new contract and the player has now left the club.

Fenlon was offered a new deal at the end of last season, but that has been rejected.

Speaking to the Official Site the gaffer explained what had actually happened given all of the recent speculation.

‘Jim had an option on his contract, which would’ve taken him up amongst the highest earners at the club. This was an option that we felt we could not take up considering his form and attitude during the past 12 months.’

Ardley goes on to add that in order to retain compensation rights, a club has to offer the same terms in a new deal that had previously existed.

‘However, with our budget that was a step too far for us. We offered Jim a slightly reduced offer in the hope that we would be able to add the attitude required to his ability. But we have not been given that chance and we therefore wish Jim all the best for the future.’

Presumably, this does mean we have now lost the chance for training compensation owing to his age, which does seem a bit daft really as I thought it hinged on offering a contract, not a copy contract.

Ardley says that when it came to pushing the budget to accommodate the player, ultimately he had to acknowledge that Fenlon’s best position is right back, and Barry Fuller was named our Player of the Year for last season so it came down to options and whether ‘Jim would be a force for us next season’ in terms of justifying the stretching of the budget.

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