Dunford promises funds for new signings after Walsh deal

Doncaster are leading Crawley Town by 3 goals to 0 and Joe Walsh is sent off (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-151102-092759004
Doncaster are leading Crawley Town by 3 goals to 0 and Joe Walsh is sent off (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-151102-092759004

Crawley Town chief executive Michael Dunford has promised manager Dean Saunders has freedom to bring in another new signing following the departure of captain Joe Walsh to MK Dons.

Reds have cashed in their most saleable asset by sending the Wales U21 international on emergency loan to their League One rivals for the rest of the season with a view to a permanent contract in the summer.

Dunford said: “Joe’s out of contract at the end of the season. We’ve made two good offers which he hasn’t accepted.

“They are better than he is on now and it’s fair to say if he had accepted he would be our highest earning player next year.

“His agent said he had interest from a club in Scotland. This could have meant he would have lost any commercial value as compensation from a tribunal only applies between English clubs.

“We wish him well - it’s always sad to lose one of your better players.

“It helps balance the books a little and gives us the chance to bring another player in.

“We’ve still got Richard Wood, Darren Ward and Sonny Bradley.

“If Dean Saunders wants to do something else he can come to us (the board) and we’ll try to support him.

“We just want to protect ourselves financially. The danger is that if he goes across the border (to Scotland) we would get nothing.

“Although there is a limit of five loan players you can name on a team-sheet, you can have more at the club.

“There’s a definite improvement and a good team spirit.

“There will be plenty of excitement between now and the end of the season and it will be a roller-coaster ride for us and the fans.

“We can hopefully expect some bigger crowds coming along to watch - we had 1,000 fans come from Sheffield and this Saturday we are expecting another 1,800 to come from Bristol.”

Manager Dean Saunders said: “We are disappointed to lose Joe but he is a good lad and we wish him well.

“He has a big career ahead of him and he’s Welsh as well so I’m looking forward to seeing how his career develops.

“I don’t know what the fee is to be honest, we had a feeling something might happen.

“Good luck to him.

“I always like to see young lads go on and do well. I will be watching his career and maybe he has learnt a little bit off me in the short period I have had with him.”