Cherries: Chairman refuses to be bullied with bids
CHAIRMAN Eddie Mitchell has warned off potential suitors to the club's prized assets and insists Cherries will not be bullied into selling them. Mitchell says healthier finances at Dean Court will put the club in a stronger position should the vultures come circling during the close season. Several members of Lee Bradbury's young squad will have put themselves in the shop window during their epic Sky-televised play-off encounter with Huddersfield. And while Mitchell concedes the club may have previously sold itself short in the transfer market, he is adamant those days are long gone. With Cherries now knowing they will stay in League One, Mitchell yesterday held lengthy talks with boss Bradbury and assistant Steve Fletcher to discuss plans for next season. Speaking to the Daily Echo last night, Mitchell said: There isn't one player we want to lose. We've got a great squad, it has got us this far and we want to keep it together. We've got 10 players contracted to us for at least two years and most of the others have at least a year. They all did themselves a lot of credit this season and their stock will have risen. That is a good thing for the club because, if any were to be prised away, then people would have to pay for them. But they would take some prising because we don't want to break up the squad and don't have to. Financially, we are in a far stronger position now than we were 12 months ago. This time last season, we were heavily in debt and tearing out our hair wondering where the money would be coming from. Maybe the players we sold were slightly undervalued but we were always looking over our shoulder at the debt. Our financial situation is a lot better and we wouldn't be looking at the possibility of buying players if we weren't in a healthy position. The club is 10 times better than it was last season and that's why it will be easier for us to hold on to our contracted players rather than be bullied. Boss Bradbury is today set to hold his first round of talks with the club's six out-of-contract players Stevie Lovell, Danny Hollands, Mathieu Baudry, Ben Williamson, Dan Thomas and Tim Stephenson. All six are expected to be offered terms for next season. Meanwhile, Mitchell confirmed negotiations were ongoing with representatives of loan stars Adam Smith and Donal McDermott to explore the possibility of signing them permanently.
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