Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has explained the decision to sell club captain Jonny Howson in the last week.
Leeds accepted a bid last week for Howson from Norwich City and he has signed a three and a half year deal with the Canaries this week.
Bates, speaking in his usual Wednesday slot on Yorkshire Radio, explained the reasons for selling the club captain.
“Jonny Howson is 24 in May and his contract ends in June, that means he leaves on a Bosman at the end of the summer because his contract ends in June. We would be entitled to no compensation whatsoever. Nothing for the 14 years we spent nurturing him, training him up, bringing him up and promoting him.
“Furthermore, he hurt his leg against Millwall when he fell awkwardly and he has been out action ever since and he will be expected to be back either sometime next month or even March. We were astonished when Norwich came in and offered us, which after a bit of bartering end up at about £2 million, and to take the offer was a no-brainer.
“We have been working on Jonny for over 14 months, trying to persuade him to sign a contract and he steadfastly refused to do so, saying he wanted to keep his options open, because he wanted to play in the Premiership and of course we couldn`t guarantee promotion nor can any other club.
“It was a bit idiot situation, where the club captain wouldn`t commit himself to the club, but as usual the matter was left to the manager because we had a precedent with Beckford.
The question was, do we take the money for him now or say no and with a bit of luck, we get six weeks out of him, maybe eight games and then he leaves for free.
“It was left to the manager to make the final decision; he consulted his backroom staff and said take the money. Now we have that fighting fund in the pot to reinvest, which it will be invested in players.
“However, we are not going to invest the money for the sake of buying players. There is no point in doing that and we intend to buy players who will commit their future to Leeds United and have the ability to improve on our present squad, to strengthen the squad and not just make up the numbers.”
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