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Having spent all summer long fighting to rid the club of the talentless, wage sapping, shirking transfer listees, Darren Ferguson is now facing an even bigger battle as he goes head to head with new chairman Maurice Lindsay.
Brought in by Tycoon Trevor Hemmings, Lindsay remit from day one was to cut costs and recoup as much money in sales and loan fees as possible, without leaving Ferguson a squad destined for the drop. However it is reported that over the past few weeks, chairman and manager have locked heads over several deals.
Although Ferguson did not oppose the move, Ross Wallace was the first significant sale of Lindsay’s reign. Although the player was happy to stay and Ferguson keen to keep him, his wages were deemed too high and the sale was made. Ferguson was promised a portion of the funds for a replacement and he targeted Matt Phillips, but Wycombe have priced North End out of that move for now.
However the first major blow in the new relationship was when Lindsay took it upon himself to agree a deal with West Brom for Andy Lonergan before informing either the player, and more importantly, the manager. A furious Ferguson returned from Spain to veto the deal and speak directly to Hemmings about Lonergan’s true worth to the club. Several new bids from West Brom were all turned down as Ferguson seemed to have control once more over the playing side of things.
Unfortunately this has not extended to incomings and despite a deal being agreed with Darel Russell and his agent, a player Ferguson is desperate to add his inexperienced midfield, Lindsay has blocked the move for over a week now and with rumours suggesting both Leeds and Watford are set for fresh talks with Russell, a decision between chairman and manager needs to be made quickly.
How long Darren Ferguson is prepared to put up with the interference and restrictions currently in place at Deepdale is yet to be seen, but the number of signings before Doncaster arrive for the first match of the season could indicate who currently has the upper hand.
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