HOW refreshing to learn that Ross Wallace was willing to take a pay cut to stay at Burnley Football Club.
On the face of it, modern day football does not seem to have been touched by austere times like the rest of the world.
Burnley, however, have been honest about the need to cut their cloth in accordance with Premier League parachute payments coming to an end this season.
Nevertheless, there is an element of risk involved with tabling reduced terms to players whose deals are about to run out, given the volume.
Nine members of the senior squad are either hoping for a new contract at Turf Moor, or alternatively a new club in the summer.
Only one, Wallace, has so far agreed new terms to stay, which makes the club’s decision to restructure the scouting network at this stage of the season a peculiar one, given the prospect of a potentially large turnover of playing staff.
But I digress.
Wallace, with the security of his family in mind as much as his football happiness, was realistic about his expectations.
Disappointingly news of the new deal was met with a mixed response, and somewhat surprisingly given what the winger has contributed – particularly this season.
The Scot has been a good outlet for goals, with seven assists, while also chipping in with three goals since December 22. He has demonstrated his versatility on either flank or playing off the front, and has a penchant for penalties.
In his first season, after signing from Preston, he ended the season with five assists and three goals. Last term he at least doubled those figures (11 assists and six goals).
When word of the former Celtic and Sunderland wide man’s new contract broke last week, plenty were happy with the decision.
“Very exciting news,” said one fan. “Good news,” said another. “He has been one of our better players this season.”
Others were less enthusiastic.
“That’s ridiculous”; “Fairly underwhelming”; “Bad news” were among the negative responses.
Lee Grant and Dean Marney have experienced similar apathy.
Their common denominator?
They were Brian Laws’ signings.
It is only this season, which potentially could be their last with Burnley, that opinion has swung in favour of Grant and Marney.
Wallace still seems to be playing catch-up in that department with some Clarets fans.
But his decision to stay should be viewed as a positive.
For starters it is one less building block to find in the summer.
At 27, he is a good age, capable of offering plenty in the Championship, and perhaps higher. Who knows?
Also, essentially, it’s the equivalent of a free transfer.
Surely it’s a win-win situation!