With the final week of the Emergency Loan window coming up after this weekend, a number of clubs appear to be ramping up their plans for the season run-in by bringing in new players. The former Glovers quartet of Stephen Henderson, Max Ehmer, Rob Kiernan and Andre McCollin have all found new clubs this week as a result.
Goalkeeper Stephen Henderson's move from cash-strapped Championship strugglers Portsmouth to West Ham United has been on the cards for so long that you'd swear he'd been signed by the Hammers five times over according to the articles that have appeared on websites over the last seven days. That deal is now confirmed, with it being a loan agreement with a view to a permanent move - although the two clubs don't confirm it, the rumourmill claims that the Irishman has a three year contract on the table to sign at Upton Park. By that time he could be a Premier League player, given his new club's position in the Championship League Table.
Portsmouth have said that they will be receiving "significant loan fee" as well as having the Hammers pay 100 percent of the player's wages. Their financial plight means they have little choice in the matter - a decision made by the club's administrators who are currently conducting a fire sale that will almost certainly consign Pompey to League One football - assuming the club is not liquidated entirely. Outside the relegation zone even after their ten point penalty for falling into administration, they have now picked up two points out of their last eight fixtures and that has left them cut adrift of safety by eight points.
With Henderson not the only player leaving the Fratton Park payroll in a hurry, Pompey are unlikely to recover. Boss Michael Appleton said that he personally did not want to lose Henderson, but felt that he had little say in the matter:
"We don’t want to lose our best players, but the situation the club is in doesn’t leave us with many options. Stephen has a fantastic future in the game and this is a good opportunity for him to join a club fighting to win promotion to the Premier League."
Administrator Trevor Birch made it clear that the goalkeeper would probably not be the last player to disappear off their books, explaining that there were still issues with keeping Pompey alive on an ongoing basis, despite the Football League agreeing to provide £800,000 in rights payments that it had initially withheld when they went into administration:
"Stephen Henderson will be joining West Ham on loan with a view to a permanent contract. We still need money to get past the end of the season. It doesn’t just stop then, so I am trying to get in that extra cash which pushes it even further. I cannot divulge how much we will receive (from West Ham), it wouldn’t be right to. But it’s a significant fee. We wouldn’t be doing it otherwise."
Former defender Max Ehmer is another one on the move, joining League One rivals Preston North End on loan, having yet to break into the Queens Park Rangers first team. Max will stay with the Lilywhites until May 5th as he becomes Graham Westley's tenth signing since arriving as their manager in mid-January. Westley believes that getting Ehmer into his squad will provide them a 'steady player' in his side:
"Max gives us versatility, he can play at centre back or play in the midfield holding role. He has got plenty of experience at League One level and for those reasons he gives us an extra pair of legs. I've seen a little bit of him over the last couple of years and he is certainly a steady player who can make a strong contribution to the side. He knows this level of football and I know that Queens Park Rangers think very highly of him."
Meanwhile Wigan Athletic defender/midfielder Rob Kiernan has gone out on loan to League Two side Accrington Stanley. The 21 year old's transfer from Watford to Premier League side Wigan was a bit of an odd one, given that he'd failed to break into the Hornets first team, and the same fate has hit him at his new club. As a result he is now with Accy for the remainder of the 2011-12 season. Kiernan says he hopes to go straight into the Accrington side:
"I can't wait. I'm looking forward to my first game tomorrow and getting going. Hopefully we can get three points and do well. I think the gaffer's been watching me for a while in a few reserve games and with Ireland and spoke to Roberto Martinez to see if I could come down and play a few games. I've been on loan a few times before so I know what's expected. It's a big step up compared to reserve football and it's so important to get three points. I know what to expect."
Finally, former striker Andre McCollin has been spotted playing for Surrey side Merstham, having just signed for them from Tooting and Mitcham. Merstham play in Isthmian League Division One South, and McCollin has joined them after missing a fair chunk of the 2011-12 season with a double leg break.
Comment on this News Item on Facebook
or Go back to Top of Page