Norwich City stalwart Iwan Roberts has warned there will be no winners in the Grant Holt contract impasse.

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"Hand on heart, I think it will be very, very difficult now for Grant and the club to come to an agreement."

Iwan Roberts, on Grant Holt’s contract dispute with the Canaries

Talks between the club and Holt’s adviser have so far failed to resolve a damaging situation that has been played out in public since the captain’s surprise transfer request at the end of last season. The Canaries’ hierarchy reiterated last week they want Holt to stay, but the triple player-of-the-year continues to be touted for a summer move with no agreement imminent on an improved Carrow Road deal.

Roberts believes new City boss Chris Hughton faces a difficult task to try and thrash out a solution that ensures the 31-year-old can spearhead Norwich’s Premier League charge again next season.

“It is a lose, lose for everybody,” said Roberts. “I felt the whole thing could have been handled better by the club and Holty’s agent, to be fair. You don’t want to wash your dirty linen in public; especially Norwich, that is not a club where they do that. Players rarely ask for a transfer here. They either get sold on or their contracts run out. I think the only man who will be able to retrieve it is Chris Hughton. It is just a shame that it has come to this because he wants to finish his career here.

“I’ve met him a couple of times. He is an honest lad, a down-to-earth lad and he is no big time Charlie. He only just moved his family down and bought a house last year so that shows how committed he has been to the football club.

“Hopefully, Chris wants to keep him because you don’t want to lose your best players and he is someone who is guaranteed to score you 10 or 15 goals in the Premier League. He is a vital part of the team.”

Roberts has spoken at length with Holt’s advisor, Lee Payne, and the Welshman believes a parting of the ways would have consequences for both club and player.

“I think getting that third year on his contract is important to him – which I can totally understand,” said Roberts. “It isn’t like he is asking for £25,000, £30,000 a week. I know a lot of players in the Championship that are earning far more than Holty is.

“He came into the game quite late and he is in his prime now, whereas some reach their prime when they are perhaps 29 or 30. People doubted him in the Championship and the Premier League and he proved them wrong.

“He would be the first to admit he wants to finish off his career here. He is loved, he is adored, he is scoring goals and he is earning decent money.

“Grant might well get a move to another club, probably for a bit more money, but what price do you pay for enjoying your football somewhere, for enjoying where you live? It happened to me when Nottingham Forest came in for me in my third season. They hadn’t agreed a fee with the club and I didn’t want to go.

“I might have got an extra £1,000 or £2,000 a week at the time, but the grass is not always greener.”

Roberts has also backed Norwich chief executive David McNally’s recent assertion that to try and replace Holt would cost big money.

“The club will know players like him are hard to find,” he said. “You might not get someone to score 15 goals in the Premier League and strikers always cost the most. Grant has built up a great relationship with the supporters and for this to happen now is a crying shame. This is a lad who has won three player-of-the-years – and that doesn’t happen very often in football.

“He is playing for a fantastic club, with outstanding facilities, and a club where he should have got an England cap last season. He could go somewhere else and maybe get £5,000 a week more, but there is also that danger it doesn’t work out for him.”

Roberts insists it is vital the stand off is resolved before the start of the pending Premier League campaign.

“I believe Grant and his agent have tried to get a new contract sorted since last March, but for whatever reason the two parties have been unable to thrash out a deal,” he said.

“I know one or two things have been said as well that have hurt him massively and hand on heart, I think it will be very, very difficult now for Grant and the club to come to an agreement.

“I know there are two sides to each story and you hope the club and the player can still sit down around the table, especially with the new manager, and agree a fresh deal because I don’t think this is about a financial disagreement. Holty isn’t asking for the world.”

48 comments

  • troublesome1 - with all due respect, he has a contract for another two years - he happily signed it last year. What would your boss say if you said, "I know I agreed to work for this amount of money, but I have changed my mind. I want more now otherwise I will go somewhere else." I can imagine what most bosses would say... (And I am a Grant Holt fan, but a contract is a contract is a contract...)

    Report this comment

    Mel Lacey

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • we,re all going on summer holiday no more work for a week or two, taking with us cheesy puffs and lots of NCFC videos,hope to settle out a couple of things with a grant ,wheres the bus , blast me a snake and wow a jacussi

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • If Holt wants out, then ship him out take the first £5m offered and get rid. That applies to any others who don't want to play for OUR team. We will still be here long after they have all retired. We survived after selling the likes of Reeves, Fashanu and Sutton, one more want away striker isn't going to break the club. Yes he's been great whilst here but let's move onwards and upwards.

    Report this comment

    Cannock Canary

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • I am happy to hear Iwan's views on it, because we aren't going to hear anything else for a while. Iwan Roberts is an "insider" but the "Pa Snipps" remain un-buttered. If this is all about saving face now, it's too late. Hopefully CH can sort it when he comes back from his 57 hours of NCFC DVDs holiday.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Think you may all find that CH is bringing a certain tall foreign striker in from Birmingham! Holtys off if the price is right!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • It would be very sad if Grant left City and especially under the current circumstances. I can't believe all this is just about extending a contract. Iwan Roberts talks about Holt being deeply hurt during recent discussions. We may never know what has really been happening but I do hope that Mr McNally and Chris Hughton can resolve this. I do want Holt to stay; he is immensely important to the progress of City in the PL; but we have to be brave and prepare ourselves for the fact that he has made up his mind to move on. And I agree with a lot of the comments that that could be to his detriment. So here's hoping Grant will still be with us come August and the new season.

    Report this comment

    Canarygirl

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • Letting Holty go might ultimately cost the club more than an extra years contract. We should not forget the impact that he has as captain too. We also need to remember that I bought a Grant Holt number 9 shirt at Xmas.

    Report this comment

    B Inners

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • The club should look at it this way: He's been invaluable to the club for the last three years, he'll probably continue to be invaluable for another two, maybe three, maybe more years. If he suddenly becomes completely useless in two years (which I highly doubt) then his past and current value to the club will outweigh being tied in for a year longer than desired. The club should just apologise for whatever it was, give him the extra year on his contract and maybe a raise. He means far too much on the pitch and to the fans to let it end like this.

    Report this comment

    Adam Penny

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • The timing of the holidays couldn't have been much worse. This is going to simmer for another fortnight. Hope we keep the big fella.... Can't help a little self-satisfied smirk @ (former) King Paul's expense. Missed Liverpool + Spurs + he ends up with deluded, debt ridden, little Villa. For once the great man's timing deserted him ! PS:Brewer can I try one of your vacuous puffs please? Are they like cheese puffs but just taste of vacuous instead..?

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • Pay the man - end of & move on.

    Report this comment

    JMH

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Ref. Summer distractions. I read today that Delia has been outflanked by Morecambe FC. The Club`s pies are being sold at Harrod`s! The in-ground price is `only` £2.50, but Harrod`s are knocking them out at £9.95! Must be flogging them to overpaid footballers from Fulham. At least they`ll be well Fayed, y`all. Come on Delia, another income stream beckons; the rich & famous will pay a tenner for snack-pie! Just don`t include we ordinary fans in that category- and keep them away from Holty, too....... ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • Italy v Croatia. What are the odds on the ref. blowing the whistle to start and all 22 players immediately falling to the ground, writhing in pain.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • I entirely agree with Iwan Roberts comments, ref Grant Holt. Enjoying your football & loving where you live is far more important than the little extra money you may get for moving elsewhere.

    Report this comment

    Paul Mark

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • I didn`t suggest discussion should be closed `a fine city`. Just questioning the value of `lip-synched` stuff from ex players containing unhelpful and mischievous phrases like `hand on heart, I think it will be very, very difficult for Grant and the club to come to an agreement`. Coming from a mere keyboard warrior like me, that is just idle speculation. With the faux gravitas of an ex player like Iwan, it takes on more significance than it deserves. How does he know? If he does know, should he not keep his own counsel until the matter is resolved by GH and the Club? It has shades of the triumphant, if premature, revelation of Norwich`s signing of Mackail-Smith last year, which then went belly-up. That was another former player-cum-`expert` on the media gravy train. Of course, if Holty does stay, the chances are he`ll overtake Iwan in the goal-scoring chart..... Btw, I never used the word `fair` or even `unfair`, and I did not tell `people` to shut up, just Iwan or his ventriloquist. I`m told by posters with teenage children that `shut up` is no longer considered that unpleasant. Timbo used it on me a few weeks ago, and we`re still pals! Yours vacuously, ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • This has to be the easiest decision to make. A number 9 who scores goals, holds the ball up, crosses like a winger, gets the players playing and the fans on their feet is priceless in the Premier League. CH can replace PL without impeding progress, but i cannot think of another number 9 out there that does what Grant does, that will not cost 3 times as much as we are likely to get from selling him.

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • If Grant Holt is in Cyprus on Holiday, and Chris Hughton is about to set off on his annual vacation, it is unlikley that the pair of them will meet until late June or early July at the latest. This being the case we can expect there is not going to be any progress until the two meet, probably in 2-3 weeks time. Suggest we move on to a new topic until then.

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • Mel, I tend to agree with you, but contracts in football are just bargaining tools when a player has real value. No decent player is allowed to go into his last year of a contract nowadays, so they're rarely honoured for the full duration. Holt is a key player to us for staying in the EPL. The cost of relegation has just gone up again and I think the club could use this as a face-saver to give him a third year. It's not an ideal situation, but if Sir Alex and Man Utd can swallow their pride with Wayne Rooney then I think we can with Grant Holt.

    Report this comment

    troublesome1

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • I guess we all really want HOLTY TO STAY , but if too much has already been said that cant be mended, even by CH , then he will go and its then upto the management to maximise the return and enable a suitable replacement to be found. Crossing my fingers for mediation. Can it be taken to ACAS. or could I invite all parties to the swan at ringland , lubricate them and eventually an agreement would be reached.

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • If there is to be a bid for Holt from Villa,Lambert,who usually pounces like a mamba,is just waiting for things to quieten down.He gets riled with people making trouble.

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    Peter Watson

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • if chris hughton can resolve the holt situation it may be the single most crucial thing to come out of his reign as norwich manager however long that might turn out to be.

    Report this comment

    dick

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Iwan needs to invest in: 1) A brain. 2) Some teeth. 3) A proper job. Then stop fretting about Grant strolling past his goal-scoring record.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, June 16, 2012

  • I think this is all very sad. There is obviuosly much more to this than we may ever know. And I can't help feeling that the whole incident is being well manipulated by yet another agent out to make money!! Holt is a fantastic player but he needs to sort this out and fast.

    Report this comment

    Canarygirl

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Unfortunately its a bit like when British citizens get kidnapped abroad - the club can't be seen to allow themselves to be held to ransom so publicly or there will be copycat incidents. No-one is bigger than the club.

    Report this comment

    SussexYellow

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • probably to chuck me in the wensum

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Do they offer players a bonus for goals scored and for win bonuses ? For example, for every goal City score the players could get paid a bonus of £X and for every goal that an individual scores himself, he gets a bonus of £X+ £Y ? These could be weighted or adjusted for wins, draws and losses. It would seem that putting people such as Grant Holt onto a bonus for goals (idividual and team) would give added insentive for them to stay. Anyone who is scoring 17 goals a season should be rewarded for achievement.

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • I think the board should give GH an option for a third year - if he can no longer play in the EPL he could be a real inspiration to the youngsters!

    Report this comment

    Geffy1

    Saturday, June 16, 2012

  • If he doesn't think it is fair for the Holt question to be discussed by former players, perhaps Brewer can spare us his own vacuous puff? I am interested to hear from Iwan and his take on things. This is a newspaper site where people are supposed to be expressing views about things they care about. Telling people to shut up rather defeats the point of opinion pieces and message boards. Surprisingly enough, I will 'leave it to the manager' as I'm not sure he is going to be asking for my opinion, but that is no reason to close down all discussion until the next official tweet.

    Report this comment

    a fine city

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Holty needs someone to point out the grass is often not greener elsewere, look at the history books of football. I also think that a forward who was scoring like Holty must surely be worth an extra years wages even if in the third year he didn't play a game. He is a fans favourite which should mean something to the club and was also an inspiration on the pitch. This is one of the poor moves that the club has made. Whats a few thousand to a club receiving millions also with a good fan base to allegedly keep happy.

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • i bet lambo is kicking himself,just took the villa job and the spurs one comes up.now that is a big club.

    Report this comment

    bluelight

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Yes, DaveG - that why we've already contracted him for a further 2 years. The issue is all about the third year. Personally, I think he deserves it although I don't he will be the same player at age 34. I would also very suprised if CH has not already spoken to Holt (even if he's in Timbuktoo) and the outcome is known, but not yet made public - probably because he wants to move and the only question is where to.

    Report this comment

    canarydownunder

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • Surely there's more to this than meets the eye. Could it be that Holty came to know some months ago of the Lambexit, and the replacement team amongst which there was someone that he'd had a serious falling out with. That would account for his sudden transfer request and McNally's speed in recruiting a new team. If so it should not be beyond the new team to placate Holty, bearing in mind his revered status and contribution to the team, and as for Holty he ought to bury the hatchet, but without injury to the new boy.

    Report this comment

    Saundergate 59er

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • If he only wanted a third year and no wage increase, this should've been sorted quickly and quietly. We cannot afford to lose him and cannot afford a like-for-like replacement, so it seems like a no brainer to me, especially now the stakes have gone up re the TV money.

    Report this comment

    troublesome1

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Kent Anglian...couldn't agree more. "That" goal at Anfiled was indeed my highlight of the season and showed GH to be special. To replace him would cost a lot more than he probably wants so why is McNally procrastinating one wonders..........I actually live in Cyprus and wonder which overpriced Hotel he's staying in.....I'd love 10 minutes with him. He could be at Aphrodite in Paphos where that useless "Rio" stayed last week moaning about not being in the England team after his own manager said he wasn't fit enough! Hope GH stays as he;s more than a captain and centre forward he's an inspiration to the team. Apart from Bellamy and Rob Green not many ex City players have left and done well.

    Report this comment

    Bogaz John

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • All this glib speculation adds nothing beyond a nice little earner for Iwan & his ghost writer. Chris Hughton is the new manager. His credentials as a "healer" were well proven @ Newcastle. What could have been a car crash became a well-merited return to the Premiership, well appreciated by Mr. Ashley. NOT. It`d be better now to leave CH to do his best without vacuous media puff, as lucrative as that might be for the perpetrators. Or is it just an orchestrated expectation-lowering excercise? Me cynical? Shut up and leave it to the manager. Nobody does it better.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • I can't really see how the manager can change the Holt situation. From what I've read, the damage has been done at a higher level. Hope CH can prove me wrong, but we might need Kofi Annan for this level of mediation.

    Report this comment

    jharding

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Message to Grant Holt... I know you will be enjoying your holiday in Cyprus, every one who goes there does. You should have got rid of the tension that was troubling you before you went. When you return, think about what you and your family have living in and around Norwich, the friends you and your family have made on and off the pitch, and ask yourself if a move to another club could make life sweeter...Some of us have tried it, and here we are back home..... Don't change your name to mine!...... Blimey! My words are coming out correctly!

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Sensible comments from Iwan there. Holty must be awarded his 3 year contract if he really wants to stay NOW - what he brings to our club we cannot afford to let him go !

    Report this comment

    spark

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • In the light of the new TV deal for the season after next - payments by results. Massive bonus and the extra year for still being Premier in 2013 else one last year.

    Report this comment

    Pondlife

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Fresh topic until Holty issue resolved? Take up on bluelight`s comments ref. the Spurs vacancy. I have it on good authority, from a Villa `insider`, that the Contract Lupa Trembla signed there was destroyed by spontaneous combustion. Originally I was given to believe LT had signed it either with disappearing>invisible ink, or non-drying (smudgeable) ink. In fact, it was nitrogen tri-iodide, which looks very ink-like but when it dries out is prone to ignite if roughly handled. He has signed a contract at Spurs now. Fact. Daniel Levy made him etch it on a tablet of stone with a chisel. Next thing there`ll be a TNT incident at WHLane. A bit quarrying, that.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • If he only wanted a third year and no wage increase, this should've been sorted quickly and quietly. We cannot afford to lose him and cannot afford a like-for-like replacement, so it seems like a no brainer to me, especially now the stakes have gone up re the TV money.

    Report this comment

    troublesome1

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Why is there a stand-off? Last year, Grant Holt signed an improved three-year contract with NCFC. Simple mathematics suggest there is still two years of that contract to run. Whenever I have signed a contract, I always thought I was making a legal commitment. Why do footballers think it is any different for them?

    Report this comment

    Mel Lacey

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • I have to agree that Brewer is right, this decision must be left to the manager. What has happened is regrettable and damaging, no-one comes out of it with any credibility. Now it's up to Chris Hughton to try and change a sad stalemate into a win-win situation. Lets hope Chris and Grant both come out of this challenge as winners ! OTBC

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • The only part of Paddy-Iwan's article I don't agree with is them claiming it "will be difficult for Holt + the club to come to an agreement". How do they know? It might be resolved quite easily once CH gets on the case. PS: B Inners- you know where your new shirt says HOLT on the back? If Grant goes, why don't you simply add the words " ( roughly halfway between Fakenham + Cromer )" underneath..? Just save you having to throw it away mate ...

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • They might be `sensible` comments, spark, but hardly insightful and not at all helpful either. Leave it to the manager!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • "Roberts has spoken at length with Holt's advisor, Lee Payne". Would it be cynical to think that Iwan has been asked to convey a message on behalf of Grant to the Board and us fans. Who better than our previous 'No 9 Legend' to give out concilliatory and reasoning words explaining Grant's point of view? Anyway, I would like him to stay. My Anfield memory of Grant reeling away after scoring, dumping Reina and two Liverpool defenders on the ground will live forever. More of the same, please, big man!!

    Report this comment

    Kent Anglian

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • Timbo, shut-up! ;-). I was just contributing my latest ethered effort when I saw your message coming in. Like you and bluelight, I was also raising the Spurs issue as a distraction from the Holty situation, as suggested bai Duby. Conspiracy theory involving invisible ink and other utter nonsense. I prefer nonsense to puff, really. Breaking news; Lupa Trembla has chiselled his signature on a contract written on a tablet of stone specially brought down by Daniel Levy. Now it`ll take an earthquake or a blast of TNT to delete that one... Puff Adder; f**ts in the bath and counts the bubbles. ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • good call Dubai. Who dislikes ipswr4ef, ipswilkjkhjfv, just cant bring myself to type it, the most ,us or my neighbours who support the so called mighty U's.

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, June 15, 2012

  • Perfect prisoners dilemma this situation. Why give him the 3 years now? Wait one more season, then he can prove his worth... If he believe he is bigger than the club, sell him and get someone who wants to play... If this drags out, he will turn out to be a liability rather than a good thing... We REALLY don't need liabilities in the team, nor primadonnas... We'll do it THE NORWICH WAY!

    Report this comment

    Norwegian Canary

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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