MARTYN Harrison today described Lee Phillips and Steve Tully’s free transfers to Exeter City as a ‘smart bit of business’ for the Terras.
The wantaway duo last night completed their moves to St James Park after agreeing personal terms with the National Conference side.
Weymouth fans were stunned by the decision to allow two of the club’s prized I assets to leave on free transfers but chairman Harrison said it ‘made good sense’.
He explained: “What we’re talking about here is two players who made it perfectly clear they didn’t want to play football for Weymouth. When a situation like that arises it’s in the best interests of everyone to let them go.
“Between now and the end of the season we would have had to pay them about £10,000 in wages and so it’s actually a saving for the club.
Of course it would have been better to have got fees for them but it didn’t happen that way.
“Last week we received and accepted an offer of £5,000 for Phillips from Aldershot but he didn’t want to go and we couldn’t make him.
Had we not done something like this we would have ended up having to pay the wages of two unhappy players and I’m not having that.
“Phillips has been injury-prone this season and has only scored seven goals while Tully currently has a broken foot and probably won’t play again this season.
When you look it that way, how much could we have expected to get for them?
“When Exeter came in and offered to take them it made sense to let them go.
To be honest the odd £10,000 here or there in the great scheme of things at Weymouth Football Club is not worth worrying about and I personally think it’s a smart bit of business. ”
He added: “I don’t mind admitting I’ve taken the easy way out on this one.
But what it does mean is that our manager Steve Johnson now has 23 happy players in his squad. Players who are committed to Weymouth and care deeply about the club.”
Harrison revealed the Grecians had initially only been interested in taking Phillips to Devon but were told it was both players or nothing.
“It wasn’t negotiable,” Harrison added.
“When Exeter made an inquiry about Phillips we told them if they wanted him they’d have to take Tully as well.
“There was no compromise on that. That was the deal and in the end they agreed to it.”