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Wrexham AFC: John Rooney insists he wanted to stay at The Racecourse

Published date: 14 February 2017 |
Published by: Richard Williams
Read more articles by Richard Williams


John Rooney 

JOHN ROONEY insists he was not holding the club to ransom after rejecting a new contract at Wrexham.

Eleven-goal leading scorer Rooney was one start away from activating a contract extension and had been in negotiations with manager Dean Keates over the past few weeks after being named on the substitutes bench for the last three games.

But although Rooney was willing to take a pay cut for next season, the midfielder was not happy with the size of the wage reduction and he has joined National League strugglers Guiseley on loan until the end of the season, with the Lions taking over his contract.

“It was never about me getting more money,” said Rooney, who joined Wrexham from arch rivals Chester last summer,

“I wanted to stay and I agreed to sign for next year for less money but the gaffer wanted to give me an even bigger reduction.

“I was willing to take less money to stay but the gaffer was asking me to take a bit too much. I have got a young family and I could not take that much.

“I just want everyone to know I wasn’t asking for stupid money.”

Rooney insists he never settled on a figure with Wrexham and wasn’t on the verge of signing last week.

“If I had agreed I would have signed on the day,” said Rooney. “But when you take a reduction you have got to think about things.

“I said I needed to go away and speak with my family.

“I wanted to be a part of this season and next season. I have been in good form and wanted to keep it going.”

Every Wrexham player has a clause in their contract that will earn them new deals if they start a certain amount of games this term.

Mark Carrington has already put pen to paper for next season while Paul Rutherford has agreed to stay after holding talks with Keates, but Rooney feels he has been treated unfairly.

“I still worked hard when I came off the bench and worked hard in training,” said Rooney.

“The gaffer let Curtis Tilt play to 30 games but he wasn’t going to play me, Carrington and Rutherford.

“I don’t think you can treat one player differently. You want to be treated with the same respect.

“Curtis has had interest in him and he deserves that because he has been the best player but I think I have played a big part this season.”

Rooney, who won the National League player of the month award for January, has helped Wrexham go on a six game unbeaten run that leaves the 10th placed Reds seven points away from the play-offs.

“I enjoyed every second here,” said Rooney. “We had a slow start to the season but we have done well of late and started climbing the table, I was part of that.

“I am gutted it came to an end, I wish Wrexham all the best and they go where they want to be.

“I have got a new challenge and I am looking forward to that.”

Third bottom Guiseley are battling against relegation and Rooney added: “It is something we need to go and do.

”Hopefully I am part of the team and we climb away from that.”

For more news from across the region visit leaderlive.co.uk

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