Adam Eckersley’s agent stressed today that the full-back wasn’t refused a new contract at Hearts because of high wage demands. James Lippett spoke out to explain that Eckersley did not ask for any amount of cash because talks with the Edinburgh club never got that far.
The player was told last week that Hearts will not be renewing his contract, which expires at the end of the season. He had hoped to be offered an extension, but Tynecastle officials want a younger left-back with more sell-on potential for their return to the Scottish Premiership.
Lippett is eager to address suggestions that Eckersley asked Hearts for unrealistic wages. The agent insisted salary was not discussed and said his client is disappointed to be leaving.
“This wasn’t about money because money was never discussed,” Lippett told the Evening News. “Adam has enjoyed his time at Hearts more than any other period in his career and he was happy to stay for next season. Hearts indicated all along that they would offer him a deal, but then last week he was told that wasn’t the case.
“There was never a situation where Adam or myself asked for a specific amount in wages. That just didn’t happen. Adam is being criticised unfairly by some people for high wage demands and it just isn’t true. He was waiting for Hearts to make him an offer, he didn’t put any demands to them.
“He played a big part in helping Hearts win the league this year and he wanted to play in the Scottish Premiership next year. Now he finds himself looking for another club and he’s disappointed.”
Eckersley arrived at Tynecastle in August last year after six years playing in Denmark. He signed a contract until the end of the season but will head for pastures new when the season ends. He was left out of the squad on Sunday as Hearts lost 2-1 to Rangers at Ibrox.