Sell­ing his Sol… for £10 mil­lion

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FOOTBALL - NEIL MOXLEY

HE has 73 caps but said ‘yes’ to the fourth tier of English soc­cer.

Sol Camp­bell sac­ri­ficed his Premier League soul for a £10mil­lion pay­day as am­bi­tious Notts County this week pulled off their sec­ond jaw-drop­ping sign­ing of the trans­fer win­dow.

The for­mer Eng­land cen­tre back, 34, shunned top-flight suit­ors to com­mit to Sven Go­ran Eriks­son’s team for the next five years in an un­prece­dented move by the League Two club.

Camp­bell’s es­ti­mated £40,000a-week wage may have been less than half the sum he pock­eted at Portsmouth last sea­son, but the length of the con­tract an­swered any out­stand­ing is­sues as to why he com­pleted the switch.

The size of the deal – al­lied to the per­sis­tence of di­rec­tor of foot­ball Eriks­son – even­tu­ally per­suaded Camp­bell he could stom­ach the drop in stan­dard.

The £2m-a-year salary makes him com­fort­ably the high­est earner out­side the top flight, bar­ring those play­ers at Cham­pi­onship clubs who dropped out of the Premier League last sea­son.

By con­trast, some of Camp- bell’s col­leagues in the County dress­ing room are tak­ing home lit­tle more than £500 a week.

Camp­bell said: “At first, I thought it was one of those ra­dio wind-ups when Sven called. But then he started talk­ing and say­ing a few things. As time went on I started to re­lax about it.

“It still took quite a few weeks to de­cide. He didn’t phone me up ev­ery day but he did ev­ery three or four. He was chip­ping away at me. There were other of­fers but they were all ifs and buts, not re­ally proper, all short term.

“For me, it was a trade-off. There were other teams in­ter- ested from the top flight. But this here is the long term. The other stuff may be short and pres­ti­gious but I’m looking for my ca­reer. It doesn’t mat­ter where you are, you can play and do noth­ing else at Premier clubs.

“This gives me a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties – to play as long as pos­si­ble, three or four years. Maybe the last year looking at the player-coach side.

“Of course it’s go­ing to be dif­fer­ent. But I don’t mind start­ing again. And I don’t think it’s re­ally start­ing again here be­cause they’re a great club with great tra­di­tion. League­wise it is drop­ping down but we’ve got am­bi­tions to move up and we will.

“You’d be shocked. Some of the Premier League clubs are all over the place be­hind the scenes. Not all them are well oiled ma­chines. This will be a well-oiled ma­chine.”

Asked whether Spurs had wanted him back, Camp­bell added: “Well ... the chair­man ... there were other con­sid­er­a­tions.” One of them, clearly, was not the opin­ion of man­ager Harry Red­knapp, who still be­lieves the de­fender can cut it among the elite.

COLOUR OF MONEY: Sol Camp­bell shows off his new liv­ery with Notts County man­ager Ian McFar­land.

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