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St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown hits back at former player Tam Scobbie

Steve Brown.
Steve Brown.

St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown has hit back at Tam Scobbie after the player launched a scathing attack on the way his McDiarmid exit was handled.

The defender, who has now joined Tayside rivals Dundee United, claimed on Monday that after five years with the Perth club he had been offered a new deal that would have meant accepting a 35% wage cut.

Scobbie called that a “slap in the face” and added “I feel I was forced out of the club by the chairman”.

Now, Brown has responded, insisting he was only doing what was financially prudent for the club.

The chairman said: “As much as anything, I was disappointed by the timing of the comments.

“On a day when the thoughts of all Saints fans were on the excitement of the European draw, there was the distraction of a story from a player who claims to have Saints’ best interests at heart.

“As much as I accept that he was part of a successful squad, he only started 18 out of 46 competitive games last season and over the course of his five seasons with us, he was in the starting line-up in less than half of the games.

“With this in mind we tried to structure a deal which, although it did reduce his basic wage, offered a higher reward for him starting matches so that if he played he wouldn’t be worse off. We were only offering him a one-year deal after consulting and agreeing with Tommy (manager Wright).”

Brown added: “It’s not new, though. Anyone who knows this club and how it is run knows that we will always endeavour to balance the expenditure with the limited income we have and so to sign a quality player like Stefan Scougall – who we have pushed the boat out for – it stands to reason you have to try and balance the financial scales.

“That’s what I saw us attempting to do with someone who was a squad player and in my opinion that was a sensible way to address it.

“It’s worth noting that among the numerous contract renewals we secured in the early spring, there are other players who have restructured their deals in order to remain at the club and I’m delighted with their outlook and understanding.

“However, as with all players who leave St Johnstone, I thank Thomas for his contribution and wish him well for the future.”

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