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Burns on Blues: Blooms' contract delay highlights changing times at Wycombe

THREE weeks have passed since long-serving midfielder Matt Bloomfield was offered a one-year deal at Wycombe.

Matt Bloomfield

THREE weeks have passed since long-serving midfielder Matt Bloomfield was offered a one-year deal at Wycombe.

The 28-year-old has yet to put pen to paper on his new contract and it wouldn't take the most intelligent of pundits to guess that he is holding out for a longer deal.

And it would be hard to argue against him.

Since joining in 2003, Bloomfield has made 286 appearances for Wanderers and experienced the many highs and lows at the club – his loyalty is unquestionable.

“I have had a lot of good talks with the manager and the club, and they understand my position,” he wrote in his final BBC Sport column this week. “My heart is with the club and at 28 it is important that I do what is right for my career and my future.”

But could anyone blame him walking away to find a two-year deal elsewhere?

It is hard to imagine a working situation where you face an anxious wait to discover if you still have a job and can pay the bills each summer.

Would many of us simply accept this as the case? Especially if we had been at a company for nearly a decade? I know I wouldn't.

Injuries have hampered Bloomfield's career in the past but in his column he also argued his fitness is no longer an issue.

“I think it's the fittest and the sharpest that I have felt since I had my anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction four years ago,” he wrote.

The facts back him up. He made 34 appearances last season and played 38 times in the 2010/11 campaign.

Bloomfield put in a string of top displays for Wanderers this season and can certainly shine back in League Two next season.

His worth to the side and to Waddock was visible by the Blues boss starting him in their final 11 games of the season – arguably their most important run.

Last season, Leon Johnson and Danny Foster both quickly successfully negotiated for two-year contracts after initially only being offered 12 months.

And both were far from first-team regulars for Gary Waddock last season.

What has changed this summer?

Unfortunately, it may all boil down to budgets.

A takeover of the club from the hands of millionaire Steve Hayes to the Wycombe Wanderers Trust is certainly going to see a tightening of the purse strings.

The club is in a state of limbo with a transfer embargo still in place and it proving tricky to draw up a playing budget. All they know is they have to make cutbacks.

Backroom staff are leaving while a lot of the current squad remain under contract next season – probably offered extensions in anticipation for this current situation.

But loyalty and experience is priceless.

Especially with a crop of youngsters – Anthony Stewart, Jesse Kewley-Graham, Josh Scowen, Charles Dunne and Matt McClure – all going to be expected to learn fast and help Wycombe through this transitional time.

A player like Bloomfield – a true leader on and off the pitch – is exactly what they need to learn how to be a professional footballer and he deserves the same loyalty and stability he has given the club.

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