Blackpool Ram Raided for Barker
Seasiders defender Shaun Barker today completed a move to Championship rivals Derby County.
In an undisclosed fee, which is being variously reported as being between £900,000 and £1M, Barker signed a three-year deal with the Rams.
Barker was signed by former manager Simon Grayson in August 2006 from Rotherham United for £35,000, so the Seasiders have made a big profit by selling him. Karl Oyston has promised to use the money to bring in new players. Who and when remains to be seen.
Barker said of the move, 'I have been aware of Derby's interest for a while. I had three great seasons at Blackpool and the only two other clubs I would consider in the Championship would have been Derby or Forest. I made great friends at Blackpool and it's sad to leave. But this is a great opportunity.'
Barker, who made a total of 149 appearances for the Seasiders, scored his first goal for the club on 21st October 2006, a last minute winner over Crewe Alexandra. He captained the side for the first time on 6th March 2007, in a 2-0 home win against Bournemouth. That season he was vice-captain and an ever present in the side that won promotion from League One.
His performances in the latter part of the 2008-09 season led to him being linked with moves and it was finally Derby who won the race to sign him ahead of Nottingham Forest.
Karl Oyston praised Barker saying, 'Shaun has been a fantastic player for us and we wish him well for the future. We have kept him fully updated with all the various offers and negotiations we have been involved in and he has conducted himself in a fully professional manner. Being from the East Midlands Shaun was keen to discuss a move and after various discussions Derby made us an offer that we feel is in the best interests of the club.
Meanwhile Oyston stated that the money would be used to bring in new players, confirming that Ian Holloway has identified a number of players he wants to sign, and that the Seasiders are waiting to hear back from the club's, agents and players.