SPL

David Wotherspoon leaving St Johnstone as club decide against new contract offer

By Sports Desk May 30, 2023

St Johnstone manager Steven MacLean has decided against offering three-time trophy winner David Wotherspoon a new contract as he begins a ruthless squad overhaul.

The 33-year-old midfielder has spent 10 years with his hometown club and helped them to Scottish Cup glory in both 2014 and 2021 as well as the 2021 League Cup.

However, Wotherspoon is one of 14 players who will be leaving Saints this summer as MacLean, who was appointed permanent boss last weekend following an encouraging stint as interim manager, prepares to rebuild the squad following two consecutive seasons of battling relegation.

The Canada international will be given a testimonial year by the club, with details to be announced in due course.

Michael O’Halloran, Eetu Vertainen, Jamie Murphy, Charlie Gilmour, Bobby Dailly, Spencer Moreland and William Sandford are the other players who have not been offered new deals, while veteran midfielder Murray Davidson had already decided to retire after 14 years with Saints.

Remi Matthews, Alex Mitchell, Adam Montgomery, Zak Rudden and Connor McLennan will all return to their parent clubs after being on loan at Saints, while Theo Bair has been made available for transfer.

“I’ve had conversations with all of the lads who were out of contract and one or two of the decisions were hard ones to break to the players involved,” MacLean told Saints’ website.

“Jamie is a model professional and gave his all for Saints in his year here. Michael has been part of the cup successes. I wish them both well.

“David is a St Johnstone legend and I have total respect for him as a professional footballer and as a person.

“He’s played a huge role in all of our successes in the past decade.

“I’ve had a chat with him to explain the reasons behind my decision. I feel I have made the right choice for the football club as we move forward.

“I’d like to wish David the very best in whatever comes next for him in his career.”

Recently-appointed chief executive Stan Harris paid tribute to long-serving duo Wotherspoon and Davidson.

“David has made a significant contribution to St Johnstone over a decade and fully deserves his status as a club legend,” he said. “On and off the park, he has served us wonderfully well.

“He goes with the best wishes of myself and everyone else on the board.

“Also, on behalf of the board, we wish Murray Davidson the very best as he retires from football. Murray has been at Saints for 14 years and his overall contribution has been outstanding.”

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