Taking to Twitter yesterday evening, Republic of Ireland's Colin Doyle announced that his two-year spell with League One's Bradford City had come to an end.
With a regretful tone, the 33-year-old goalkeeper wished to thank the Bradford fans profusely, before going on to suggest that his surprise departure came as a result of the club deciding to go down a "different route."
Just wanted to say a big thanks to all the Bradford fans for the fantastic support they have given me over the last 2 seasons. Unfortunately I have just found out from the Club that they have decided to go a different route. I loved playing in front of you every week. ☹️ #bcafc pic.twitter.com/FtxWtIlU30
— Colin Doyle (@ColinDoyle01) June 21, 2018
In a statement released by Bradford City this afternoon, the club appear to have taken exception with Doyle's brief description of the parting.
Making it clear that they wished to retain Doyle's services, Bradford confirmed that they had "offered a new 2-year deal" to Doyle, but, "an agreement could not be reached."
Doyle, who made three of his four international appearances this year, had been a favourite of the Bradford City fans; a detail demonstrated by the large swell of support and astonishment Doyle's tweet received.
Absolutely gutted to read this. What are the club playing at?? One of the best players at the club!! A true leader!!
You’ve always given 100%, communicated with fans and you will be massively missed. We wish you well Colin where ever you go.
— Supporting Charities Football Club ®️ (@supportSCFC) June 21, 2018
Hey @officialbantams, you’re doing a real good job of alienating your fans atm. Every week I think it can’t get worse then BOOM. A top keeper at this level and a fans favourite. Another sattelmaier/raeder going to be brought in?! u18 goalkeeper promoted? #bcafc
— Thomas Wellock (@TRWellock) June 21, 2018
However, in the statement released by the club, they were keen to assert that losing Doyle was not something they had foreseen; "In May, an offer was made to stay a further 2-years at The Northern Commercials Stadium under the same conditions as his previous contract, however an agreement could not be reached."
Greg Abbot, part of the club's backroom team, elabourated further on the influence Doyle's agent may have had in the deal breaking down:
In situations like this, we make an offer to the player which we believe to be realistic. At that point, a player’s agent will come back with their offer. This is exactly what we’ve done with Colin. When an agent does comes back with a counter offer, if the club considers it unrealistic we all try and find a compromise. In some instances we can end up being too far apart and we just can't close the gap. When that happens, the club and the player have to make a decision. Ultimately, both parties have to do what they think is best. We offered Colin a contract and hoped we could reach an agreement. Sometimes you can’t get to an agreement, and in those instances it can be difficult.
The club's co-owner Edin Rahic also extended his thanks to Doyle for his services to the club during his two-year stint; "Colin has been very professional whilst he's been here and despite him being injured for parts of last season, he performed well when we needed him. Off the field, we all have the utmost respect for him and his wife. We thank him for everything he’s done for us and he has been a great servant to the club."