Kilmarnock say that wage demands higher than the club could afford were part of the reason why Kyle Lafferty departed Rugby Park in recent days.
On Friday, the club announced that the Northern Ireland international was among those who "decided to move on" this summer. In an interview with the Daily Record on Saturday, Lafferty disagreed with that depiction of the situation, saying that he wanted to remain at the club.
After joining Kilmarnock in February, the 33-year-old scored 13 goals. Though, it was not enough to prevent the club from dropping out of Scotland's top tier for the first time in 28 years.
Lafferty added that he "wasn’t asking for the earth" with his wages demands. In a statement on Sunday, Kilmarnock painted a different picture, saying that Lafferty's representatives asked for wages "four times higher" than what the player had received towards the end of the season.
The club also rejected a claim by Lafferty that some players were only given "a few hours" to make a decision about a contract offer.
Kilmarnock hit back at Kyle Lafferty in statement
"The club is not in the habit of making public statements on matters around player contracts, preferring instead to conduct our business in private, however Kyle’s comments to the newspaper require us to make our position clear," reads the statement from Kilmarnock.
"Following the conclusion of the play off against Dundee, we entered into negotiations with players we wished to retain for the 2021/22 season which included Kyle.
"We received a series of figures from his representatives which were four times higher than the sum he received towards the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
"At this point, we informed Kyle and his representatives that there was no possibility of agreeing to those terms, which would have had a monumental impact on the allocated first team budget for the season.
"Following further discussions and both parties remaining miles apart, it was clear that no deal could be struck and in order to continue our planning for 2021/22, talks were brought to a close.
"Kyle told the newspaper: “that contracts were offered to individuals and given a few hours to make a decision.”
"This is simply not true.
"Every player offered a contract for 2021/22 was given a period of several days in line with a deadline set by the club to decide whether they wished to accept our offer. Some of those players opted to turn down a new deal, which they are perfectly entitled to do.
"While disappointed to read Kyle’s remarks, we reiterate our thanks to him for his contribution to the club and wish him well for the future.
"As the club continues to rebuild for next season, it is important that our supporters know that we’re doing everything to support Tommy Wright in building the strongest group possible to win promotion back to the Premiership and we thank the fans for their fantastic response in the first week of season ticket sales, which provide vital funds for the manager."
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