Baxter signs Latics deal
Date published: 12 January 2013
ATHLETIC pulled off a huge coup after tying down star forward Jose Baxter to a two-and-a-half year contract.
The deal was announced minutes before kick-off against Brentford at Boundary Park, to the delight of the home contingent.
Athletic fans roared their approval and sang the name of the 11-goal man.
It ended weeks of speculation, during which former Everton striker Baxter was linked with a host of npower Championship clubs.
Meanwhile, team-mate Reece Wabara has extended his loan from Manchester City until January 27. and will be available to face Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round.
In other news from Boundary Park, the board of directors plan to either scrap the youth team or make it the heartbeat of the club - and that crucial decision will be made in the next six weeks.
However, they will not choose which path to go down until they have heard what the fans think.
After carrying out a 12-month review of all costs, director Barry Owen has concluded Athletic need to either follow the example of Crewe by ploughing money into youth development, or not do it at all, particularly in light of the Premier League's Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).
"If we are going to invest in youth development, there is an argument for doing it properly or not at all. Last season it cost us £437,000, of which £210,000 was paid for by the football authorities, leaving us to find roughly £20,000 per month.
"Do we do a Crewe by not signing established professionals on loan and cutting the first team wage bill in order to invest more in youth, or do we scrap the youth system and put more money into the first team budget?
"We need to decide in the next six weeks because senior youth team players' contracts are due to expire. We want to open it up for debate and hear what the supporters think."
Full story in Monday's Chronicle.
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