Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley reveals why new Charlton recruit Craig MacGillivray was allowed to leave Fratton Park

Danny Cowley has revealed the ‘tough decision’ behind Craig MacGillivray’s Pompey departure.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 6:00 pm

And the Blues head coach is adamant it made financial sense not to retain a player who has now joined Charlton.

MacGillivray was today unveiled by Charlton on a two-year contract, a transfer which had long been anticipated.

The Scot totaled 135 appearances during his three campaigns on the south coast, including being ever-present in League One in 2020-21.

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In addition, last term he was voted as The News/Sports Mail’s Player of the Season.

However, last month Cowley elected not to activate a club option to extend the keeper’s expiring contract by an additional 12 months.

Now promotion rivals Charlton have swooped to secure the 28-year-old’s signature.

Cowley told The News: ‘The option had a significant increase to what Craig was earning, so then you have to weigh it up.

Craig MacGillivray has joined Charlton following his release by Pompey. Picture Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Craig MacGillivray has joined Charlton following his release by Pompey. Picture Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

‘Ultimately, you can only value any player within your budget. That’s what you have to do.

‘So it doesn’t matter how much you like a player or want a player, you have to value them in the financial parameters you have available.

‘We think Craig is a really solid, League One goalkeeper, definitely a goalkeeper that can play at the end of this division, which has been proven.

‘We like certain attributes in our goalkeepers, it makes them different attributes to the ones that Craig has.

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‘Craig has been in a lot of teams which have played quite direct – we are the reverse.

‘I thought he adapted really well to what we asked of him. He was certainly improving in that area as the weeks unfolded at the back end of the season.

‘Pre-Covid, the financial football looked different compared to post-Covid, the market value has changed somewhat.

‘I wish Craig nothing but the best.’

MacGillivray proved one of Kenny Jackett’s best signings after recruited from Shrewsbury in the summer of 2018.

He immediately dislodged Luke McGee and established himself as a popular player at Fratton Park

With the Scot departing, Cowley is chasing Manchester City’s Gavin Bazunu to challenge Alex Bass to become Pompey number one.

He added: ‘You just have to make some tough decisions.

‘I say this to players all the time – I am going to make some decisions that you don’t like, I am going to make some decisions that I don’t like.

‘Ultimately, though, I am always going to make them with the best interests of the club at heart.

‘There are a lot of tough decisions you have to make, some are in your control, some are out of our control.

‘Some decisions I have made we will live and die by, but also some are taken out of your hands.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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