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'Top earner' Efford's exit gets Motherwell budget on even keel

The exit of Joe Efford – who was one of Motherwell’s "top earners" – has allowed Motherwell to meet their budget target, says manager Stuart Kettlewell.

American forward Efford, 27, had his contract cancelled by mutual consent earlier this week after an injury-hit 18-month spell.

"A couple of factors in the Joe Efford situation,” said Kettlewell.

"Joe had a bad injury to his quad before I came in, he was fighting his way back to fitness, there had been a lot of stop-start and other knocks and niggles.

"Joe has never been a problem to me, but sometimes in football you need a fresh challenge and a fresh start.

"We never talk about it too much and managers don't get a lot of credit for it, but it's the financial side of it as well.

"Joe was one of the top earners at the football club. I'm immensely proud with the work that's been done over the summer in conjunction with the board, the chief executive, the head of recruitment, myself, other members of staff that we've managed to trim things down.

"We know we don't have loads options at this minute, but the situation with Joe brings us back to exactly where we're trying to be and what the board had stated was the ideal number for a budget.

"If you've asked me that I think we could get to the position we're in at the start of the summer, I would have the probably said no.

"What we are now is another player light which is difficult with the number of injuries that we have.

"But again, it's trying to get that balance between the numbers, the squad, but also what that budget looks like and where you want it to be."