'I was pretty much certain': Joel Lynch reveals why he snubbed a two-year contract at Sunderland
Joel Lynch has revealed that he turned down the offer of a two-year contract at Sunderland last summer – because he was ‘pretty much certain’ the club would be promoted to the Championship.
The centre back was one of seven players released by the Black Cats this summer following the curtailment of the 2019/20 season, which sentenced the club to a third season in League One.
And it’s safe to say things didn’t pan out as Lynch had hoped when he arrived on Wearside in September.
At the time, the 32-year-old was offered a two-year deal by then-manager Jack Ross – but instead opted to sign a one-year deal with the intention to renegotiate once the club were promoted.
"I was initially offered a two-year deal. I thought I'd sign a one-year deal and then sign a new deal after being promoted to the Championship. I was pretty much certain that was going to happen," said Lynch, speaking to the BBC.
"Football is crazy and all this has happened. I wish now that I'd signed the two-year deal, but I didn't. That's life really and something I have to deal with.”
Sadly for both club and player, things did not transpire that way. The Welsh international is now one of an estimated 1400 players seeking a new club this summer and is anticipating a ‘tough’ few weeks ahead.
But he has nothing but praise for Sunderland and manager Phil Parkinson, who personally phoned the defender to tell him of his contract decision.
"I found out straight away and the club were quite good with me,” added Lynch.
“I have a family and I want to keep playing for a few years. But now I've got to find a new club and it's tough.
"I think you're very lucky if you're a player under contract at the moment. Players who are under contract shouldn't really take it for granted.
"There's so much uncertainty. I've literally just got to wait. There's nothing I can do apart from keep fit, which is hard on your own, but I'm trying my best."