BOSS Lee Bradbury was last night left to count the cost of losing another key member of his Cherries squad – and a failure to add to his diminishing resources.
Bradbury saw winger Liam Feeney fly the nest, the 24-year-old completing an 11th-hour transfer deadline day move to Championship outfit Millwall.
Feeney, who will join ex-Cherries star Josh McQuoid at the Den, penned a three-year deal after the two clubs had agreed an undisclosed fee, believed to be
in excess of £200,000.
His former club Salisbury will receive a share of the fee, believed to be 20 per cent, while Cherries also had a sell-on inserted into the deal that took Feeney to south London.
Feeney’s existing contract with Cherries had been due to expire next summer and the Londoner would have been entitled to leave for nothing.
Cherries are understood to have held talks with Feeney regarding a new deal at the end of last season, although the player chose to keep his options open.
Feeney, who joined Cherries from Salisbury for £10,000 in January 2009, becomes the fifth player to be sold by the club in the past two months and the eighth in the past year.
His departure put the finishing touches to a frustrating day for manager Bradbury whose exhaustive attempts to bolster his squad drew a blank.
Bradbury and assistant Steve Fletcher, together with chief scout Steve Gritt, worked around the clock in a bid to sign a striker, their efforts partly
hindered by the timing of Feeney’s exit.
A late bid for Crawley Town frontman Matt Tubbs – who had previously been released by Cherries on two separate occasions – was rejected by the League Two newcomers.
Bradbury also made numerous enquiries for other targets and will now have to explore the loan market, once a seven-day cooling off period has elapsed next week.
Discussing Feeney’s sale, Cherries chairman Eddie Mitchell told the Daily Echo last night: “I think Liam had made it clear to Lee that he wanted to go.
“We didn’t ask Millwall to come in for him and we didn’t want him to go. It has been the same all during the close season.
“I think it has been ongoing for a period of time, it just took the agent this long to put it together.
“I believe Millwall offered him £4,500 a week on a three-deal year. What player isn’t going to want to go. I know I will get the stick for letting him go but he could have walked anyway in six
“If he wasn’t going to perform for us, there wasn’t much else we could have done, only try to get as much as we could for him. Under the circumstances, it is a good deal.”
Meanwhile, Cherries defender Mitchell Nelson also headed out of the Seward Stadium when he joined Conference outfit Lincoln City on loan, initally until October 1.