CAMERON Belford insists it was his not wage demands which stopped him joining Southend United on a permanent basis.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper, who ended last season on loan at Blues from Bury, was keen to remain at Roots Hall.
But he never even got to discuss terms with Southend manager Paul Sturrock before a summer switch was ruled out.
“I’m disappointed to not be joining Southend because I would’ve liked that to happen but it was certainly nothing to do with money,” said Belford.
“When I spoke to the manager he suggested that I would be better to stay nearer to where I lived in Manchester and to not have to move.
“I would’ve been prepared to have come down south and had already had the conversation with my girlfriend about making the switch.
“In football I think you have to be prepared to move around and I certainly am but these things happen in football and you just have to get on with it.”
Belford kept eight clean sheets in 15 games during his spell with the Southend.
FULL STORY IN THURSDAY'S ECHO