PODCAST: Former Blackpool defender reveals if he's got any regrets over his Bloomfield Road exit- and explains why he chose Derby County over Nottingham Forest

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Former Blackpool defender Shaun Barker says he’s got no regrets over the timing of his Blackpool departure- despite the club reaching the Premier League the season after his move to Derby County.

The 41-year-old joined the Seasiders from Rotherham United in 2006, and went on to make 149 appearances in Tangerine, including the 2007 League One play-off final victory over Yeovil at Wembley.

Despite Blackpool’s rise to the top tier under Ian Holloway, Barker believes things worked out for the best, and that his move in 2009 facilitated the acquisition of a key figure.

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"I regret spending about two weeks getting that bonus for all of the lads because that was hard work,” he joked.

Shaun Barker (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)Shaun Barker (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Shaun Barker (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

"It was down to me to haggle with the chairman. It was such a good bonus because no one expected it, it was starting pretty much from the bottom. I went in ridiculously cheeky and Karl (Oyston) agreed to it.

"It was right for me to move to Derby that year. I wasn’t desperate to go, I still had two years left on my contract and I was happy with what I was on. The reality is, if I wasn’t sold, the club wouldn't have had the money to sign Charlie Adam, and if they didn’t do that, they wouldn’t have got promoted- it’s just the way things work.

"If I had stayed, I might’ve got injured or I might've not been good enough for Ian Holloway; you don’t know what hasn’t happened. At that point for my family, coming back home to the midlands, and playing for a huge club like Derby was more than enough to tempt me.

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“It’s not something I’d change, I’m not one for changing stuff. I would’ve liked the little bonus the boys got, but that’s their journey. I loved seeing them getting over the finishing line to get to the Premier League.”

Before his move to Derby in 2009, Barker had also attracted interest from Nottingham Forest- who he had supported growing up.

“There was a fight over who was going to sign me,” he stated.

"I’d spoken to Ian Holloway and Karl Oyston, so I knew both clubs were interested. Blackpool had put a figure on my head, and they were the only ones willing to pay the money.

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"I spoke to both Billy Davies and Nigel Clough. I remember speaking to my dad, who was a Forest fan, but he said Derby had been the best with me and it felt a bit like Forest were trying to come in at the last minute presuming I would sign.

"Everything felt right at Derby. Billy was talking about promotions and bonuses. Nigel was honest from the start- he sold a different story of how I’d be integral to his rebuild, as soon as I spoke to him I knew it was the right decision.

"My cousins and my uncles didn’t agree, but that’s part of the game. It wasn’t a financial thing, it was just the right fit.”

The full interview is available as a podcast on Dailymotion, Spotify and Apple.

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