Ryan Lowe says Everton ‘moved the goalposts’ over Tom Cannon transfer

The Everton striker is set to sign permanently for Leicester City - according to reports
Tom Cannon  Tom Cannon
Tom Cannon

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe has confirmed the club won’t be re-signing Tom Cannon, with Everton said to have ‘moved the goalposts’ in the last week.

Last season’s loan star at Deepdale is reportedly heading to Leicester City for £7.5million. North End pushed to bring Cannon back to PNE all summer after his successful spell with the club last season, but the Foxes have swooped in late in the day.

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A deadline day deal looks set to go through, while North End have moved on to other targets and hope to get two signings wrapped up today. Lowe was keen to stress in his pre-match press conference on Thursday morning though, that Preston made an attempt to sign Cannon permanently.

“It’s massively respected by me, as the manager, that the Hemmings family put a lot of money up to buy him on a permanent deal,” said Lowe. “We agreed everything with Everton, but the kid has chosen somewhere else. My thanks goes to Craig and Peter for getting a substantial deal agreed with Everton Football Club.

“Earlier on with Tom, we had a verbal agreement to take him on loan and gave them all the money they wanted. Then, the goalposts got changed to say that they weren’t loaning him out now and that they wanted to sell him. Craig stumped up the money to get him, but the kid chose somewhere else, so we moved on to our next targets.

“We were promised a loan in all honesty, early doors, and that’s why we waited. Then the goalposts got moved a week or so ago, to say they wanted to see who was going to buy him. The deal was obviously over the contract, but to get to that type of money it was pleasing for me as the manager.”

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Lowe’s comments will naturally lead to questions as to whether North End could’ve offered such a fee earlier in the window, but the PNE boss has no regrets over Preston’s pursuit of Cannon.

“We couldn’t have done anything differently,” said Lowe. “When someone tells you what the plan and agreement is, you have to swear by it and go ‘that’s it’. We were told: ‘that is the loan agreement, that is the wages, that is the loan fee’. And it was: ‘okay, sound, when can we get it done?’... ‘as soon as we get a player’... ‘okay, when is that player coming in?’... ‘tomorrow, next day, next day.’

“So, we had to wait. Then the goalposts change: ‘now we want X, Y and Z for him’. Then we put ‘X, Y and Z’ on the table for him and get told it is agreed and that we can speak to Tom Cannon to agree personal terms. Then we get told the kid is moving on to somewhere else. We couldn’t have done anything more. Like with Archer, we put the money in to loan Archer; his one was a purchase, and we weren’t gullible in waiting for him.

“We were told he was ours. Everyone else was blown out the water with a loan agreement; Tom had actually agreed to not go to other clubs who were in for him. Obviously one has come in for him last minute and he’s chosen to go to them. All I am proud about is that we stuck to our guns as a football club and did what we thought the right thing was. We offered Everton the right money and then it was down to the kid, who has chosen somewhere else. That is surely not in our hands, is it?

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“Everton probably moved the goalposts about a week ago. And then I mentioned reevaluating what we were doing. Then, to be fair, Peter and Craig banged their heads together and stumped the money up. We agreed everything Everton asked for and they couldn’t believe how professional we were in the pursuit for him. It was frustrating at times, with things getting moved. We did everything we possibly could. We wish him all the best and move on without him.”