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Cheltenham Town chairman keen for Marlon Pack to remain a Robin

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

STAYING PUT?:  Robins chairman Paul Baker will consider keeping Marlon Pack at Whaddon Road

STAYING PUT?: Robins chairman Paul Baker will consider keeping Marlon Pack at Whaddon Road

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CHELTENHAM Town chairman Paul Baker is willing to listen to boss Mark Yates regarding his desire to keep star midfielder Marlon Pack.

Speaking after Tuesday night's 2-1 victory at Southend – in which Pack was instrumental – Yates said that he wants to do all he can to keep the 21-year-old at Whaddon Road for the rest of the season at least.

Swindon Town made an approach to buy the former Portsmouth playmaker, but the move fell through on transfer deadline day with the Football League refusing to sanction the League One club to make signings.

The deal was thought to have been worth £100,000 to Cheltenham, who would also have brought in winger Luke Rooney from Swindon on loan until the end of the season.

The move has been hanging in the balance ever since, while a takeover of Swindon by Jed McCrory's consortium is finalised and approved.

Pack sat out the home win over Torquay United before spending the next two matches on the bench, but he went on against Dagenham on Saturday and performed well in the latter stages.

He partnered Jason Taylor in the centre of midfield at Southend, scoring a penalty in the 13th minute and showing why Paolo Di Canio is so keen to acquire his services.

Baker said the club are not relying on any income from the proposed deal for Pack and that they will consider keeping him, even if Swindon do come back in for him when they are permitted to make new additions.

"We are still waiting to see what happens at the Swindon end, but Marlon is an exceptional talent and he made such a difference on Tuesday night when I thought he was the best player on the pitch," Baker said.

"We want to keep him until the end of the season, and while we have to look at the business side of things we are not committed to going ahead with the deal.

"There would be no financial repercussions if it doesn't happen, but of course it would be a bonus to our funds if it does.

"At the moment I assume the Football League are doing their due diligence regarding the Swindon takeover, but I think we are in a win-win situation."

Baker praised Pack for the way he has handled a tremendously difficult situation in the past fortnight.

"We have to have half a mind on Marlon's personal situation and we would like to resolve this as quickly as possible," he said

"The way he has handled the whole thing has been first class and he is years ahead of age in terms of maturity.

"He can congratulate himself on the way he played on Tuesday and it was probably his best performance of the season – his talent was there for all to see.

"At the moment he is our player and it's an interesting scenario, but not one of our making. We have to make sure we make the right decision."

Baker is hopeful that if Pack remains a Cheltenham player until the end of his contract in the summer the club will still net a significant fee for his services.

"It he stays we will be delighted and I am not sure how much we'd get from a tribunal, but I think it would be based on Swindon's value of him which is a six-figure amount," Baker said.

"He has made a lot of appearances and he was in the League Two team of the year last season, so we'd certainly hope to receive a reasonable figure which will make a big difference to Mark's budget for next season."

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