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Richard Foster among 14 players freed by Ross County

The veteran defender is among a host of first-team and youth players released by the Dingwall club.

Richard Foster among 14 players freed by Ross County

Veteran defender Richard Foster is one of 14 players released by Ross County following the end of the Premiership season.

First-team players Sean Kelly, Lewis Spence and Declan McManus will also leave the Highland club when their contracts expire in the coming weeks.

Academy prospects Tommy Dixon-Hodge, Jack Murray, James Wallace, Declan Hughes, Joel MacBeath, Gregor MacDonald, Jack Grant, Thomas Brady, Tom Kelly and Ruari Fraser have also been let go.

Centre-back Tim Grovosti and midfielder Harry Paton have put pen to paper on new deals, while club captain Marcus Fraser and defender Callum Morris have been offered new contracts.

Co-managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson said in a statement: “Firstly, we thank Lewis, Sean, Declan and Richard for their service to the club.

“We wish them further success in their football careers, and they will always be warmly welcomed back to the club for their contributions in their time here.

“It is with regret that we have to let a number of our younger players go.”

The Staggies safety was secured after the top-flight campaign was brought to a premature end last week.

However, County have moved early to clear their books as clubs look to deal with the loss of income caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Staggies chairman Roy MacGregor was against the idea – advocated by PFA Scotland – of extending the deals of players using the government furlough scheme.

McGregor said holding onto players who don’t feature in their long-term plans is “dishonest”.

He said: “We have had some advice from our authorities, and we have had some legal advice and some HMRC advice and we think that is challenging,” he said.

“I do sympathise but keeping people on furlough when others are training is not a scenario I think is right. It would be dishonest from the club.

“Until someone from HMRC or a higher authority reassures us that’s not the case that’s probably where we stand.”

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