A season like we’ve just had usually causes disgruntled fans to turn their frustrated attention towards the board rather than the manager. For now, I will leave the argument to one side as to whether the current board should be finding new owners/investing their own money and look closer at what we could potentially do with the impending injection of cash from Sky/BT over the next few years.
It therefore seems like the next couple of years would be the perfect time to invest this money into our future. We keep hearing we cannot afford the new ground move (or even a complete redevelopment – I must be honest I’m not too concerned which one it is but I know for sure we can’t just keep going year to year with the status quo).
The way to make this money would I’m afraid be by taking a hit to the playing squad. We would have to sell some of our prized assets which given the new TV deal and natural movements on supply / demand will go for higher transfer fees than we have seen previously witnessed. These players will ultimately have to leave anyway so let’s sell them for the top prices before contracts run down or form drops. This money could not entirely be invested back into players and we will have to work around loan market small transfer fees and the youth development for a few seasons.
There is a risk attached to this as not investing in the playing staff can and that ultimately could result in relegation . The key objective for this strategy would have to be staying up of course but as long as we could do this (which given the current squad should not be too difficult) then we need to at some point invest in our future rather than sitting around for some multi billionaire to buy us out or waiting for a handout for one of the poorest councils in the Country.
We need to be pro active and realistic at the same time. The TV money and subsequent transfer fees in the football world is like paper Monopoly money but when you bring that money into the real world it can go a long way.
I as much as anyone would love to see all money pumped into team affairs but as we have seen in recent years, a 15 million pounds signing guarantees nothing and still leaves us way behind the teams we would like to be competing with.
If we can secure a new ground for something like 12 million a year for 20-25 years (less if we raise £50-£100 profit in transfer fees) then surely we would rather invest this rather than throwing this money at a 7 million pound signing plus 5m a year wages.
One could argue that this would put a financial constraint on us for a number of years and would reduce the value of the club in the short term but as soon as the ground is built/developed, there will be a real asset (investment) on the other side of the balance sheet.
If we are reluctantly accepting that the cups represent our best chance, we should at least invest in our long term future. Time to rebuild from a position of strength rather than plodding along waiting for something to happen.
Whether the current manager is the right person to take us through a few prudent years well that’s one for another day!!