As The Season Nears The End & FFP Is Back In The Headlines, Should Fans Be Getting Twitchy Again
But I think we’d all agree our spending over the summer was to build a core of players to improve, irrespective of survival or not and I’d say that was proven by the fact it averages out at £10-12million per player, which is nothing when you look at other clubs’ spending (but of course, they are starting with a core already intact). Much like last summer, we had two lists of targets when promotion was back on the cards – our dealings this year have been with an eye to both surviving and relegation being a possibility.
Fans would’ve liked greater spending, but again, had we spent larger and gone down, next summer we’d be under more pressure to sell more key players to balance books and create a surplus, when surely if we do go down, we want to keep that core intact so instead of another mass rebuild, we can genuinely look to bounce back at the first attempt this time.
The aim though is obviously to stay up, and whatever fans think about the lack of experience brought in over the summer, it was addressed in January even if injuries more forced our hand, and those with no experience of this division now have half a year under their belts (which isn’t great, but it’s a better position than they were in last summer).
Going back to the numbers we know, simply put, having passed the last FFP period, the summer saw us spend roughly what we will get in broadcast money this year. Any balance and January is taken care of by ticket sales, merchandising, commercial, sponsorship etc and let’s also not forget, depending on how player deals have been structured, our combined £140million in transfer fees isn’t actually due as debt this year anyway – and we haven’t even addressed the topic of allowable debt yet, nor the unexpected return to Wembley and the cash that has generated for our coffers, or players out and savings there.
Much like last summer, the headlines might be tasty and get your attention, but the reality is often different. Are we free and clear, absolutely not, are we back at the dark days of the club potentially going out of business (needing a takeover and a Hail Mary of the Stadium deal to keep us going), absolutely not.
Do we need to be sensible – yes – and whilst it might not get bums off seats and whilst we might not be signing ‘names’, it’s the first proper step in a process to get us back to better days and no amount of media ‘doom mongery’ changes that.
Jack will ultimately be in control of his own future, as will Meatball and Mings and in many ways that doesn’t change that much regardless of whether we go down or stay up – it depends on what they want and how quickly. That won’t change the headlines though as we near the summer, especially if we do go down, but unless you like punishing yourself, I still wouldn’t take the reports of ‘impending doom’ and ‘firesales’ seriously.
I won’t be.
FFP - Have We Done The Right Thing This Year?
Time Will Tell