It’s probably a factor that is not in the forefront of most fans’ minds at the moment. After all, the club is in a very precarious situation financially. But, the report by the Express & Star that Steve Bruce is still waiting to get the go-ahead to sign players does concern me.
Of course, with money as tight as it is, recruitment is going to be very tough this summer. With no substantial transfer budget likely to be forthcoming, and sales of key players on the horizon, getting some new additions in through the door early could be key.
I am not talking about players being signed for transfer fees here, I am talking loan deals and free transfers. The Birmingham Mail believe Steve Bruce and Steve Round have already drawn up their shortlist of targets.
Many, if not all of them, are likely to be available now, but they could easily be snapped up by other clubs if we don’t make our move very soon. When recruiting free players, there is no other club to negotiate with and so talks over contracts tend to be finalised in short order.
With players like Robert Huth, there are likely to be a number of interested parties already waiting to swoop in. If we are not ready to move quickly, there is a good chance we will miss out.
With finances as they are, there are a finite number of players available for nothing or on loan deals that are good enough to play in the Championship. I’m sure some will say that if we do miss out on these targets, it will be a good thing, as Bruce will then be forced to use our younger players.
Replacing senior players with a group of teenagers would not be sensible. In my opinion, that places too much pressure on the youngsters. If we are going to make a decent fist of next season, a mixture of youth and experience will be needed. To get that balance right, Bruce must be allowed to get on with his job.