It’s inevitable at this time of year that you will hear rumours about potential transfers. The Birmingham Mail have even run the rule in recent days over who we could sign if we go up or stay in the Championship. They’ve even today decided to have a look at the 113 players that are available on free transfers this summer.
Yet, for the club itself, such talk is probably far from their thoughts. No doubt, there are short lists of transfer targets in place if we are in the Championship or the Premier League, but the serious implications on finances that will be affected by the outcome of the playoffs mean any serious plans will be put on hold.
If we do stay down, the purse strings will be seriously tightened. The double whammy of Financial Fair Play and a large reduction in Premier League parachute payments will have a big effect on the club. The fact we are unable to offer Alan Hutton another deal, a man on reportedly £20k a week, shows how severely things could change next season.
The importance of getting through the playoffs this season cannot be overestimated for this reason. It is a club effectively in financial limbo, with budgets being planned ahead with vastly different numbers dependent on the outcome of two to three games.
Those sort of considerations won’t enter the minds of most of the players of course. The exception being those like Hutton whose potential new contract hinge on the team being promoted. Still, it is in my mind, along with many other fans heading into the semi-finals.
The Championship is a hell of a difficult league to get out of, and I have new found respect for some of its clubs and players since we landed in this division a couple of years ago. If we have to fight in this league with fewer resources, it will no doubt be tougher.
That is why I am extra nervous heading into these mammoth end of season fixtures. I just want to get out of this league as quickly as possible.