I don’t think any fan is under any illusions that this summer will see significant upheaval at the club. The playing squad could look pretty unrecognisable by the start of next season.
Yet, one of the major challenges we will face over the coming weeks and months will be teams trying to sign some of our players on the cheap.
Everyone knows that the club will have to sell, and that is a major problem as we battle to balance the books. With it being public knowledge that we have a £40m shortfall to make up, clubs are not going to be offering sizeable fees for our players.
We may have to accept below market value in some cases, but the need to get players off the wage bill will be paramount, with the club’s average weekly wage at £30,000 a week.
There have been a number of players that have been on the periphery of Steve Bruce’s first team, essentially deadwood that we need get rid of:
Ritchie De Laet
A number of these will be on high salaries, and considering the amounts we paid for McCormack and Hogan in particular, we are in line to make some significant losses.
In many of these cases, it’s hard to see where the money would be coming from, such as with Tshibola, Gardener, and Elphick. With De Laet, there is at least a purchase clause in his loan deal with Antwerp.
Still, we are left with a significant group of players, that have contracts at least until 2019, who are not going to get us close to meeting Financial Fair Play targets.
It’s one of the reasons why speculation around Jack Grealish is so high. Selling one of the club’s star players is an incredibly hard decision to make, but their hand may be forced by circumstances that are now beyond their control.