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Club News

Hodcroft: Economics Affecting All Clubs

8 September 2012

The Chairman has used his latest Programme column to discuss the ongoing financial troubles that are affecting every club and ponder whether it's bad planning or poor corporate governance.

We offer a warm welcome to all involved with Carlisle who have made the relatively short trip to Teesside compared to the distances both they and ourselves have to travel to complete our League One away fixtures. 

Out of the six home points available in seven days we got the first three against Scunthorpe. It was a win that the whole team needed along with two goals and a clean sheet. Although a penalty was missed, it was well struck and if the keeper chooses the correct way to dive, the result is usually a save. 

As mentioned in last week's notes we were not active in the last few days of the transfer market but of course most of the Premier League was (and those club owners with spare money in the Championship). 

It is noticeable that the economics, even for the "big" clubs, have slipped down a notch or two. Whether it will be good money well spent remains to be seen. However as this column has said previously (and it's now been mentioned by a few Premier League managers), the transfer window should only be in the close season and finish before the first game of the new season. 

The squad you have at that time is what should be used to gauge how good you are as a manager and how good the players are you "wisely" bought. 

Players (and as a consequence managers and clubs) are affected by agents offering them deals after the first games of the new season has started. This is not good for any squad of players and causes unease within the clubs affected. A change is required to prevent this and possibly even eliminating the January transfer window... 

Talking of player moves it was interesting to note Andy Carroll's loan to West Ham.Injured in the first game and then the Liverpool manager saying he made a mistake in letting him go before he had brought a replacement in! (Bad planning?)

Andy is a good old fashioned No.9 striker but are big strikers a dying breed? Carroll is good at flick-ons and battling with centre-halves but if a team's manager wants to always keep the ball on the ground then the old fashioned No.9 has limited duties. Teams have to adjust accordingly and at Liverpool that was not going to happen - so why the manager has been quoted as saying that he should have kept Carroll is a mystery. Surely in the economic interest of Liverpool it would have been better to highlight how much the loan to West Ham has saved the club (Carroll's debut and due to his injury has cost West Ham an estimated £12,000/minute...). 

The issue of what to do with players, who are on a long term contract, but not in a manager's plan, is a growing one for clubs, yet clubs in the higher divisions are now signing players on four or five year contracts. So although, as noted above, the amount of money being spent is reducing due to economic pressure, clubs are allowing managers to sign players on expensive long term deals (usually longer than the managers own Contract) that could cause future economic woe for the club. This procedure is pushing the monetary issues into the future and as most Premier League clubs today are already heavily in debt, the debt crisis in the future for such clubs only gets worse. Bad planning or poor corporate governance?

Either way, the economic world of football continues to mystify just about everyone. 

Enjoy today's game and hopefully we can pick up the next three of the six points we have planned for...

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