First off he said that we can now punch above our weight. Well historically we have been back in the pack, best of the rest along with Villa, Sunderland & Everton. There has recently been a 50% gap up to spurs recently. And then to Liverpool with over twice the revenue of ourselves before the big jump up to the big 4. The other thing to consider is that with the new TV deals the revenues each club has is not clear, or more accurately I haven’t done the research. Also does FFP still apply or can he work on the assumption that by the time any sanctions would be applied in three years time the rules will have changed. So what does punching above our weight actually mean. Well closing the gap on Spurs would do that, and Spurs Had a wage bill of £100m in the 2014 season (we spent £78m). Given the new deals I can assume that is going up for the 2016 season. So lets assume that we are going to increase expenditure on the footballing side by say 100%. Lets say that we are going to spend £150m on the squad, and assume that that is an increase of £75m. We will let our increased TV revenues just cover that. Our Turnover was about £130m. We had £35m in Cash, and I see no sign that we have spent it so let’s be gung ho, but reasonable. This is Mike we are talking about.
He said win something, and which like Wenger before him includes coming 4th in the EPL. Now I don’t see tripling squad expenditure to challenge for top 4 as an equal as being a target. Arsenal, Cheapskates of the top 4 had a turnover of £300m and a wage bill of over £165m. I think it’s more if we get lucky, and others have bad years sort of thing.
He said that he won’t be choosing the manager he will be leaving that to Lee Charnley and the football borad, so Lee’s job is safe. But since he did not say anything about John Carver I can assume that he is gone.
He also said that he will provide the maximum available resources but expects the boad to get the best pound for pound value from them. So I don’t think he is going to throw money at the problem big time.
So if we did start to punch above our weight I’m going to assume that we have £35m in Cash with an additional £10m from player sales to spend on transfer fees, and that we are looking to increase our wage bill by £75mpa. This will stretch our finances but not break them.
First up and most important we need a top manager. What will that cost. Looking at the salaries of the top earning EPL managers, Rogers on £3.25m, Pellegrini on £3.5m then Wenger, LVG & Mourinho on £6-10m. So we need to match that and spend maybe £5m to get a top man. Obviously we would like Kloop, Anchelotti or Rafa, but would settle for Moyes. Personally I would go for Bielsa, Emery or Garcia if they were available. Maybe Frank de Boer. Or Bert VanMarwijk. We need to build.
Assuming we do the right thing and ditch the 1st team coaching squad I would like to use some explayers to get a bit more experience and balls into the club. I would bring Ketsbia in as an assistant manager and give Jonas a coaching role. Build to the future. So the staff would be another £5m. However FTSOTB – YCMIU. This would still leave thick end of £65m for Players wages.
Players. Well top players cost money. A top player, a purple to use the venacular, would cost at least £15m in fees so that 3. However, at £100k pw a player costs £5m per year each. So that is £15m of the wage bill gone. We still have £50m to go so we could get 10 free’s however they still require a signing fee which we would have to put through increased wages but still we are likely to be restricted by the quality out there more than the finances.
So 3 top signings and cover wherever we need it. So where do we need it?
GK we are fine although Alnwick is out of Contract.
Defence is the problem but only Raylor, Streete and Satka are out of contract. Our 3 main centrebacks all starting the final year of their contracts So we need to start again basically. We need a CB as one of our Big Three. If we could get Micah Richards on a free as well that would do it for this year. However, he may be on massive wages from his time at Citeh. Actually this is one area where McLaren would not be too bad a shout, he can organise a defence.
Midfield we are losing Jonas & Sammi. But have the Rangers Loanees and Marveaux back. Bit more width and creativity would not go amiss. Again we have been linked with Ayew amongst many others.
Up front we need to find real goalscorers. Ayoze looks good and Cisse can score on his day but we need a 20 per year man. I see Luuk de Jong got that this season. Funny that. There is a 20 year old Latvian Vladislavs Gutkovskis who got 28 this year. Would only cost £½ m. Worth a shout.
Anyway enough fantasy, my point is that spending the money on a top coach is not that expensive and we have enough talent in the squad if properly motivated and used. A few for the first team and a couple on the bench should do it. We can afford it.
Who knows things may be looking up.