Tightening The Purse Strings
In the first of a two part series this week Swansea Vital will be focusing on the new fiscal direction of the club.
In the first part of the series we will be looking at the transfer window dealings that saw club outgoings drop significantly in transfer fees.
Coming into this transfer window there was a real sense that the players coming into the club would not only be quality signings but economical ones to boot. The board have not disappointed the Swansea city faithful. In seasons past the board have shelled out vast sums of money on players and have gotten very little in return.
The Board at the club were clearly trying to buy success on the field of play with rash signings like Ian Craney from Accrington Stanley for £150,000 and Pawel Abbott from Huddersfield for £150,000. Craney has not hit the mark for the club and much criticism has been levelled on the midfielder on the pitch. The same must go for Abbott who did play to his potential whilst at the Liberty Stadium.
In Abbott`s case the club managed to recoup £100,000 in selling Pawel to Darlington fc. The sale of Lee Trundle to Bristol City for a fee around £1 million plus add-ons is a shrewd the board did not waver from their evaluation of the striker. This also must be commended in recent seasons bids have been rejected by the club but we needed to cash in on Trundle whilst he still had market value.
In the last few seasons whilst at the liberty stadium the board have shelled out approximately £925,000 on players. This figure represents only a LDV vans trophy, a Faw cup and a play off final. Arguably this for a club that flirted with relegation from the football league 3 seasons previously is an achievement.
It must be looked at as an extravagant expense by the Board; some players bought over those two seasons have not performed well in the league and have been a waste of funds for the club.
The boards Policy of what can be described as blank cheque signings was to the detriment of the club and irresponsible. Even a relatively thriving club cannot afford to be that extravagant with transfer fees to other clubs.
This policy had to be looked at and looked at great length, the club could no longer go down the road of spending 100,s of thousands of pounds on players who give little return on the investments placed on them.
The board have in the last few months have shown a change of policy over transfer dealings and financial matters. This has come not a moment to soon and will ensure that the club can build in other more crucial areas for the future like the new training facilities.
The UK transfer market is grossly inflated and this has been noted by the club. Huw Jenkins and Roberto Martinez have looked to more economical markets like Holland, Spain and Scotland. In the process the club have secured some excellent signings a few of which have been transfer coups.
On paper at the expense spent this transfer window a total of £275.000 for 8 players. This equates around to a 1/4 of the expense of the previous 2 seasons combined. The players brought in have not broken the bank and offer real value for money. For instance the signings of Dorus De Vries, Paul Anderson , Mayol and Collins all of which did not cost a transfer fee and in Anderson's case the loan market was taken advantage of.
These signings have enabled the board to peruse the signing of Darryl Duffy who is likely to cost £300,000 should Swansea City secure promotion to the Championship. This clear and defined policy of the board should be commended.
There was a lot of pressure on the board to sign a Centre Back, Striker and Goalkeeper before the closure of the summer transfer window. This pressure was unrelenting on Martinez to deliver the signings fans have craved for.
Waking up to the news on the 1st September would disappoint many fans. With only two problem areas that Martinez has strengthened the defence is still dangerously exposed. Two areas which were strengthened were in the Striker and Goalkeeping positions with Andrea Orlandi , Warren Feeney and David Knight signed before the window was bolted shut. These deals did not touch the coffers at the club and will have saved valuable funds as the club continues to build off the pitch.
The days of extravagant spending are at an end and this encompassed with the club creating links with Liverpool and Port Talbot will benefit the club in both fiscal terms and in player development.
Part two of the series will focus on the new direction in the ticketing by the club and focus on the new structure of confidentiality of dealings.