I am glad that the Czech Republic is much like Spain insofar as the rubbish players can be transferred and fees paid because otherwise I am not sure how I would make good on the finances.
With the loss during the month of April a whooping GBP135K, even if I could shave the wage bill by half, it would only have a circa 40K difference, but I will need to try all my tricks to get this club out of the red.
To that end, all the current staff are for sale as none of them are that great that it warrants keeping them. As is usual for me and a club in financial distress, the self imposed upper limit for the squad next year is going to be twenty five players. This will take into account the best players already at the squad, and the best available to me on frees as long term readers will appreciate how much I loathe paying compensation.
The third goalkeeper though – the one you use when one of your two starters is injured – will be a cheap member of the under twenty one side. I see this role more as a backup, and will only be used if he is on the bench and my starting keeper gets injured.
Extra consideration will be given to players who can play in multiple positions. I have a place in my heart for specialists, as I believe every player worthy should be afforded the opportunity to nail a starting place in their favoured position, but injuries during the game often require careful managing. I have my scouts looking at a couple of utility players that I am very excited about.
The Czech players, like South Africa beforehand, have a couple of decent players. Unfortunately for us, I need to be cruel to be kind, and look towards the long term financial health of the club. Short of continually selling players – which I see as a stop gap measure – I need to find other ways of bringing in additional revenue. That means increasing the attendance at games, which means playing an attractive brand of football and winning.
The short term effects will be a limited amount of money will be spent on transfers, with all the players where I can coming to us via frees. If that means that there is not a Czech player in the run on side next year, then that is a price I am willing to pay to win.
The club itself doesn’t have any rivalries noted, and that is a disappointing aspect. It means that I can’t organize friendlies with the rival clubs and get some easy money, but this is an avenue I will explore during the off season.
The attendances and the ticket prices have also been disappointing. The stadium is rented, and is costing 127K a year. Our ticket price – I kid you not – is 3, with season tickets of about 1,800 and a capacity of 6,746. Crunching those numbers, if we were selling out the stadium for our home games we would be making a profit of circa 170K for the year. Unfortunately, we are not selling the stadium out.
In fact, the average attendance is around the 3,200 mark. Using those numbers, we are only making a profit of 10K. Profit is profit though.
The focus for next year has to be on the league, and with the state of our facilities the likelihood of producing a half way decent youth player is verging on impossible, and I doubt the Board would sign off any expansion plans at this stage. The top place in the league pockets around 570K, and that would stem the flow for around four months, but I need to seriously look to ways to either slash the expenses (232K) or dramatically increase the revenue (98K) for this club to have any sort of future.
Transfers have been organised for some of my players. This has freed up some budget and allowed me to approach some suitable EU based talent.
I believe I am missing depth at right back and cover in the midfield, but I am pleased with those who I have recruited. My scouts came across a gold mine in Portugal of all places, and there are still tabs being kept on three players, a South African defensive utility that I want to sign, he would only be available in February 2016 though.
There is an EU utility which I'd be keen to throw the captains armband next year if I can't engage an English defender. He is still under contract with Rotherham, and his wages may be out of my reach, but I'll wait and see how receptive he is when he is released.