Rams Cloth Cut For Success
With the transfer window now fully open for business, as they did a year ago, the Rams have been quick to dampen any hopes of big signings.
“Getting a few out is priority”, “only if it’s a significant improvement on what we have” and “we’ll react in the loan window if we have to” are phrases most fans of DCFC are now well used to hearing in the month of January. However this year, there doesn’t seem to be half as much reaction to the statements as usual.
Whilst I fully accept that whilst the team is winning, fans generally don’t worry about anything else, I also believe that there is now a general recognition amongst even the harshest GSE/Clough critic, that our model is a good one and we are on the right lines.
Over the last two years, Rams fans have endured various relegation battles whilst working through harsh austerity measures. To compound matters, we’ve also had to endure our two most local rivals enjoy several full on promotion tilts whilst regularly signing players for big fees and/or wages. To rub our faces in the dogshit, we’ve also been spanked by them both on several occasions.
But what happens when you “invest heavily in the playing staff”, “have a go” or “show some ambition”? Perhaps a Newcastle have a bit more money than you; maybe your new players don’t quite gel; or perhaps you quite simply backed a twat of a manager. Well you have to chase the money you’ve lost with yet more money, you get relegated or you go into administration.
Last year Forest lost £10m, the year before they lost £11m. Last week they sold 10,000 tickets to their own fans for a Cup game against local rivals. Up until Friday night Leicester had actually sold more tickets. Their wage bill remains higher than their turnover.
If you think Nigel wasted £250k on Dave Martin, imagine what Cottrell feels like with Miller, Greening and Derbyshire. The latter two worthless, all with full contracts to run and (I would imagine) none of them on less than £15k per week as a conservative estimate.
Now let’s look at Leicester. Slightly different in terms of having significant (soulless anybody?) foreign investment, but throwing money around like water. In reality is Jermaine Beckford (£3m, 5 figure salary) more effective than Theo at this level? Is Matt Mills £3.5m better than Shacks? Is Konchesky £15k plus a week better than Robbo? The answer to all of this is No. Let’s hope their owners run out of money or get bored soon.
When teams get promoted to the Premier league you constantly hear people talk about “surviving first, then let’s build something”. Likewise when teams come down its very much promotion first time or meltdown. The current structure of DCFC means we will never fall into this category.
So whilst I’d love us to sign Billy Sharp (why do Rams fans have a thing abut him?), I’d love Greeny to stay and I’d love to see a loan from one of the big 4 premier league teams, I also see we’re in a great position now for sustainable improvement over a significant period of time.
Don’t believe the hype. The only way is up.