Ramspace bits and bobs
With the international break with us and the transfer window closed, here are a few bits and pieces that we’ve been talking about.
Talking points so far…
The “break-even” transfer policy for the summer may have been a red herring
Despite all the “undisclosed” fees, The Rams summer spending massively outstripped our income by any calculation. Even low-key signings such as Freeman, Gjokaj, O’Connor and Jacobs involved fees added together would be a significant figure in this climate.
The “break even” policy was hinted at early in the summer and mentioned constantly by the fans since – but less and less so by the club as time went on. Did something change or was the sensible policy simply increasing the assets on the pitch? (e.g. Shackell will be nearly 30 this time next year with his resale value decreasing rapidly. Keogh will have just turned 27 and all being well will still be on the up). With Hughes, Bennett, Brayford, Keogh, Hendrick, Fielding (I could go on) on the pitch, the owners are unlikely to be worried (contrast to having Clod, Carroll, Albrechtsen, Pearo etc on long contracts with no resale value).
Should we be worried about Forest?
Everything about Forest’s transfer policy goes against the sensible running of a club. Signing spare parts from the Premier League who aren’t likely to improve is financial suicide (see Jagger’s transfer policy). Their wage bill will be as high as ever, requiring the ongoing £10m a year subsidy but one thing could get them out of jail…if they get promoted. There is no doubt that signing Billy Sharp could be a game-changer for them and it looks like SOD has assembled a decent Championship side (most of who, including Sharp, have already been deemed not up to Premier League standard).
They won’t be world beaters but might end up in the mix. Let’s hope they don’t.
Crowds are down
The opening day crowd had approximately 21,000 Rams fans, around 10,000 Rams down on opening day crowds versus Peterborough and Doncaster in recent years. Worrying by any standards. However, crowds seem down across the board and we still compare well with other “big” clubs in the division judging by Saturdays crowds (Birmingham 14,929, Hull 15,304, higher than the other two East Mids clubs).
Football is more and more of a luxury these days, so its not surprising crowds have fallen during the recession. However, it is disappointing to hear an alarming number of people giving up season tickets or stopping going due to disillusionment at the club. An analogy I recently made was that supporting the club was like being in a bad relationship for some people. The attachment is there but they do nothing but moan, pick faults and criticise. Even worse, they are unlikely to fall back in love any time soon with so much resentment.
Well, they can sit at home and whinge along with Roger Davies, whilst the rest of us watch us put five past Watford.
Clough is not to be messed with
Some of you may recall the Jackal who featured frequently in the Journals and Bad Worse Worst, often with a witty or sharp comment. On Saturday, he more than met his match with Nigel and an out-of-form Jackal was put to the sword. The conversation went something like this (Jackals words):
As he signed my programme picked up off the bar at JJB:
J – sign your name over the front of Conor Sammon please, he’s no looker is he?
N – I didn’t sign him for his looks
J – He played well, came on a ton from last week
N – He played well last week too.
J – (Gulp)…thanks…
You’d be forgiven for thinking the Jackal’s misguided banter got what it deserved!