Summer Spending Should Be Met With Euphoria and Heavy Drinking
Following the signing of Jason Shackell, I wrote a reasoned piece (Shacks to Riches) arguing the positives of DCFC’s new found financial muscle. This was following direct criticism from Shaun Dyche and general scepticism amongst some Rams fans who were not comfortable with our spending.
Following Derby’s spectacular activity on transfer deadline day and Mel Morris subsequent outright purchase of the club, I’m reading another round of articles “urging caution”, asking what’s happened to our recruitment team (I’ll tell you in a minute), questioning the Butterfield fee and warning Mel Morris that soon everyone might hate him.
What the actual Fuck?
Without making the exact same comparisons as my previous piece, Derby County are the biggest club outside the Premier league (only Leeds and Sheff Wed could argue otherwise) and have just wasted the best part of 10 years drifting along, trying to find a magic formula for promotion whilst simultaneously searching for a utensil to urinate in. Not surprisingly that didn’t quite work out.
During that time Rams fans have had to look on in anguish as we were passed by various small time clubs who got a sugar daddy and subsequently went up. It’s true that many have since come back again, but that’s because they were fundamentally small clubs who couldn’t compete when everyone had money and subsequently imploded with desperate bad decisions. See QPR, Hull, Cardiff etc. If/when DCFC reach the premier league our facilities and size mean we will always be sustainable and compete.
In terms of the work in this window, it is true to say there is no balance to the signings in terms of first team marquee, squad man, one for the future etc. Every single player has been signed to contribute to the first team. However if, at this stage, our target is “we need to get promoted in the next 2 seasons” then the recruitment is in line with that target.
With regard to Chris Evans, I actually do share the view that the jury is out on him. That said, his job is to present lists of players for certain positions with certain attributes within a certain budget. When Will Hughes got injured, how many Rams fans would have honestly turned around and said “we should sign Jacob Butterfield to replace him”? Likewise if Paul Clement says we need a midfielder and within budget you can get Jamie Ward on a free, Joey Barton and his baggage, an unknown from the Dutch lower leagues or the best midfielder from last year’s Championship for £6m, who are you going to sign? Yes, we could have shopped around and tried to find an unknown centre half younger, faster and more technical than Shacks but what’s the point when you have the budget for the real thing.
Derby have money, people know we have money and thus they are going to try and do the best they can for their club with the opportunity DCFC are presenting them. This clearly has risks and won’t always work, but how many Leicester fans do you think lose sleep over signing Matt Mills for £5m now? Do you think Man City fans gave a shit about Mark Hughes pissing away £70m on Robinho, Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz when they won the league?
When the news of Bradley Johnson’s signing came through, I literally got a tear in my eye from pure joy and disbelief that for once, it was Derby, my team, smashing the transfers rather than the parade of pretenders who usually fill our screens on deadline day.
DCFC have had enough dark days over recent history. This is not a time to start wetting the bed over what might happen but to embrace the moment and soak it all up.
So, round up your mates, get tickets for as many games as you can, get on the piss, get behind the lads and let the good times roll!
Come on you Super Rams!