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Simmo Researching Loan Recruits

Gary Simpson will look to loans from Middlesbrough FC, Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday, Crewe Alexandra, Huddersfield, Rotherham United and perhaps even Everton FC as and when the need arises.  As expected the strict limitations with regard to the Lincoln City budget meant that Gary Simpson could not make any 11th hour signings prior to the transfer window closing at 11 PM last night.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs


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Although a big target man to replace former sharp-shooting Sheffield Wednesday striker Vadaine Oliver, now at Crewe, is the priority, wages for a proven player would be prohibitive at in excess of a thousand a week even at Conference level. It would merely disrupt the harmony of the dressing room and chew up the slack that remains in the budget for reinforcements when the time arrives. A good STMI Crewe source alleges Simmo was at the game against Huddersfield yesterday, suggesting he has either a Terrier or Alex lad in his sights.

Gary Simpson has a wealth of contacts within both the Football League and Non-League game around the Sheffield and North-West area  In the past he has used his Cheshire contacts as well as Everton FC, Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday to strengthen the Macclesfield side. Bury and Accrington could also be a source.

That said the manager, who thankfully missed out on the August Manager of the Month, must be happy with the performance of the squad and will surely keep the loan fund option open until the weather or injuries begin to bight. With Blue skies on the cards for a while yet, Yussuf raring to go and, Wright a fortnight away, the managers options seem plentiful.

Could Middlesbrough & Sunderland Hit Target For Imps

Could loans from Middlesbrough FC and Sunderland AFC’s development sides be the reason Simmo is biding his time on replacing Vadaine Oliver, now at Crewe and set for a debut?  Both the Black Cats &  Boro lads hardly looked like kids and look man enough to do a job in our Division and their quality is certainly not going to be a problem.

The Oracle of Optimism chimes in 

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The passing blend of football certainly impressed Jamie Clapham at Middlesbrough and the Black cats were also very complimentary.  Indeed several Boro lads looked more than up to the physical requirements required to do a good job in the Skrill Premier.  Young Black Cats Harrison and 9 Lynch would be a handful and Boro lads Jones and Main both impressed at Sincil Bank.

The local media do seem keen to point out the lack of a target man at the Imps, a route B as it were, to add a facet to the passing football that is seeing Lincoln play to feet.  Simmo has pointed out the costs that come with such a beast, with proven goalscorers taking up the lions share of the budgets up and down the football pyramid.   These are funds we do not have, but friends in high places could be the answer.

The manager admits that he feels the need for a longer ball style game will come when the pitches cut up, but, that he is also in no hurry to change things. Thomlinson battles well, but if and when the Imps change to two up front there are three or four options.  Young Black Cats Harrison, who can play up top or in defence and no 9 Lynch could also be a handful.   The Boro side also had Jones and Main. Paul Morgan may also be able to put in another word at Accrington who have some powerful lads unable to get games. Bohan Dixon was one.

Leeds Clever Middlesbrough Policy – Imps Take Note.

Boro soccer schools have fed Leeds United (8 youths) Newcastle (2) and of course Middlesbrough FC’s own development side (20) with a conveyor belt of talent over the last three years alone. Its contribution to the stars of the future shows how the hot-bed of North-East talent is set to continue to form a massive part of football for years to come. It would appear the place to go talent spotting is very much down by the Riverside for Leeds and others besides.

thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

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Leeds, have an incredible youth policy of their own but this particular route cranked up in 2010 when Joshua Mazfari joined.  In 2011 Jack Williams, Harley Griffiths, Tom Miller turned from red to white. Then in 2012 Jake Muthana, Ben Fletcher, Law McCabe, Riley Green and Oliver Thompson also slipped the Boro net to join Leeds own conveyor belt of talent. Not heard of them yet, you will in the next 5-6 years, when United are back in the Premiership where they belong and, by the looks of things, the business model appears sustainable this time round.

You see, what is even more amazing, is the fact that this forms only part of the Middlesbrough strategy, for it covers up to just 11 years of age with Boro still getting the lions share of the talent. It then gets even more serious as the lads progress to state-of-the-art Rockcliffe and the Academy headed by David Parnaby, a former PE teacher who now masterminds one of the games best breeding centres for talent, Steve Agnew used to be the top man on the coaching and managerial side prior to becoming assistant boss at Hull City but now Ex-Imp Jamie Clapham is charged with keeping it going.

Unlike the those first future names we gave you, this list includes players that are already household names including Boro first team captains Rhys Williams and Matthew Bates,  Current internationals Adam Johnson and Stewart Downing (England), James Morrison (Scotland) as well as Australia internationals Luke Wilkshire, Brad Jones and Rhys Williams. Tony McMahon and Joe Bennett are also graduates of a system that produces more Premiership first teamers than any other.  British industry take note: Middlesbrough can hold their head up high as one of Europe’s most productive Academy set-ups.

Leeds have sussed it from an early age but Lincoln could do with borrowing a few from the 18 – early development squad age group.  Loans of this quality would certainly supplement an already decent looking squad for the coming season and, hopefully, should we progress up the pyramid ,youth loans would surely be seen as even more attractive for the right kind of football factory.  Sunderland may have beaten Lincoln, but they saw we at least try to play the right way.  Let us hope Middlesbrough feel the same because we may just need reinforcements as a tough inclement season gets going.

Leeds, Hull, Leicester, Middlesbrough & Palace Show Ince, Vaughan, Pennant & Blake interest.

Despite a leg injury that will see him miss the start of the season, Leeds United, Hull City, Crystal Palace Leicester City, Middlesbrough FC  and Crystal Palace are in for  Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who is now a free agent after his release from Wolves.  Norwich City free agent Vaughan is also up for grabs and Crystal Palace have bid £4 million for Blackpool FC winger Tom Ince. Hull are strengthening their muscles with former Imp Jack Hobbs set to move to Birmingham in exchange for Curtis Davies as  well as a move for SEB and Pennant.

hold on to your hats the agents are  greasing the grapevine, grenades and all, oh lordy lordy its Joyous June oh month of rumour……………

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake’s representative, is said to be already in discussions with Middlesbrough and Leicester, although Leeds are yet to formalise an approach given Noel Hunt is fit well, raring to go and already known by McDermott through the Reading connection.  As for Ince junior, Blackpool will want substantially more for one of the games most exciting and emerging talents, although seasoned but evergreen Jermaine Pennant will cost substantially less. Hull City chase him and monitor the Ebanks-Blake situation with baited breath. Jermaine is a free agent although Stoke may come back with a one year deal for the well travelled winger who would make a terrific Thomas Cook rep.  Settled Steve Bruce is looking to offer a much longer deal, now he has been given ambitious assurances that have killed any overtures for his services from Wigan. That said free agents, such as Jermaine and West Ham’s Gary O’Neill are still very much on the wish list of an under-rated clever manager who could peel an orange in his pocket and not offer nor waste a drop.

Pearson of Leicester City has also needed to be frugal at a club that now looks set to challenge. Gone are the forks in the Foxes sugar bowls with them being linked left right and centre.  Looking to strengthen all over, experience and firepower are on the menu and an avenue for winger Lloyd Dyer to ensure he is not tempted by the bright lights of London club QPR.  A move for Ebanks-Blake and the experienced Matthew Upson (loan Keane is now back at Man Utd remember) could help show some ambition, as could a season long loan for Villa midfielder Barry Bannan. Another forward in the form of a permanent deal for Canary striker James Vaughan is doing the rounds. The Foxes will face competition from Leeds United for SEB and Upson, whilst Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday are both interested in Vaughan. He banged in 14 goals whilst on loan at the Terriers last term and after survival they will be looking to more than make up the Championship numbers.

Imps Face Boro, Black Cats, Spireites & Messi

Chesterfield FC, complete with Hibernian striker Eoin Doyle aka the Green Lionel Messi’, Middlesbrough FCSunderland AFC and Boston United are the highlights of Lincoln City’s pre-season friendlies so far, plus the Lincolnshire Cup final against Peter Swann’s Scunthorpe United or Grimsby Town and the visit of Lincoln United for the Imp derby.

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Although the Sunderland and Middlesbrough games will be against their respective U21’s, the opposition could be a lot stronger if neither side have games on the same day.  The visit to the Spireites could give a glimpse of things to come in more ways than one, with Chairman Bob keen to follow their stadium and its subsequent funding model. Chesterfield, one of the favourites for promotion,  have just signed Eoin Doyle from Hibs. Manager Paul Cook dubbed him the ‘Green Lionel Messi’ during a 25 goal haul in their final season together at Sligo. The SPL was a step to far but the two-footed striker can come from deep, play down either flank and will pose the defence some serious problems. The Imps will be sure to travel in numbers to a fixture that will give Simmo a month to put right any wrongs before the opening day.

Simmo has big connections with Boston – he is still a legend there – so it is no surprise to see them arrive for the pre-season community day, the week before the big kick-off.

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 Date  Home    Away  KO  Att/Imp Count
Tue 9/7 Chesterfield v Lincoln City  7.45pm  
Sat 13/7 Lincoln United  v Lincoln City  3pm  
Tue 16/7 Harrogate Town  v Lincoln City  7.30pm  
Sat 20/7 Grantham Town  v Lincoln City 7.30pm  
Wed 24/7  Lincoln City  v Sunderland U21  7.30pm  
Sat 27/7 Lincoln City  v Middlesbrough U21  3pm  
Sat 3/8 Lincoln City  v Boston United  3pm

Has Smith Gone For Peanuts Like Loach To Ipswich?

Just as David Holdsworth was coming to terms with Loach’s Ipswich Town move,  so young prospect Sam Smith’s transfer to Cambridge United – ‘for ‘non football reasons’  – looks like another give-away.  It is just as well that the transfer of Bristol Rovers Mustapha Carayol to Middlesbrough appears to have saved our Lincolnshire bacon after a pre-season shambles continues to rock our once proud club. Yes Impdom has well and truly come to terms with  our BSP status with decisions off the field dictating the most important bit – the football on it. It is this short term, small time thinking that sees us where we are and what we are.

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Watford had few bargaining tools given Zola did not see Loach as part of his plans and, with just a year left on his deal,  Ipswich were therefore very much in the driving seat. Even so a £150k-200k deal, albeit with a few add-ons, must have gutted the manager as much as the financial backdrop that has overshadowed pre-season.  Then add to this two further blows, namely, three undisclosed bids (they have to be for legal and contractual reasons, thus leaving the media just enough room to speculate) from Cambridge that will see a player he rates move for between £15k and 25k; as well as assistant Westwood disappearing to Portsmouth.  Gowling has also been put on the transfer list, although as to whether that was cause or effect, given Miller has returned, is anyone’s guess.  Let us hope a pay-up scenario is not required to help him move on.

Holdsworth had told BBC Lincolnshire that a Sam Smith move would not be for football reasons. Indeed the club’s valuation of the player ranged from £25,000 to a somewhat bullish £50,000.  Given Cambridge United’s size and financial position, last season at least,  we felt somewhat confident that he would stay. But manager Jez George is mindful that it is Centenary year at United, pushing the boat out by paying fees for 4-5 players including Smith. Two new directors, Eddie Clark and Robert Smith, may have something to do with an increase in budget, at a club that at least puts the first team budget first and where it should be from a fans perspective.  By comparison the money, from both Smith and the Carayol sell on, will apparently go to plug that ever nearing black hole at the Imps.  Forget going for a return of the faithful, to wash our financial woes away then?  But then the club perpetuates a culture of setting the bar far too low.

We know, despite what many Imps see as guilt trips to get more money from us, that the Imps are on their uppers, after Bob saved the club. But in so doing he and selected friends put the golden keys to our one and only and, undoubtedly most prized asset – worth millions during the future redevelopment of the Sincil street to Sincil bank area – under the control of a holding company for perhaps as little as £300,000 of new money and arguably up to £500,000 all told.  Yet our Trust ghosted away over a million shares (worth £500,000) for free and without a vote knowing that the club still faced a short-fall of £150k half-way through this season.  But wait a further own-goal as the memorandums and articles of the new company stated that shares are valued at 10p each and, the double whammy that they must be sold to the other parties in Lincoln City Holdings first.  Desperate times call for desperate measures one feels, but surely the business logic of this is more short term than a Bank computer doing High Frequency Trading, on autopilot.  They have kicked a can down the road only for it to land on a magnet along with every other  molten meteorite in our financial path.

Surely, even 15k-20K for Smith is useful, given the club has had to ask its friends at the Trust to pitch in again to give a little more credibility to the stadium renaming raffle.  Welcome to the smoke and mirrors approach to PR and fundraising announcements at Lincoln City folks. The Trust normally puts funds  the clubs way this time of year, thanks largely to membership renewals.  Thus the £1500 they handed over when the venture looked to be netting under twenty thousand with just a few days to go, has been used as window dressing when the club would be getting it anyway.  You find a lot of this sort of thing happens at Lincoln, small time thinking generates small time results.

Indeed Lincoln City Banter, which tries to keep club fan politics – a particularly distasteful carbuncle on the backside of our community club and is why this site limits it to the financial section  –  to a minimum, has led the way raising £1800 for shirts this season. Although the 12th Imp (a newer organisation that appears to have discarded the 12th man -this was actually the one formed in 2009 that had been doing the share save scheme) takes the credit for raising £1500 for the renaming raffle, the posters of Vital Lincoln are in fact the ones who provided the bulk of the funds for the tickets. Both therefore deserve credit and STMI wish them good luck in the future.  Yet the moral to this story you feel is that the Trust should be leading and co-ordinating fans initiatives such as the new Player Saving Scheme if it is to get the widespread support and credibility it deserves. This too was devised on Lincoln City Banter but it is the fledgeling 12th Imp who will now administer the scheme after the Trust curiously turned down the opportunity to run it.

But back to Holdsworth, because the football comes first at our club  – Lincoln City Holdings please take note – as the reading stats prove on this site time and again. The clouds do have a silver lining, even if the Mustapha Carayol funds may not go to the first team, as appears the Cambridge way (incidentally they have just 3 part-time office staff at their club, suggesting they have a good cost base even if they may be throwing caution to the wind).   Holdsworth’s perceived return to a revolving door policy of late does appear to be worrying, yet it is because it is a needs must situation and, the goal posts are continually changing. The budget that many of us felt to be £400,000 ( DH confirmed this on the BSP site) including the renaming raffle, is around 50% higher than that figure, although that does also include the manager and the physiotherapist.  Smith can and will be replaced with a better player. He could already be here in the shape of Vadaine Oliver,  although the entrepreneurial Holdsworth has a few irons in fires and we should see 2 more in next week. Remember he already has a decent forward line in Rob Duffy, Jamie Taylor, Bradley Baraclough and the exciting new kid on the block Connor Robinson .

Middlesbrough & Mustapha’s 90k Tweet Treat

Bristol Rovers winger Mustapha Carayol has passed his Middlesbrough medical and Tweeted  HERE that he is aiming to tear up the Championship.  Impdom is rejoicing at the news and will no doubt be wishing him well.

STMI would like to thank all the fans who have followed this story with us – it nearly made the blog melt! Massive thanks to News Now and Twitter too.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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We Imps are ecstatic with a  20% sell on fee on the ‘undisclosed sum’.  However the STMI understanding is that the Imps upfront payment  is in the region of £50-60,000 plus instalments and add-ons that should see us pocket in excess of £100k on the deal.

Middlesbrough seal Friend and Carayol Deals – Medicals permitting

Doncaster Rovers defender George Friend and Bristol Rovers winger Mustapha Carayol are set for medicals at the Riverside on Monday despite bids from Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town for the former and Derby County  for the latter.  We are talking done deals as the clubs have agreed the fee’s and the agents and players, gleefully accepted the golden keys.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Doncaster Rovers are also set to get get seven figures for Friend after bids from Ipswich and Nottingham Forest upped the anti. Mowbray however has been given some serious funds this year to fuel his mission to the premiership. We wish him and the Boro the best as they have given Impdom just the shot in the arm we need.

Doncaster manager  Dean Saunders meanwhile is going on a 3-4 player shopping spree after breaking the news on  the Rovers  website , “I think George has more or less agreed to go to Middlesbrough, so that will probably be happening on Monday.”  He has had a frustrating time this summer to be honest, but now that Habibe Beye and Friend are sorted look out for raids on Leeds United for striker Billy Paynter and  Wednesday centre-half Rob Jones. Cardiff City defender Paul Quinn is also currently on trial.

We Imps are ecstatic with a  20% sell on fee on the ‘undisclosed sum’.  However the STMI understanding is that the Imps upfront payment  is in the region of £50-60,000 plus instalments and add-ons that should see us pocket in excess of £100k on the deal.

Middlesbrough Bid Vital After Ipswich Bag Bargain

With the Middlesbrough squad flying out to Portugal on Tuesday, manager Tony Mowbray is eager to add Bristol Rovers winger Mustapha Carayol, Doncaster defender George Friend and either Nottingham Forest forward Ishmael Miller or WBA striker Simon Cox, to his squad on Monday. If the Carayol deal does not go through, even in these days of modern communication, the Imps summer rebuilding plans may have to wait a while.

thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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David Holdsworth has worked miracles in the close season at Lincoln City and few can realise what such a cash injection could mean for the once proud Imps.  David, or Reg, as he was not our cup of tea originally, has kept his chin up despite a scandalously low budget of £400,000  and three recent body blows.  Firstly,  unable to afford an assistant , he saw Ashley Westwood go to Portsmouth, robbing him of both an experienced centre-back and an assistant who knows the managerial and tactical ropes. Then came the two Cambridge bids for young Smith, who he feels will inevitably leave for ‘non football reasons’. The third blow was the long awaited deal that saw Loach move to home town club Ipswich for between £150K and £200k. Watford’s last chance to cash in and that slice of a once in a lifetime  million, or few, was gone.

Over four years we will receive perhaps £20k, or £5k per year, giving David nothing for this season’s pro-budget, so the 20% sell-on for Mustapha will be vital. Rovers want £500k, in the knowledge that a big chunk of that will go the Imps way.  But Boro look set to come in with a deal just shy of the full valuation, with add-ons probably playing a part. This is good news and bad for us. The norm is for clubs to spread the payment in yearly or six-monthly instalments over the duration of the new contract, however a large up-front payment is a huge bargaining tool too.  This would give the Imps more money now, at a time when we need it most.  The bird in the hand after all is worth two in the bush.

After years of underinvestment by the board, relegation and a holding company bagging a bargain on the scale of Loach;  the Imps fans are on the verge of a Player Saving scheme.  But with the funds not going to the first team budget immediately, it will not make up for the short-fall of the renaming raffle that had raised just £15k according to the last Boardroom blog, with just 7 days to go.  A sense of urgency is needed you feel given the manager has little cash to back up an undoubtedly opportunist and  charismatic style of negotiation.  Then again the board could take the lead for once, as opposed to relying on the act of god from Bob and windfalls that have seen, Jack Hobbs, Jeff Hughes, Graham Hutchinson, DNG and Frecklington’s money wasted on Championship facilities, a failed training facility and; last but not least reinvestment in the team.

£16- £18 is spent in pursuit of pride and pleasure through those turnstiles every other  week,  it is the contents that interest the faithful not the propaganda on the box.  A Boro / Rovers deal for Carayol will  help our promising manager compete and hopefully that and his signings will get the fans to return and perhaps even take a chance on the CityFLEXIPack (click here  for details)


Middlesbrough Carayol Bid Could Net Imps £90k

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray looks set to beat Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County, Leicester City and  Barnsley to the signature of Mustapha Carayol.

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The deal between Bristol Rovers and Middlesbrough that STMI broke on July 9th looks set to reach a lucrative conclusion with the Imps netting 20% of any profit over the £35,000 we received from Rovers in August 2010. Rovers valuation stands at £500,000 and, although Mowbray will not be held to ransom, Mustapha is a long term target that he covets.  He certainly has the money and plans to add three or four more players as Boro aim to return to the  Premiership this term.  Mowbray has signed Grant Leadbitter, Stuart Parnaby, Jonathan Woodgate, Emmanuel Ledesma and Christian Burgess since the window opened 18 days ago.


We always sensed that he was destined to play higher, like Danny N’Guessan, he was one that will shine in a Championship side with quality players doing the dirty work to feed them.  Although Rovers fans will miss him if and when he does go, at least they too may benefit from a clause that tracks his future progress and success. Because this lad gets people out of their seats and that kind of passion will always be in fashion in the people’s game.


FULL NAME Mustapha Soon Carayol
DATE OF BIRTH 10 June 1989 (age 22)
PLACE OF BIRTH Banjul, Gambia
HEIGHT 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
CURRENT CLUB Bristol Rovers
Swindon Town
Macclesfield Town
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Milton Keynes Dons 1 (0)
2007–2008 Crawley Town (loan) 26 (2)
2008–2010 Torquay United 54 (6)
2009 Kettering Town (loan) 5 (0)
2010–2011 Lincoln City 37 (4)
2011– Bristol Rovers 34 (6)