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.
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 .
The Imps will receive just £20,000 as part of the deal that sees Scott Loach move from Watford to Ipswich Town. But then our manager will be grateful for a 5% increase in his budget unless the renaming raffle undershoots.
The Watford Observer has confirmed the STMI story yesterday that Loach would scandalously leave the Hornets for under £200,000. This is of no surprise given the player in the last year of his current deal – see the article in full here.
It is also a lot less than this, now pulled article from the Lincolnshire Echo – Lincoln City set for £150,000 windfall if… Lincolnshire Echo 07:11
The big money this summer is to be made from the Middlesbrough deal with Bristol Rovers for Mister Carayol. Imps fans seem to realise this too with yesterdays leading article breaking STMI’s all-time reads record. If only we could get a quarter of that amount to Sincil Bank every other Saturday.
Blackburn Rovers, soon to lose Paul Robinson to Fulham or Besiktas, are set to test Ipswich Town’s resolve as the bidding hots up in the race for Watford Keeper Scott Loach. This is fantastic news for hard up Lincoln City who have a sell on for their former youth keeper.
Recently relegated Rovers are looking to cut the wage bill and are subject to interest from Betsiktas and Fulham for Paul Robinson , however the additional cashflow lifeline of £48 million in parachute payments over the coming 4 seasons, suggest that Ipswich may not be able to compete if there is a bidding war.
Loach is an Ipswich fan, but Rovers signing on fee and albeit reduced wage structure could still be too much to stomach. Paul Jewel recently lost out to Bolton for Leeds United keeper Andy Lonergan, as the Trotters rubberstamped £200,000 deal that Ipswich were unable to match.
The Imps make 15% on any profit from a sell on. We have already received around £60,000, with a £40k up-front fee and appearance add-ons, so we really need the deal to head north to around £500,000 or more.
Ipswich Town’s bid for Watford Keeper Scott Loach looks a goer after Gianfranco Zola admitted the deal was a “possibility”and that he was looking for replacements with 38 year-old Tottenham keeper Carlo Cudicini and free agent and ex-Arsenal Keeper Manuel Almunia, high on the wish list. The deal is unlikely to be the huge seven figure deal we Imps were hoping for, but it will still help Holdsworth’s Budget none the less. (see also our June 1st story HERE)
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
With Paul Jewell losing faith in Lee-Barrett, Ipswich have been on the keeper trail for most of the summer. They even looked set to travel to Holland on tour without a recognised keeper. Town looked to have pipped Watford and Bristol City for the services of ex- cardiff City keeper Tom Heaton, but this like the interest in loach appeared to be just rumour. They also had Hearts keeper Mario Kello on trial recently who had interested Villa prior to Guzan signing a new deal.
Although the bid for Loach finally came yesterday, it is unlikely to be a big one with Jewell on record as saying he does not have a lot of money to spend. The Blues were also recently outbid for Leeds United keeper Andy Lonergan, as Bolton swooped in a £200,000 deal that Ipswich were unable to match. Jewell had then suggested a season-long loan might be the answer.
Therefore the dream move for Town fan Loach is unlikely to net the Imps more than about £20-25K given we only make 15% on any profit from a sell on. We have also received around £60,000 already in the up-front fee and add-ons.
This is Watford’s last chance to cash in on Scott Loach, now second in the pecking order of the once green and gloved department. The star has a year left on his current deal, suggesting both sides will be best served in doing a deal now, yet other suitors may also help to up the anti. The Watford and Ipswich forums are awash with the news following the news today. Loach is a quality young and consummate keeper despite the odd issue, alas in front of the cameras for the U21′s.