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
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)