Tuesday, 21 April 2015

"Breaking even."

I may be para-phrasing but that was the gist of one of the key elements of Roland Duchatelet's strategy when he explained his ambitions for our club a little over a year ago when he became Lord and Master. To be fair, I think the comment was more like "moving towards break even" which implied it might take some time to get there. The other key tenets were that he would invest in youth and look to take advantage of anticipated FFP regulations as value was realised from moves within the network and sales outside it.

Having sold Yann Kermorgant and Dale Stephens very shortly after arriving (we were in desperate need of a new pitch), there has been limited opportunity to sell players since. Bob Peeters spent the Summer assembling a squad and going into the January transfer window  we were short of quality in several positions. Our dip in form hardly had prospective buyers dodging potholes in the car park. Igor Vetokele was injured and his early season scoring form had dried-up.

Following the arrival of Watt, Bulot and Diarra, our late Winter rally has since seen us shoot clear of danger and has brought out the best in some other performers such as Johan Berg Gudmundsson, Morgan Fox and Joe Gomez.

In the ongoing absence of any further word from the Organ Grinder, we are left facing an uncertain end-of-season in terms of who will still be here in August. Contracts of a number of players run out and there is no guarantee they will be renewed, either because we might not want to retain them, because they may want to return to their host clubs or they may want away. On top of that and of more immediate concern is the rumour mill which suggests a few of the Big Boys are circling for the likes of Fox and Gomez.

The hottest gossip is that not-yet-18 Joe Gomez could be subject of a large bid which would effectively balance the books and allow us to break even. A fee of around £8m is the sort of money even Charlton fans can't argue with and if it comes to pass then we can only hope that strengthens our resolve around any other possible sales.

Money will speak, of course, but young Joe needs to think about his route to playing top flight football and considering whether another year in SE7 or even a move to a lesser side (Man City and Arsenal are linked) might see him more quickly established than the likes of Diego Poyet has managed thus far at 'lesser' club West Ham.

When I started this post Millwall were 0-0 at Ewood Park and had created twice as many opportunities as the hosts. Pleased to report that Rovers netted two late goals to kill the Lions off and nudge them a step nearer the trap-door. They will do well to get more than another point from promotion chasing Derby and Wolves, although the game might be up for the Old Gold before Millwall's last day visit. Let us hope not.


Tony said...

Do you really think kenny jackett will roll over for them? I disagree.

Dave said...

The point I was making here was that Wolves might have nothing to play for on the last day...