Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Less than five weeks to Bury away

Into July and we still have some way to go towards settling our squad for League One. Ricky Holmes, Lee Novak and Nicky Ajose have joined the team and Russell Slade has had the squad together and there is some planned team bonding in Austria. However, we will probably see a mini exodus in the coming weeks as Roland recoups some of his losses and Katrien continues to shrink the club.

I fully expect to see Johan Berg Gudmundsson get his long-awaited move to a bigger club for an undisclosed fee of c £3m. Jordan Cousins will also be favourite to secure a Championship berth if we get a fee and Brighton are circling. Ademola Lookman is also most likely to go if Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool or Man City have any spare change and a vacancy in their youth teams.  A host of recent hangers-on have also been moved on with some contracts finally being terminated eg George Tucudean, and Katrien will be working some spells to dislodge a few more. Tony Watt will likely be top of her hit list, having failed to shift him twice before and I wouldn't be at all surprised to lose one or more of Texeira, Bauer and perhaps Pope or Henderson.

Slade is after another central defender which might support losing one of the existing first choices and we might need another keeper.

Beyond that, no news from the Club on anything else, most notably season ticket sales or even a new club shirt. Katrien may actually be under self-imposed withdrawal from any possible risk of further mis-communication following Varneygate. Best guesses suggest we may start the season with half (5000) the season tickets we had last season. That would see official gates drop to four figures, which would represent the ultimate judgement on the mismanagement of the club last season.

I am heading over Shooters Hill to meet up with some old mates on Saturday before the Welling match but the consensus appears that staying in the pub will be the order of the day. Only two have renewed and the rest will be match-to-match, although most of them did that last season and went to as many aways as they did homes. I expect a planning discussion about a few away games this season as The Valley is no longer the draw it once was.

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