Another summer of uncertainity beckons

Last updated : 17 May 2008 By Chris C
I can remember writing at the end of last season writing a piece looking ahead at a summer post-parachute payments. It was hardly unsurprising that the predicted chaos on and off the field occured, but few expected such a season of turmoil.

Three (and a half) managers, phantom investors, board executives and chairmen outsed not once but twice, nearly fourty players used and ongoing flirtation with relegation and administration. And now the return of Lowe aided by the man who outsted him in the first place, Michael Wilde!

What a year saved only by the silver lining of a memorable last day.

So what will this summer bring? Lowe does deserve some credit for trying to manage expectations by clearly stating that the club is in big financial trouble. While announcements of the sort may result in other clubs trying to buy our best players for lower than they are worth, at least we know what the real situation is.

The real concern with the inevitable trimming of the squad is that the existing set of high earners only managed to keep us up with twenty minutes of the season to go. Trim the higher earners, in theory the better players, and where does that leave us? In trouble.

While Lallana's late cameos in the season were hugely encouraging there is no longer the production line of talent coming out of the academy to bolster the squad. Lancashire, Baseya and McGoldrick all offer promise, but it is too much to expect any of them to be the next Bale or Walcott.

The lowered expectations may actually be beneficial on the pitch. Despite the inevitable cutbacks from the loss of parachute payments, the hope was that the club could scrape into the play-offs and reach the riches of the Premiership.

It was only late on when the reality hit that we were in a battle to avoid relegation and needed to play the sometimes ugly, battling football that others used to do against us to scrape a valuable point.

This season we will need to battle from day one and hope to hang on to our more talented players and find a gem or two on a free to replace the high earners out of contract.

This rather depressing scenario of course could alter if the club were to find major investment, but after over a year of rumour and counter rumour we can't keep on living in hope on borrowed time.

Even with investment you can't just buy your way out the Championship as Leicester showed (not upwards anyway...). Plenty of other clubs have money to spend as investors look for bargains as a way to get into the Premiership - QPR, Ipswich, as well as the clubs with parachute payments all have money to spend.

It's not going to be easy, but with the battling spirit of the Dell restored we may just slowly, but surely have bottomed out this season with happier times ahead. Investment would be a very pleasant start...