I’ve been having a think about the above question and I think we’re going to struggle come the winter window.
To my mind, we have two ways of looking at things.
1) We spend some serious money on some quality players, with the aim being to fight our way out of trouble.
2) We resign ourselves to relegation and buy players to suit.
I’ve previously called for a massive investment come January and in massive, I mean way over the £25-30 million that even I’d touted a few weeks back.
Let’s face it, it should have been spent in the summer on top of the Delph and Benteke money, as we all felt the squad in general wasn’t good enough. At least we would have had a chance of getting some quality in, what with a new broom and all that.
But of course it was never going to happen, as Lerner won’t invest because he wants out and is only trying to recoup money.
So why will anything be different in January?
Well, perhaps it’s now beginning to dawn on Lerner on what he stands to lose if we get relegated and he will have a last ditch attempt at survival by splashing the cash?
We also have to factor in the problem where if we’re cut adrift even more than we already are in the table, the only way we’re going to get quality players in, is if we pay them way over the top money.
I know some of you have said they won’t come, but I believe they would. After all, it’s only a job isn’t it, where a four year contract on higher money is better than less money, regardless of where you are playing?
No, it just doesn’t make sense, given Lerner’s history of spending over the last 4 years or so.
Hence I think we’re going to go for option 2), where we’ll be working on an even tighter budget, with the aim of pocketing as much parachute money as possible.
It seems an absurd situation as a fan, but from a businessman’s point of view it makes sense.
Heck, I think I’ll go further and say Lerner might even take the club off the market, as although we’d be playing in the championship, it is never a good thing to sell an asset at a loss.
It’s a risky game, because Lerner would face even more of the fans ire, if we were to openly accept relegation.
Indeed the fans might actually start to do what should have been done ages ago and protest, but I doubt Lerner would care. He probably knows that we’d still get 20,000 plus turn up at games.
Surely one in the eye for him though, will be looking at us having extended Gabby’s contract.
£3 million a year plus for a fading player?
Still, Gabby might actually come good in the championship, but surely Lerner must be thinking “who the hell approved that deal?” The one good thought there is that it was probably him, which just shows how good his judgement is.
Lerner of course, might splash out a token few bob on someone like Austin to appease the easily pleased of us (as much as he says he doesn’t want to play at a relegation candidate), but I think we’re looking at a very bleak winter window overall.