The Transfer Saga of Summer 2010

by Peter Ottaway

And so it came to pass that we signed nobody. We had bold brash targets to go and sign two other teams’ arguable best players, and we got no-one. Who is to blame here?

The fact remains we needed a couple of extra bodies, nobody denies this. Everybody agrees. The board obviously agreed as they tried to sign them, Billy obviously agreed as he gave the board his targets, the fans certainly agreed, and radio Nottingham certainly agreed. So why didn’t anything happen?

Now I’m certainly slightly aggrieved that no-one came in apart from one loan signing. I think we needed to create more strength in depth in all positions. However, we were strongly linked with a left winger in Whittingham and a box to box man like Pratley.

That would have given us a wonderful midfield. I think arguably the best outside of the premier League. We have a fine goalkeeper so no work needed there. The defence could have done with maybe a little fine tuning. Chambers to me is an able deputy but no more, and if he gets injured then there’s Lynch... Who I can’t even remember what he looks like anymore its been so long that he played (aside from Bradford) I would also perhaps like to have seen another striker adding to the mix, with McGoldrick out, and Garner on loan we basically have the 2 main strikers and the much maligned Adebola. However, we also now have injuries. Anderson is injured and his back up McCleary is now also out, and it looks longer term. That leaves us with no wingers.

So all this positions we need people but no arrivals. Are Billy’s targets unreasonable? You could ague maybe. Whittingham and Pratley are both players you’d look to make the step up to the Premier league so these guys maybe have half an eye on those types of move, and Swansea and Cardiff if they lose their prize assets would want decent fees and that’s more likely to come from the Premier League. Are we being too stingy in what we offered? The offers were called derisory. Should we have bitten the bullet and just paid what they wanted? Well both these guys’ contracts are up in a year. This greatly alters their clubs ability to demand decent fees, especially as at the time Cardiff were meant to be in financial dire straights, until they suddenly became able to pay £30,000 a week in wages to Bellamy. And that Bellamy move is one that signalled Cardiff are going for broke. Is this what we should do? It has been argued amongst people that to be able to get the millions in the dreamland of the Premier League we should spend. Speculate to Accumulate. However, this has happened before. Remember Leeds borrowing against the financial benefits of getting into the Champions League and all the wealth that brings, and when that didn’t happen the whole house of cards came down. Hell, just look over the river at County. It worked for the, but it nearly also killed the club. Are people really that demanding of success in the near future that they would jeopardise the whole clubs future. Make no bones about it; if Cardiff fail to go up, it will be interesting to see the melt down there. They have new backers, yes, but do they have the capital to back up the dreams?

People blame Mark Arthur but I feel this is an easy scapegoat. Doughty needs a man in Nottingham to run the show as he isn’t always here. And Arthur has a track record in running ventures like this. However people get very annoyed at his way of treating the fans like mugs. His piece at the start of the season on Radio Nottingham was ill thought. It was an attempt to say that we are working on this and trying to sign people, but it massively backfired as it merely angered the two Welsh sides. Couple with the “we’re serious about promotion” idea apparently being his, before we promptly got relegated and you can see why people don’t like him. But these guys exist at every club. Someone has to be the fall guy. Then there’s David Pleat, admittedly he has a role at the club which has never really been explained. But Pleat does despite the evidence of his commentary have a wide knowledge of the game.

You can either argue with transfers that many hands make light work that having the opinions of Acquisition panel means we no longer sign over priced crap. Or you can argue too many cooks spoil the broth, it’s down to the manager to say who he wants.

And that brings me to Mr Billy Davies. As a manager I cannot argue with him, the results speak for themselves. However, the man himself is really stating to grate and I can see why other clubs were so glad to see the back of him (However Preston and Derby have both gone backwards since he left) Billy knew the set up when he came here, so why he feels the need to argue about it all the time annoys me. My question is what or who was on his list after Pratley and Whittingham for us to sign? Did he not supply sufficient back ups in case Plan A didn’t work? Why does he constantly feel the need to foster an us versus them attitude with the board. Its fracturing the fans now, you can see protest groups on Facebook. This isn’t helpful. We should be unified, but instead there will be dissent this Saturday at the match. This is not productive in the slightest. I really wonder about our fans at times.

It just seems the whole system is poisoned. And it wasn’t before Billy got here. The board no doubt knew he was a fractious character when we employed him. So they can’t complain either, but it seems something has to give. I’m afraid it won’t be the board in this case. And maybe, just maybe, Billy’s apparent ran on the flight to east Midlands which got published, might just come true, that he is sacked and made the patsy