One of the main criticisms from fans aimed at the club was our largely tardy nature in trying to sort of contracts with players whose deals were expiring. We have seen too many players; both good and bad disappear for nothing because we never negotiated a deal. Earnshaw, Tyson, Commons, Wilson, Chambers, McCleary and Lynch in recent times all left because they’re deals were allowed to run down too close. We also nearly lost Moussi that way. And that’s just recently.

Cohen has signed a new deal.

The problem has always been we didn’t know where we were going. Chambers, Lynch and McCleary were difficult to sort out as by then the club was in financial turmoil and new deals couldn’t be budgeted for. But that situation shouldn’t have happened. You don’t leave these deals to the last minute, and further forward planning should have been set in place.

The problem with the Championship is no-one wants to be saddled with a long term expense that a contract can be. Look at Miller, Greening and Derbyshire. Hefty contracts we can’t shift, nor stomach. So we never offered players likely to be wanting substantial rises when we would probably still be in the Championship. On the other hand you get players like Robbie Savage, stuck in the Championship on a huge Premiership type wage.

There are aspects like Tyson simply wanting to be a bigger fish, and Earnshaw wasn’t worth what we were paying him anymore. Though still a good player, his form hasn’t been worthy of the supposed £15k a week he was warning. He also refused to take a pay cut.
Then there are Commons and Wilson, who frankly should have been sorted out sooner, but again, it was questions of the future. We didn’t know where we would play so we didn’t offer deals. That cost s when January came and they negotiated a way out. When Commons left we’d just gone up, but it seems obvious he’d signed for or agreed to sign for Derby before that, and Wilson, well we were in danger of relegation still, and why saddle a huge debt like that?

Is it a risk worth taking? Well the hope is now that we don’t have to get to that point, but there are plenty of cases of clubs ending up with players on their wage bill they can no longer afford due to relegation. Look at Leeds. The whole legacy of their situation is paying now against future earnings that never materialised. For years it nearly scuppered Cardiff, plus countless other Championship clubs who go from promotion contenders to League One obscurity too quickly.

When the panic sets in and the club is struggling against relegation, these long term expensive contracts provide no wriggle room at all financially. No-one else will take them on, you can’t shift them, and so you’re stuck.

In a similar regard players who play well when looking for a deal, get the deal and that perform terribly as they have their deal now, think Andy Impey for that one. 

But then you also get what you pay for. Cardiff broke the bank for Bellamy and he is arguably one of the very best in this division and can change games. That phrase break the bank or the pay structure for a top player generally signifies ambition and would also hopefully trigger in shirt sales and the like.

And so too though conversely is getting these players to agree new deals. Cohen’s new deal this week is excellent news, as is getting Darlow to stay. The whole sorry Bamford episode last season was significant in that we’d let a young player with great promise get down to a mere months left on the contract, rather than getting them on longer term deals. Admittedly we then offered him the best terms ever for a youth player, but it was too little too late. His head had been turned, we needed the cash (which arguably allowed us to bring in players that kept us up) but it should never get that far. We also seem hesitant with youth deals. Lascelles deal was mentioned as not being long term either, which if these players show the promise they purportedly do, then get them tied down. It enables us to get bigger transfer fees if they do demand to go.

All in all, it’s another side the al-Hasawi family have changed for the better at the club. And I applaud them for it. It is only an issue if their wells of money they give us dry up for some hopefully never going to happen unforeseen future incident. Then we’d really be in the mire.