Paul Wheelock column: Paying off players is the correct but painful thing to do (From This Is Lancashire)
Paul Wheelock column: Paying off players is the correct but painful thing to do
SHORT-TERM pain for long-term gain goes the old adage – and Rovers will certainly be hoping it rings true following their decision to pay off two more players.
Coming to settlements with Dickson Etuhu and DJ Campbell is not a cause for celebration.
But if Rovers are to move forward – and, crucially, get anywhere near to meeting Financial Fair Play rules – then they have to rid themselves of the players whose contracts act as a painful reminder of the reckless financial decisions that were made following the club’s relegation from the Premier League in 2012.
In an ideal world Etuhu and Campbell would have been taken off Rovers’ hands.
But let’s face it there was never any possibility of clubs coming in and paying the duo what they were earning at Ewood Park.
So the decision to rip up their contracts was ultimately the correct one.
It is a decision, however, that will have come at a considerable cost.
And, judging by his dealings so far, it would appear it is restricting the funds Gary Bowyer has at his disposal to strengthen a squad that finished just two points shy of the play-offs last time out.
Both of the Rovers boss’ signings so far have been free transfers and the majority of players he has been linked with would not cost big fees, if any fee at all.
Compare that to the likes of Charlton and promoted Brentford who have already shelled out seven-figure sums on new recruits.
Little wonder, then, that Bowyer believes the Championship is going to be more competitive than ever. But he proved last season, given the chance, he can make relatively small amounts go far.
Craig Conway and Rudy Gestede were signed for around a combined £400,000.
How much the duo would be worth now? At least seven or eight times that amount.
But whoever Bowyer brings in he could do a lot worse than show his players a DVD of the USA’s performance in their heroic defeat to Belgium on Tuesday night.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s men are the team that has most caught the eye of Bowyer during the World Cup – and it is easy to see why with their astounding and inspirational work ethic and togetherness.
They showed in Brazil, against more illustrious opponents, just what you can do when you have a unified group.
Rovers certainly were that last season and they should be again this time around too, especially after the departure of players like Etuhu and Campbell who clearly had no futures at the club.