Date: 7th September 2009 at 5:13pm
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Blackburn chairman John Williams has stepped into the breach to make a statement with regards to this summers transfer activity. Rovers fans are always asking what happens to the excess cash and vent their fury at where the extra money goes – well here is the answer.

Almost half of this summer’s transfer fees had to be used to balance the books at Ewood Park instead of being used to refresh the squad.

Despite the likes of Roque Santa Cruz, Matt Derbyshire and Stephen Warnock being sold and generating about £26million, manager Sam Allardyce had £13.5 million to spend in return.

That has led to much groaning and ramblings amongst fans but Williams has conceded that whilst annoying – it was unavoidable as Rovers needed to cover financial deficencies.

As well as the usual expenditure, the sacking of one manager and the hiring of a new one plus all the backroom staff added further pressure to the Rovers business model, not to mention the fewer numbers of Rovers games on TV.

Williams, speaking in a club official statement said – ‘That is the gap that had to be plugged from the Santa Cruz deal,’

‘For years we have stretched ourselves budgeting a league finish above that suggested by the wage bill.

‘This year we took a more pragmatic approach to our mantra of break-even; a 13th-place finish would support circa £41million annual wage bill.

‘Therefore we needed to get £5million off the wages. We have failed to do this.’

To plug that gap – Rovers spent £2 million of the £7 million Stephen Warnock fee on a replacement, Pascal Chimbonda, and put the rest to cover the wages deficit.

Williams continued – ‘Not surprisingly wages are running very similar year on year,’

‘So we have filled the resulting £5million hole with the difference in transfer fees between Stephen and Pascal.

‘I’m not entirely comfortable about funding wages from transfer fees but developing players, buying low and selling high has, by necessity, become part of our business.

‘I suppose the most sobering thing about this is that even if we stretch ourselves to achieve break-even at operating level that still leaves nothing for player acquisition. So trading is the name of the game.’

Nevertheless, Williams in confident Rovers can mix it with the rest on the pitch.

‘I do get depressed at times when I see the spending power of the clubs with big fan bases and/or wealthy owners putting in money,’ Williams clarified.

‘But they’re not better than us, they don’t work any harder, they just have more money.

‘Many of them I know look with envy at our achievements on and off the field over recent years.

‘And they certainly don’t have a greater ambition than us.

‘My greatest fear is not that we haven’t stretched ourselves enough, it’s that we have stretched ourselves too far – but lack of finance is nothing to be ashamed of.

‘We should in fact be proud to be supporting a big club in a small town.

‘We deserve to be in this league, it’s no fluke.’

Hopefully this puts to rest all the wondering about what happens to the transfer cash – and BIG props to JW for coming out and facing the mob with this statement. The best chairman in the league by a mile continues his good work.


17 Replies to “JW – Rovers Use Transfer Cash To Ease Debt”

  • Well done to Mr.Williams for having the front to come forward and explain this matter to the fans! I personally am very happy with this explination.

  • if money keeps bein spent like it has done recently in the premiership we will need a new owner alot sooner then 5 to 10 years! will be too late in my eyes… well done williams tho 🙂 just what all the fans wanted to hear!

  • sadly, we have officially a “buy low, sell high” club. we have lost our bargaining power.
    can’t argue that JW is a fantastic chairman.

  • Very well spoken Mr Williams. I am just so happy we have a very astute and organised person like him running the club. Many other clubs (Leeds, Southampton etc) have been poorly run and suffered as a result. This is not a problem for us. Hopefully in the near future we will get a new owner but i would love to see Mr Williams still in charge if that happened

  • A very good business man. It will be far easier to sell a club that isnt 80 million in debt but the lack of interest in it lately is worrying

  • its the fan base that lets us down!!! Theres no room to grow at our club… afraid that the only intereted people would be idiots with masses of money that just wanna play around until theyre bored!!!

  • It just goes to show what the true cost of our poor league finish was last year. A top half finish and a few extra TV matches would have brought in an two or three million and would have eased the problem! I agree with the other comments – it is better to have the club run within it’s means now than have the club in crisis next season. I expect that a few clubs might yet feel the pinch next season. Keep up the good work JW.

  • I think it is a combo of things that make the club a difficult proposition to sell at the moment – the Walkers are asking for £60 million as a sale price on top of the £60 million or so debt that we have – which is a tad high considering we have effectively a low population, limited catchment area and no real expansion opportunity. We are a great club and very well run but until either a) debt is reduced or b) a buyer can be found that is actually a Rovers fan we will be stuck in this situation with no real attraction for a buyer – apart from the TV/Premier League money we generate obviously. Having said that Mr.Williams is an AWESOME chairman who is doing his best with what we have – all we can do is back the side emotionally!

  • Good to hear the truth about what is up and what is down in the this case. Let’s win some matches now, that we can do without anybody else help…..cheers

  • Williams will go down as yet another legend in the history of this club. Every time he puts things in perspective and does it in a way that keeps things positive and honest. Lets hope we do find a buyer- but the right one for Rovers. I’d rather be in the Championship then lose who we are as a club

  • agreed retro I dont want just some sugar daddy ala Man City/Chelsea- I want somebody that has the club in their heart somewhere. If that doesnt materialise then I personally am happy to let whatever will… be.

  • I could’nt disagree more. The club is losing its competitive edge and if things continue the way they are going we will eventually be squeezed out of this league. You guys are dreaming if you think another Jack Walker is going to come along.. I dont think we can afford to be picky about who takes over as long as they have money and an interest in the game.

  • Couldn’t agree more, Williams is the best chairman we’ve had, a good business man, has the clubs best interests at heart, he’s honest and doesn’t treat the fans like idiots.

  • We’ve just got to look at other clubs that have overspent to see what happened to them, so I think keeping within a budget is the best thing to do. However, with so much money coming into the game (from Television and so on) many would still argue there should be more. If wages were more realistic with other clubs the knock on with others clubs (such as us) wouldn’t be felt as much.

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