There have been a lot of rumours about how much money Norwich City have got to spend on transfers this summer.
Various figures are being bandied about on fan forums, £10, £5m or a rather depressing £2m – as if anybody actually knows, outside of the club.
I noticed that Norwich have been linked with Sunderland midfielder/defender, Paddy McNair over the last few days with the Black Cats reportedly holding out for £4-5m for their young, ex-Man United star.
Norwich have been linked along with Brighton, who have apparently already had two bids of £2m and £3.7m knocked back, Derby and Stoke by the Mirror, reported here by HITC Sport.
The fact that we’re even being mentioned surprises me because the reality of our beloved club’s financial situation is not great, in fact, it’s not even slightly good.
If Stuart Webber is going to improve the first team squad, then he’s going to have to do some wheeling and dealing.
“Sell to buy” is an often coined term in the football world and that, in my opinion, is where we are at.
As we all know, Delia and Michael are wealthy people, they own a football club after all, but, crucially for a couple who own a football club, they are not “football wealthy.”
There is no magic money tree or pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In fact, without those Premier League parachute payments, I imagine we have a financial black hole of around £20m, this coming season.
Without a rich fairy godmother we are going to sell James Maddison and just about balance the books this season. If Madders is sold for £20m+, once you take Coventry City’s sell on clause into consideration, the hole will be plugged for now but then we’ll be looking for the next James Maddison, to sell next season.
There are of course, other saleable assets like Nelson Oliveira, Josh Murphy, Timm Klose and Marley Watkins that could make money too. Two of those, I don’t think we’d miss.
That is going to be our business model going forward and it will depend on producing good young players on a regular basis, as well as selling the family silver in the short term.
I know a lot of fans think Maddison is worth £25-30m and I hope we get that as much as the next fan but, as Steve Foley pointed out to me when we did the Pink ‘UN show last month, Maddison is untested in the Premier League and he’s got one good season under his belt.
Norwich need to sell him, make no mistake about that and prospective buyers will probably know that. Any fee of £20-30m is going to make him the most expensive player in English football never to have played in the Premiership too.
What happens after that though is unknown at this point.
A striker is a must and if you remember back in the Spring, Stuart Webber let slip that Norwich had already agreed to sign a player for next season.
He declined to name the player at the time, which makes me think that he signed a pre-contract last January. We need a right back and we need a striker, fingers crossed eh?
I do wonder why we haven’t heard who it is though?
Football contracts usually run out on 1st June, so any announcement could surely be made now, couldn’t it? Or, are we waiting for some reason, I wonder…
So, anyway, getting back to that financial black hole. I guess what I’m trying to do, is manage the expectation of those that think we’ll get £25m for Madders and then start chucking it around.
Remember that figure of £2m that I mentioned at the start? I bet that’s not too far from the truth, as things stand.