What the Derby County accounts tell us
The financial accounts for Derby's 2016/17 season have just been released and three things appear to be clear from them.
1) The club easily made it through the financial fair play regulations.
2) It was the sales of Jeff Hendrick, Tom Ince and Will Hughes that provided the funds to make the accounts look better than they might have been.
3) In order to continue to meet the FFP regulations, purse strings will have to be tightened!
It quite ironic that the statement of accounts are released in a week that former manager Paul Clement has been announced as the new boss of Reading! Some of Clement’s signings were simply well over the to fee wise and overall dreadful business for the club!
£4m went on Jacob Butterfield who is currently out on loan at Sheffield Wednesday.
Butterfield has failed to settle into the Rams team and hasn’t set the world on fire at the Owls. He is contracted to Derby County for another season.
£2.5m were spent on Nick Blackman from Reading! This simply must rate as one of the worst pieces of business in the last decade! Blackman never once looked the part whilst on the field and after a season of injury has found himself loaned out to Maccabi Tel-Aviv for the season. Like Butterfield he will be on substantial wages and the club still have him under contract once the season is over!
£1.5m were spent on Abdoul Camara! Despite the player having a great attitude, it was clear to see from his first appearance in a Derby shirt that he wasn’t up to £5m was spent on Bradley Johnson! Now I know that he is still a first team squad member and has had his moments of glory, but he lacks consistency and many people are undecided what his best position actually is! He’s never at any time looked the player that was so impressive during Norwich City’s last promotion.
Historical bad deals have come back to haunt the club and has manager Gary Rowett having to wheel and deal his way into creating match winning teams!
There will be no significant investment into the team if we do not achieve promotion! That has been made clear by owner Mel Morris! So its promotion or indeed bargain basement signings and free agents with academy products added to the mix!
Bearing in mind that we don’t appear to have many players with large resale values in comparison to the start of last season, how will the books be balanced next season? Could it see the sale of Matej Vydra for instance? He is the one player who’s stock has risen!
Steve McClaren, Paul Clement and Nigel Pearson were given significant funds to spend. Gary Rowett has limited and thats why I judge him to be the better manager than those before him. To have us in the top six with little cash is really quite remarkable!