After the release of the financial yearly report it all looks as if Leicester City needs to get the wage bill down by large numbers. Despite new heights in sales (largely depending on the sale of Riyad Mahrez), a profit of only £1,6 million before taxes tells a story of a club who have to get their cost down by large numbers.
As we have seen in the past owners cannot just splash the cash and use money from other wells, they need to regulate their doings according to financial fair play rules and also keep businesses split and be able to float without getting funds from private pockets.
The way the results has turned out in the last couple of seasons, without any European football and not being able to compete in either domestic cup competitions and really struggled in Premier League, makes the situation a bit more fragile.
We have seen, in the near past, that a number of big clubs such as Sunderland and Aston Villa getting in trouble, and Leicester City with a small ground, only taking a bit more than 30 000 spectators, you really depend on the money coming in from tv rights and sponsors, and if they are not enough to float, then selling players is the next scenario.
The fact that Claudio Ranieri was allowed to buy a lot of “garage goods” for the money coming in on sales of especially N’Gole Kantè, and then Claude Puel and Craig Shakespeare using money from sales of Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater, says it all. The loss on transfers done by these three men will see the club losing millions when the “garage goods” is for sale, or if it all gets “obsolete” and just seeing the contracts rolling out and then get nothing for those players.
As we have seen in previous seasons managers at the club has done a major sale of one star. First it was Kantè, then it was Drinkwater and in the last summer window Riyad Mahrez was the one leaving. Despite the money coming in from the sale of Mahrez, it only managed to balance the books with a profit of as little as £1,6 million.
We will probably see one or maybe two major sales in the summer, and of course a large number of players will be released without getting a new contract offer. Brendan Rodgers needs to balance the books, and one major sale could finance the total cost of the new training ground, so it would not surprise Tcf if one of the three, Ben Chilwell, James Maddison or Harry Maguire will be moving on to a new club.
It could be that Brendan Rodgers will be lucky in his transfer dealings being able to sell players, not really in his future plans, for a good fee and by that fund a new season. We will probably not see any new big money signings at Leicester City. Tcf will be watching on as maybe one, two or three players will find their way to King Power, taking the trip down from Scotland.
Another scenario is to hope that Rodgers can be able to swop players and by that finance moves for probably Youri Tielemans, with Adrien Silva going the other way as part of the transaction.
Doing bad transfer decisions and signing “garage goods” will always hurt a football club and with the financial fair play rules and the way owners are obligated to run their businesses in a healthy way you can’t do too many mistakes either in manager appointments or in your player recruitment policy.
Among the recrutiments done by Shakespeare and Puel, only James Maddison, Harry Maguire, Ricardo Pereira and maybe Jonny Evans are those that can be said to have worked out as we all would have hoped. Other good transfers of players who have done well in recent time, Wilfred N’Didi, Nampalys Mendy and Demarai Gray were all recruited by Claudio Ranieri.
A rule for Leicester City managers in the future is not to splash out cash on reserves and players you don’t see as a first team regular, then you will have no money to use on players that really will strengthen your first 11. A player signed who are not settling in your first team with a fee of £5 million or more, will be money thrown out the window. With a financial result of only £1,6 million in profit, you will have difficulties financing a move for a good player from league one.
The academy will be of great importance as it has also been in the past, developing young talent and sell them on, as we have seen in the past with the likes of Shilton, Lineker, Heskey and Schlupp among those. Ben Chilwell can be the the next big money move coming through the academy, and another great example of how young players should be brought in from your own ranks for free, than to buy them from other places and not really being seen as first team material.
Brendan Rodgers has to continue the work of Claude Puel, downsize his squad, get the wage bill reduced and of course finance his transfers in, with a big sale of one or two of his current “stars”. Don’t be surprised to see either Ben Chilwell, James Maddison or Harry Maguire leaving in the summer for a large fee to either Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal or Tottenham.