Portsmouth boss tackles reality of facing financial muscle of likes of Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday next season with reduced playing budget
Danny Cowley faced up to a reduced playing budget and vowed: We’ll add value to this squad.
And the Pompey head coach promised he had had absolutely no problem with being informed the club’s kitty for putting a squad together will be cut next term.
Kenny Jackett had a budget in excess of £4m to assemble a playing staff, before the £2.5m salary cap was introduced and eventually binned this season.
With Pompey facing up to a £700,000 monthly hole in their balance sheet through the Covid pandemic, that £4m figure will be reduced for the 2021-22 campaign.
The impact of that has been seen as the club has opted not to take up options on their out-of-contract players, with Cowley making it clear the likes of Ryan Williams and Ben Close will have to take a paycut to stay.
Pompey’s head coach has the option of selling his bankable contracted players this summer to add to his kitty, with Republic of Ireland international Ronan Curtis set to depart.
Whatever money is at his disposal, Cowley is backing himself to maximise what he spends.
He said: ‘I’m just going to do my best with what I’m given. I’m going to do my very best with what I’ve got.
‘There’s no way, no way I’m going to moan about finance in these circumstances.
‘The club have done brilliantly and they are really good owners, honestly.
‘They are just bright and intelligent - it’s the rest of football which need to look at themselves. It’s just barmy.
‘I don’t know where our budget is going to stand, it’s going to be less than what it was.
‘I just think that wherever we’ve been, we’ve added value.’
It’s clear Pompey are going to be going up against clubs with greater financial strength than they possess in the new campaign.
Ipswich Town have been taken over and have American funding, while Sheffield Wednesday are showing signs of being willing to spend to immediately return to the Championship.
It remains to be seen if Sunderland will once again be in League One with their backing from Frenchman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, while Dane Thomas Sandgaard has shown ambition at Charlton.
Cowley confirmed Pompey had the sixth highest budget in League One pre-salary cap, and explained it’s hard to guess where they will stand next term amid the impact of Covid-19 on club’s finances.
He added: ‘On the benchmarking, we were sixth (highest budget in League One last season).
‘I’ve got a feeling everyone else is going to be less than what they were. It’s going to be really tough.
‘My gut feeling, and I don’t know, is we’re going to be about the same as where we were, about sixth.
‘There’s going to be a few big clubs in this division.
‘But whatever finance we’ve had in the past, we’ve been able to add value.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.
You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.