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Lambert: We're Still Looking at Free Transfers
Tuesday, 25th Jun 2019 14:36

Town boss Paul Lambert says his focus will remain on free transfers despite the Blues receiving £450,000 for striker Ellis Harrison, who joined Portsmouth last week, and having picked up a windfall of almost £800,000 from ex-defender Matt Clarke’s move from Pompey to Brighton.

The Blues had anticipated a further £1 million going into the coffers via Bartosz Bialkowski’s move to Millwall, which as things stand now isn’t going to happen.

Asked whether the money the club has received over the last week will make a difference to his transfer business, Lambert said: “I think with the money structure the money doesn’t come in this season, so we probably have to look at frees unless something comes up and [owner] Marcus Evans] says ‘Okay we can maybe buy’.

“I don’t have a problem with that, that’s football, you have to respect what way the club is going, if it’s frees we have to look really hard and if we get them in, then great. And if you don’t then you move on.

“We’ve got a big squad as it is at the minute, so we have to wait and see what transpires over the next few weeks.”

He added: “We’ve got 23/24 players at the minutes, and we can only have 18 [in a matchday squad], so we might try and bring someone else in to help.

“But if you keep bringing people in then it stops the progression of the young ones coming through, so it doesn’t make sense, you may as well scrap the academy if you’re not going to utilise it.

“The young lads played a lot of the season last year, the lads that were out of our squad last season was huge, and there were too many disappointing players, there were too many.

“Six were loans, and some were out of contract, and we agreed not to take the option, so the squad is far too big, we have 23 players and anybody will tell you that’s probably a number they won’t want to work with because when you have too many, it becomes a problem.”

Asked whether that means there’s not going to be too many more signings, he said: “Not necessarily, no. If I can try and bring someone else in then great to do it, but it won’t alter anything.

“I don’t need one to go for one to come in, so if it’s someone I think can make us better then I can look at it. “

Regarding current bids both for incoming and outgoing players, he continued: “There’s a bit of both. There’s always some that happen and some that don’t happen, and that’s the same with lads going out and lads coming in.

“So we wait and see because there’s still a long time [left on the transfer window]. We try and work accordingly with the way we want to work, and if it’s beneficial and right for the club, then we’ll try something.”

With Peterborough and Portsmouth in particular having already made a number of signings, Lambert knows it’s going to be a tough division.

“It’s not easy, but money doesn’t guarantee anything,” he reflected. “You need a little bit more than just money to get you out of the league.

“I know what to expect, and I know exactly what’s coming. I know most of the guys now because I’ve worked with them for six or seven months, one or two aren’t here due to internationals and play-offs, but we’re looking forward to it, and we’ll be ready.”

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RegencyBlue added 14:51 - Jun 25
No great surprise surely?

Evans was never going to put his hand in his pocket, especially with the club losing £7 millon a year income as a result of relegation. Those who thought he would were kidding themselves.

Evans is a man with a plan and he's not for changing, despite the fact his 'plan' is not working and is just leading to the relentless decline of a once great club.

Wickets added 15:20 - Jun 25
Lets look on the bright side we aint chucking cash on expensive loans and improving other clubs young players !

ArnieM added 15:21 - Jun 25
So Town lose approx £6m per season. This season will be no different. I suspect. BUT the Club will be losing an additional £9m in revenue because we are now in League One.

I make that now a sum of £15m, which Evans will be funding out of his own pocket. So hardly a case of Evans not prepared to put a hand in his pocket, because he will be by some considerable margin.

Toronto_Tractor added 15:47 - Jun 25
Arnie is right. ME has put a fair amount into this club. Those that say he offsets the losses against tax do not understand business. A loss is a loss. Im not sure what his angle is at this stage though, I feel he should sell up now, for everyones sake, as well as his own.

ThaiBlue added 15:48 - Jun 25
Well said arniem he does keep us in business with his own money or does anyone think they can do better.

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 15:50 - Jun 25
Blimey , I came on this thread expecting the normal Evans out posters but pleasantly surprised to read sensible posts . It's early yet though!

Bluearmy_81 added 16:02 - Jun 25
Joke club now, freebies is all we're good for and some 'fans' are fine with that. Keep championing Evans while the clubs that are prepared to pay for the players they want/need go up.

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 16:12 - Jun 25
Didn't take long did it

Alan_Handsome added 16:13 - Jun 25
It's good that we aren't going after lots of aging loanees, and maybe the yoot will get a chance, which is long overdue.
The current state of the club is down to ME though, so let's not look at him as some great philanthropist who's generously funding our club to the tune of a few million every year.

midastouch added 16:15 - Jun 25
When Norwich went down to League One they didn't rely on freebies to get them out of trouble. They went and invested in quality players like Hoolahan and 2 seasons later they were in the Premier League. The blueprint is there for all to see.

terryf added 16:16 - Jun 25
Whilst I agree with Arnie M and I'm certainly not expecting ME to throw a load of money at getting us back up, I do think the root of our problem has been the lack of one or two quality signings each season over his tenure. That way we could have built sensibly and they would have been our players rather than the volume of loanees during McCarthy's time, which was only ever going to be a short term fix.

Investing in maybe a couple of decent players could make a difference and possibly get us promoted.

My fear is that ME will follow the same pattern, maybe not so many loanees which will give the young players a chance, but will ultimately see us still languishing in Div 1 for another season.

It's a tough division to get out of and several Teams will fancy there chances.

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 16:17 - Jun 25
Alan I don't think anyone thinks that , I just think a lot of people are sick to death of him being blamed for everything including Brexit , trouble in the Middle East and probably Bart failing his medical .

midastouch added 16:22 - Jun 25
Morgan Freeman is available.

midastouch added 16:30 - Jun 25
Correction, Hoolahan signed for Norwich the season they went down but got injured apparently so barely featured that season. So he didn't really feature until their first season in League One where he worked wonders. Hopefully Judge can be like our version of Hoolahan this season! My Norwich mate just put me right on that one. Don't pretend to be an expert on Norwich but I prob know more about them than I'd like as I do live in their neck of the woods!

timkatieadamitfc added 16:42 - Jun 25
@dozzellsbobblehat - I don’t think people are going that far, however the book does have to stop somewhere/with someone.
I’m not expecting him to chuck money at the club now, but maybe he could have released HALF of the money he wasn’t expecting I.e. Clarke money.
I’m also no businessman but WHY would a successful person like Evans pump in 15m of his own money when clearly the club is only been heading one direction in last 2 seasons with future not looking too bright as manager has his hands tied/more like severed.
Think Terryf has hit the nail on the head personally

tractorboybig added 16:59 - Jun 25
looking forward to lamberts fantasy world again, missed it over the past few weeks.

TimmyH added 17:29 - Jun 25
...and even back home if you think you're half decent come down to Playford road as we'll do anything to discover a diamond in the rough.

TimmyH added 17:33 - Jun 25
Arnie M - don't feel sorry for Evans, largely his fault we find ourselves in this predicament after last summers debacle...I and a few others on here could see it coming but not to the extent of rock bottom of the Championship.

Karlosfandangal added 17:49 - Jun 25
Difficult one this

I agree and disagree with the splash the cash but that does not guarantee good players.

£1.6 million on Jackson, not proved himself yet
Norwood is free and yet to prove himself as well but if we had payed £1.6 million would it make him any better.
Alan Judge free and yet looked class in the Championship.
Harrison £750000 maybe not given a real go but scored 16 in Divison 1 might have made it we will see with Portsmouth.
£750000 on Docijoen is he back with us or still at Accrington looked poor.
Proven player are out of our budget so I feel the club are taking the right stance at the minute, once back in the Championship then yes.
However Derby splashed the cash and still a Championship side, a £8 million Waghorn still did not guarantee a Premiership place.

Bluearmy_81 added 17:53 - Jun 25
You don't have to do one extreme or the other. Some spending on the right players at the right time is allowed. Not in Evans world though. At least people seem to have have stopped saying "if you can't buy the club you can't criticise..." Possibly the most cringe worthy, embarrassing footy statement I have ever seen.

MichaelRockyLavelle added 17:59 - Jun 25
Whilst I appreciate Evans is putting money into the club to cover the shortfall...
The only way he is ever going to make any of that back is by gaining promotion to the championship (&prem)

If he wants to achieve this then investing in proven quality for 2 positions is critical (a big striker - Tom Eaves would be perfect, he's even on a free!)
And a Left footed Centre back to balance our defence.
(@Terryf has got it spot on)

Evans has consistently only funded the worst managers the club has had under his tenure - Keane & Hurst (Jewell didn't get much in comparison)
I really don't get his 'logic' - not financially backing his better managers (McCarthy & now Lambert)
e.g. if McCarthy had been given decent funding, we might have had a few play-off seasons rather than just the one... or been promoted when we were in touching distance in Jan...

rabbit added 18:08 - Jun 25
Brilliant bluearmy_81, you are the gift that keeps giving lol, try reading some of your own posts back if you want cringe worthy embarrassing footy statements.
You have admitted that ME loses money year on year and have not/will not say why you think he is still funding the business.
You actually believe that he has no choice but to keep funding it and it is unlikely as such that ITFC can go into administration.
Brilliant logic just brilliant!!

jas0999 added 18:20 - Jun 25
A very depressing read. But not at all surprised. As it stands I don’t believe this squad is anywhere near good enough - particularly defensively.

hollywoodginge added 18:42 - Jun 25
I agree with the defence part Jas, every successful team starts with a solid defence, whilst I believe Woolfie is and will show himself to be an absolute star. The rest concerns me at the back.

Warkys_Tash added 20:10 - Jun 25
Need two full-backs, good young hungry like Norwich's pairing..and another striker in the Mould of Keane..or a totally fit keane, then I think we could challenge. At the moment I would say we are just short..

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