'DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE BUDGET'
(Friday 17th June 2005)
Wanderers' Managing Director Steve Hayes has said not to worry about the playing budget for next season. With six new faces in an expanded squad, some supporters had expressed concerns over the financial implications on the Club. However, speaking at a specially arranged interview with the media on Wednesday 15th June, Hayes said, "It's John Gorman's, Steve Brown's and Keith Ryan's first full season and for the Board to be able to achieve a lot of things behind the scenes, we need to get some success on the field and if that personally costs me some money, I'm quite happy to put that in." The Wanderers MD has set promotion as the target for the 2005/6 season but is aware of needing to keep supporters on an even keal, adding "What I don't want to do and it's very difficult, is to raise people's expectations too high so that everybody in the first few months, if we are not winning the League by ten points, there is more criticism. We've got to be judged at the end of the season."
The comments about Wanderers' budget have come after two year deals have been agreed with Charlie Griffin, Stefan Oakes, Tommy Mooney, Will Antwi, Kevin Betsy and most recently Chris Carruthers. The concerns about Wanderers' budget have been fuelled by comments in the media from opposition Managers seemingly put out by the attraction of Wycombe Wanderers. According to the Nottingham Evening Post, Oakes was one of the highest earners at Meadow Lane but was set for a pay cut to continue his time in the midlands. Mooney was also a high earner at Oxford United and was in talks with Swindon Town Manager Andy King about a return to play at the County Ground before Wycombe secured their deal. King told the Western Daily Press "Tommy did speak to me about coming back but with the financial situation here it was difficult. I could not match what Wycombe were offering and I could not have matched the two years they gave him." Meanwhile, Oldham Athletic boss Ronnie Moore claimed that Betsy's agent said the player was looking for "ridiculous" money to stay at Boundary Park. The former Rotherham boss also accussed Betsy of lacking ambition by moving south to join the Wycombe revolution.
Wanderers claim that the three players mentioned have taken a pay cut to come to Wycombe and that it has been the attraction of the Club and John Gorman, rather than the money, that has brought them to Bucks. The players have backed that claim. Stefan Oakes told the Notts County official website "I am excited by the move and with Wycombe playing a good style and also playing a 4-3-3 formation next season it is something very exciting. I am the sort of player that likes to pass it around and Wycombe like to do the same. That is not saying that Notts County lump it long and all that. Wycombe like to play it around more than most and John Gorman is someone who I looking forward to working with. He has worked with Glenn Hoddle at England level, so he knows his stuff." Tommy Mooney has also gone on record in the Bucks Free Press as saying "John (Gorman)'s enthusiasm is quite infectious. He's very confident and enthusiastic about the way he's going to play and the success the team is going to have." He added "I have signed a two-year deal and I fully believe that my second year will be in League One." Meanwhile, Kevin Betsy commented to the Wanderers official website "You could see how ambitious they were in the way they approached me and how they wanted to bring in more players. John Gorman likes to play good football and is well respected in the game and that was a big reason why I signed as well."
Wanderers players wage bill was estimated at £1.1m for the 2004/5 season and is understood to be slightly higher for the new campaign. However, the Club have revealed they will not be paying out for transfer fees in the future or paying player's agents. The bonus system will also be reassesed and not decided until the fixtures are released on 23rd June. Manager John Gorman said he'll be sticking to the budget, commenting to Wanderers World "We've got to go with the budget and we've done well with the one we've got but we didn't pay the money that people are saying for players. We've got players here on a good wage, not crazy. We've done it on a good budget and sensible budget and we've managed to get some good players in."
Steve Hayes is hoping that success on the pitch will boost the gates at Adams Park and set the Club on the way to his five year plan of reaching the 'Championship. Speaking about next season, he said "We are going to give it our best shot to put it on the pitch and I wouldn't worry about the budget's." Hayes has invested £250,000 in shares and a similar amount in loan notes to set the wheels in motion. Promotion at the end of the 2005/6 season is the priority for Hayes, who added, "John Gorman and all the backroom staff know that it's promotion. That's what we've got to achieve this season. Anything other than promotion will be a failure but that doesn't mean it's promotion or bust.There is a 'Plan B' and that is to make sure that we are gathering as much information as we possibly can and learning."
Click here for extended feature on the Steve Hayes interview
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