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About RoverCanada

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  1. RoverCanada

    Football League Suspended

    https://theathletic.com/1703320/2020/03/27/blackburn-rovers-wage-deferral/ (paywall, sorry!) Rovers latest club to agree to a wage deferral. Summary: - Players refused a request to defer some payments for March, upset at only being given half a day's notice - They have now agreed to defer some wages from April onwards - Notes that it's related to short-term cashflow rather than any issue with Venky's (the article notes their shares have dropped 9%, which sounds relatively modest to me! Perhaps a rare occasion to be thankful for Venky's deep pockets in these times...) - A source in the article notes how every Championship club is having these discussions. The clubs in the EFL have discussed a collective agreement for a temporary wage cap or % cut to all player wages.
  2. RoverCanada

    Academy & U21s

    https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/18284085.highly-rated-rovers-youngster-makes-first-loan-switch/ Vale now on loan at Barrow too, joining Platt and White. We can sneer at the National League, but playing under a seemingly innovative coach and (highly successfully) playing a high-possession, passing game in a league full of players looking to give you a good kicking sounds decent for development! Could be a good loan relationship to continue if they do get promoted to L2. Platt apparently getting plaudits from Barrow fans. It is the National League, but perhaps. He's out of contract in the summer, but I think Mowbray did mention him among the young CBs he'll be looking at in the summer, so perhaps we shouldn't rule him out just yet.
  3. Doubt I'm saying anything that hasn't already been said, but: - Overall, Brentford all over us from about 0 to 25, then again from maybe 70 to 90, while we had a bright patch in between. Brentford's finishing and final touch was pretty terrible throughout. - Walton's insistence on kicking into the wind in the second half was frustrating... otherwise, can't fault him for Brentford's sublime first goal. And he was pretty assured with the ball in a game where a ballplaying keeper was a must as we struggled to cycle possession in the back - Buckley and Nyambe were quite exposed on the right in the first 30 mins or so. Nyambe of course physically up for it, but seemed to struggle in his communication a couple times. Lenihan seemed uncertain when to help. Buckley frankly a bit useless defensively... but we all know that. Game changed once Buckley was shuttled over to the left. (He did look decent on the ball at least, as usual!) - Armstrong continuing to be immense - Travis my MOTM. Johnson and Downing's experience was nice to have in a game like this, but it felt like Travis had to cover ground for both of them. Perhaps as designed... but there was a couple moments of "who the **** is playing midfield?" on a couple Brentford attacks Losing the win after being up 2-0 is always going to be frustrating, but their first was pretty incredible, and the second a maybe questionable pen... it happens. Obviously would've taken a point at the start, so on we go! Not the 'season decider' as Brentford away has been a couple times in recent years!
  4. RoverCanada

    Tony Mowbray Discussion

    Minor point from the article, but I hadn't seen confirmation before that the academy, and presumably the associated infrastructure, is costing £4m/year. So, for future reference, that should put our FFP loss limit at £17m/year, or £51m over 3 years, rather than the headline limit of £13m/£39m. So, League One loss of £17m, £20m last year, giving us a £14m loss to 'play' with this year. I suspect the Raya + Nuttall sales, which would've been pure profit, are what's keeping us just within the lines this year. Gallagher purchase will be amortized, so not as much of an issue this year. (Plus what our wages are at, income, etc etc, my posts go on long enough haha)
  5. RoverCanada

    Academy & U21s

    Here's Sharpe guessing that he's out of contract in the summer: So, this could be him having a trial with Rovers before a potential summer signing. Or, if he's simply getting some game time he wasn't getting in their academy or he's being put in the shop window in general, with the Tosin loan seemingly going well, this could be part of a budding loan relationship between Man City and Rovers, which could be mutually beneficial. There was also Jack Byrne a few years ago and I recall rumours of us trying to loan in Jack Harrison last year. Top PL teams seem to be watching their loan prospects much more closely these days, so it helps to build up a rapport and a track record. Even if highly rated, hard to imagine him entering the Man City lineup anytime soon, so could be a good example of the academy castoffs we should target. Turns 19 later this year, so it's starting to be make or break time for him.
  6. RoverCanada


    Cheers to postage and 'admin fees' making up 40% of my ticket cost haha
  7. RoverCanada

    Academy & U21s

    https://theathletic.com/1579893/2020/02/04/barrow-national-league-rooney-guardiola/ Nice article on Barrow's (so far very successful) efforts to play possession football in the National League. Both Platt and White on loan there at the moment and playing regularly, although no real specific mention given to either as the focus is more on the manager, Evatt. (And apologies if you're stymied by the paywall!) Could be a sign of a good loan opportunity - teach them possession-style football in a tough-and-tumble lead. (Not necessarily Platt and White, who are both probably major longshots, but future non-league loans...)
  8. RoverCanada

    January transfer window 2020

    Thought this could help elucidate the FFP 'consequences' of the Brereton+Gallagher transfers, to focus everyone's minds a bit (and I was just curious myself!) Quick reminder: for the sake of a club's profit + loss accounts, a player transferred in is treated as an 'intangible asset', which is amortised over the course of its 'useful life' like any other asset, e.g. a piece of machinery. For a footballer, that is determined by the length of the contract they sign. So a player purchased for £2m and signing a 4-year contract has an 'accounting' cost of £500k/year for 4-years, even if the 'cashflow' cost may be £2m in the year he's transferred. Parameters: Brereton was transferred for £6m in January 2019 and signed to a 3.5 year contract. Annual amortisation: £1.71m. Gallagher was transferred for £5m in July 2019 and signed a 4-year contract. Annual amortisation: £1.5m. I've simply assumed Brereton's wage is £7k/week (£364k/year) and Gallagher is on £20k/week (£1.04m/year). Obviously purely guess work, that would have to include NI, etc etc... but just to have a 'reasonable' number for the sake of scale. I wanted to see how these costs actually fall within all our 3-year FFP windows. Also, for sake of 'scale', I've compared the total amortisation and wage costs for the two to a rough estimate of our annual turnover (£16m/year, assumed to be static but may rise a bit over the years), FFP-exempt allowances for academy + community spend (£2m/year), and allowed losses under FFP (£13m/year): £93m total, i.e. how much we can actually spend on everything within an FFP window. Key to note that this excludes potential player trading profits, which would directly tack on. Yearly costs (by accounting year): 18-19: £1.71m amortisation, £0.18m wages, £1.9m total (all BB) 19-20: £2.96m amortisation (£1.71m BB, £1.25m SG), £1.4m wages (£0.36m BB, £1m SG), £4.37m total 20-21: £2.96m amortisation (£1.71m BB, £1.25m SG), £1.4m wages (£0.36m BB, £1m SG), £4.37m total 21-22: £2.96m amortisation (£1.71m BB, £1.25m SG), £1.4m wages (£0.36m BB, £1m SG), £4.37m total 22-23: £1.25m amortisation, £1.04m wages, £2.65m total (all SG) Cost by FFP window 2019-21: £7.64m amortisation (£5.1m BB, £2.5m SG), £2.99m wages (£0.9m BB, £2.1m SG), £10.63m total or 11.4% of 'total spending allowance' 2020-22: £8.89m amortisation (£5.1m BB, £3.7m SG), £4.21m wages (£1.1m BB, £3.1m SG), £13.1m total or 14.1% of 'total spending allowance' 2021-23: £7.18 amortisation (£3.4m BB, £3.7m SG), £3.85m wages (£0.7m BB, £3.1m SG), £11.03m total or 11.9% of 'total spending allowance' 2022-24: £4.21m amortisation (£1.7m BB, £2.5m SG), £2.44m wages (£0.4m BB, £2.1m SG), £6.66m total or 7.2% of 'total spending allowance' 2023-25: £1.25m amortisation, £1.04m wages, £2.29m total (all SG) or 2.5% of 'total spending allowance' As a quick note, with the way player trading profits work, suppose we were to try and flog off Brereton in the summer and "cut our losses", for say £1m. We would then need to book the rest of his transfer amortisation in the year of his sale and the £1m would have to be netted against the remaining £3.42m of amortisation on his transfer, so that would actually be an 'accounting loss' of £2.42m for that year. However, we would also no longer be on the hook for another £800k or so of wages. Just from my own POV, I think a) £5m for Gallagher really isn't that ridiculous in today's market for a young striker with 'some' pedigree, particularly spread over 4 years b) at the very least, he's shown he can be 'effective' at this level, it's just a matter of consistently coaxing that out c) as the above suggests, it's his probably high wages rather than his transfer fee that deserve more scrutiny (I should perhaps also reveal a slight bias as Gallagher is an "acquaintance-of-a-friend" and apparently he's a 'good egg' ) As another note, I thought it was interesting that transfermarkt's 'market value' for Brereton at the time we bought him was £4.5m: https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/ben-brereton/marktwertverlauf/spieler/426192 I'm pretty sure transfermarkt's market values are purely based on regressions of historical transfer data against various explanatory variables. So, an 18/19-year-old striker with 8 goals (1 a pen) and 7 assists in 3,326 minutes of Championship play and 1 goal (a pen) in 273 minutes of Cup play would be 'expected' to be worth £4.5m. They now have Brereton down at £2.7m. Obviously looks to be an example of why "top-down regressions" should be treated with extreme caution when evaluating players and the 'eye test' is still needed (particularly for a pretty basic statistical approach haha), but I thought it was an interesting idea of what his 'expected value' was at the time given an 18-19-year-old with goals in the Championship are relatively rare!
  9. RoverCanada

    January transfer window 2020

    Bit of a tangent, but I was thinking about that Smallwood contract. It is an odd case if he's still around at the end of the window. He's obviously keen to see out his current contract (which is fair), but if it's been made clear to him he's out of the squad picture, it's hard to see why we couldn't at least loan him out for a portion of his wages to cut costs a bit and get him some lower league game-time. I'd imagine Smallwood would have to push for such a move himself too, so it is curious if he's not keen on it given a whole year with only 2 appearances hardly looks good on the footballing CV! Perhaps Rovers are playing hardball with lower league clubs hoping to take him on loan at zero cost (Mowbray briefly alluded to that about potential loans out) or Smallwood only wants to move for a guaranteed contract for next year. That would potentially mean sacrificing some of his current contract, but even then, Rovers could maybe subsidise his wage a bit for the rest of this year as long as it's still cutting our wage this year, effectively making it a subsidised loan for the rest of this year and then a professional deal lined up for next year... No signs at all that he's a 'bad egg' in the dressing room and I can't imagine he's on prohibitive wages, so not a big deal in the end, but very curious from Smallwood's POV. In terms of Smallwood being wrongly handed an extension, 1) he did do a hell of a job for us in L1. There is some sense/honour in rewarding him accordingly (and I don't recall many complaints about it at the time). 2) If you look back, there is evidence that we did hold the line on his extension. Smallwood hinted that the negotiations dragged a bit and that he wanted a longer-term deal (who could blame him): https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/16354537.signed-lifetime-contract-rovers---smallwood/ Perhaps in retrospect a regrettable extension, but having said that, I took a glance at Smallwood's games last year, and our results were surprisingly effective with him in the lineup at first. Up to, and including, 10 Nov, over 15 games with Smallwood in the lineup, our record was 6-6-3, a 74 point pace. However, for his last 17 games in the lineup, our record was 2-5-10, a 30 point pace... Now, obviously can't attribute all those results to Smallwood, but as a quick control, compare that to our season split: front 23 games, 62 point pace; back 23 games, 58 point pace. Perhaps those results were more in spite of him instead of because of him, but there appears to have been an initial delay in Smallwood being 'found out' at the Championship level (again) and, then eventually (probably too long), by Mowbray. Aye, The Athletic had a great read on this recently too (excuse the paywall if you can't access it!): https://theathletic.com/1536639/2020/01/17/brentford-b-reserves-scrapped-academy-premier-league/ Apologies if this repeats what's in that article above, but some general notes from the Athletic article: - Brentford essentially concluded that running a Category Two academy was not worth the cost, as players very rarely rose from the u13s to the pro level, and even when they did, the compensation for Category Two development is not nearly high enough (the article suggests Brentford only got something like £30,000 each when Ian Carlo Poveda and Josh Bohui went to City and Liverpool). - However, I'd note that this doesn't quite apply to Rovers' Category One academy. For one, I don't know the specifics, but I think the compensation is much better for a player coming through a Category One setup (I'd be interested to know what we got for Callum Wright, for example). Brentford mentions the difficulty of grabbing youngsters with all the top London clubs next door, which technically applies to Rovers as well, but I suspect we wouldn't lose out to too many of the Manchester catchment area clubs on facilities-alone (which sounds like was the case for Brentford) - There's also a 'sunk costs' element to it, with us already having top academy facilities that should still be utilised. It wouldn't be as simple for Rovers to suddenly decide to liquidate the academy and start up 'Blackburn Rovers B'... - Instead, Brentford have opted for a roving B team of 18-21 players, shunning the PDL leagues as insufficient prep in favour of travelling against international reserve squads or even top-league squads looking for a tune-up (the article mentions they got to play Slavia Prague's 1st teamers as they prepped for the Champions League). It gives these 18-21 players, perhaps not ready for Championship football stiffer competition than the PDL leagues can provide (kind of reminds me of Chelsea loaning out an army of footballers each season rather than putting them in PL2 year after year... except Brentford is keeping them all within one team) - Should be noted that Brentford's efforts have not been welcome, given they're essentially sticking their nose up to the EPPP and PDL, and it evokes the possibility of B teams starting up in the lower leagues... - Lots of Scandis in that age range have come over, with some breaking through and others on the cusp. However, this is of course linked to their owner also owning FC Midtjylland (some of whose players have been loaned to Brentford B, and vice versa). Definitely could highlight the need for creativity in scouting Europe. - One bit that I think we do follow to some extent is trying to poach the cast-offs of other top academies. Brentford, apparently, offers to buy top teams' youngsters for a low fee, but with heavy sell-on fees. Apparently the case for Maghoma, who was just brought in from Tottenham. For us, see Travis, JRC, Butterworth, Thompson, Hilton, or even someone like Hart, as recent, generally successful-looking, examples. (Considering how much I just wrote, you might as well just read the article Kamy posted haha...)
  10. RoverCanada

    Tony Mowbray Discussion

    In fairness, that is comparing to essentially our peak last year. Game 28 was the 3rd of a 4-game win streak, which put us into 10th place. The game 29 win had us in 8th, on pace for 68 points, and 3 points out of the playoffs... We then went on that horrid 1-1-9 run (our season cushioned somewhat by the 4-1-1 run-in...) Ugh, I'm remembering now how things were looking so promising at Brentford in game 30: Graham scoring to make it 2-0 in the 7th minute, which I would guess would've had us 1 point out of the playoffs at that point in time. Brentford pulled back one... then Maupay, Benrahma, and Watkins tore us apart in the 2nd half... (From my recollection, it was more a case of those 3 being simply unstoppable than us being particularly 'bad' that half!) We're on pace for 66 (ok, 65.7...) points at the moment, compared to 60 last year. Not playoff pace, another huge win streak obviously needed for that, but technically still on pace to 'progress' from last year. Link for reference to last year's place by game: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018–19_Blackburn_Rovers_F.C._season#Championship_season
  11. Rovers only 'officially' announced it yesterday: https://www.rovers.co.uk/news/2020/january/cunningham-returns-to-cardiff/ I would guess that the option could only be exercised as of yesterday. Similar to how apparently Mulgrew's recall option was set to expire right before he returned.
  12. RoverCanada

    FFP Trouble

    Aye. It's one thing for clubs' highly-paid lawyers to run rings around the EFL (I see it all the time in my line of work with respect to poorly paid and overworked regulators!), but once other clubs' own highly-paid lawyers start lining up on the EFL's side... We're also seeing that with clubs complaining to the EFL about Bolton's relatively lenient treatment in missing fixtures. It's not just the club facing sanctions but the implications for other clubs fighting for promotion/relegation. Easy to get frustrated with the EFL's failings and all the fighting going on, but I actually see it as a welcome re-balancing. Maybe some self-policing is needed if the EFL isn't up to it. Thinking longer-term, at least as an interim measure if the EFL needs some time to retrench and improve its internal capacity after being so exposed. Maybe a couple of the clubs will get away with the stadium selling gambit (it's actually kinda clever, and it's also important to keep in mind that it also raises running costs due to introducing stadium leasing costs. It only really helps within the 3-year FFP window that the profit is realised), but Derby claiming they sold their stadium at an 'independently-valued' £80m after having it valued in their accounts at £41m looks particularly egregious (good luck arguing for £39m in 'intangibles' there!)
  13. RoverCanada

    January transfer window 2020

    https://www.inbrief.co.uk/football-law/footballers-transfer-in-season/ Going by this link, Mulgrew can only play for a third club this year if it's a league with overlapping seasons, i.e. he could potentially still move to MLS, whose season starts at the end of Feb. Alternatively, the Swedish and Norwegian leagues start up in early April... I saw one tweet suggesting he was told at Wigan that he would be way down the pecking order after coming back from injury. (The tweet said he'd be '5th choice'; I can't be bothered to actually count their CBs!). If playing time is his priority, I suppose being 4th choice here is better than 5th choice at Wigan. Who knows what his long-term ideas are, but he deserves some respect if his priority is still playing time (and maybe thus still being in the loop for Scotland caps). Mutual termination wouldn't surprise, at least in the summer. Doubt Wigan was paying all that much of his wage anyway, but doubt this makes our budget any better... On the positive side, we probably were in need of another backup CB, with Grayson injured and Platt/Magloire out on loan.
  14. RoverCanada

    FFP Trouble

    Shockingly I've decided to make a post in this thread 😲 Now, let's wait until Waggott's comments are clarified in the minutes... but having said that, I shall speculate haha Whether we're in breach of FFP this year really depends on how our 17/18 losses in L1 (£16.8m) is accounted for, which fell under the EFL's 'SCMP'. As far as I can tell, the rules do not define that those losses are considered in the FFP 3-year window. So, potentially, we started from a blank slate in 18/19, but I'm definitely not sure of that myself! A lot more attention is paid to the allowance for clubs bouncing between the Championship and PL... Another consideration is FFP makes some exceptions for academy and community-related expenditure. This could be some £2-4m/year for us (based on estimates I've seen for other clubs), so that widens our FFP 3-year losses cap to something more like £45-51m, or £15-17m/year, under which we might be squeaking by... Next year is where I'm more convinced that we'll be up against it and a sale or two would be necessary (and a Dack sale, sans injury, should surprise no one). I'd guess we're looking at another £20m loss this year and the amortisation of the Brereton/Gallagher transfers will start to bite, although it's ultimately more to do with our large (relative to our turnover, not the Championship!) wage bill than our transfers. Gallagher's wages are part of that issue of course, but, from my POV, wage expenditure is what's separating us from the Wigans/Barnsleys/Rotherhams... is it sustainable? Maybe not, but let's not pretend cutting the wage bill won't affect the playing squad. Another note: according to the VLL accounts, our net player trading effectively netted out this past summer, so Raya + Nuttall appears to have paid for the Gallagher purchase, if you prefer to think of it that way... From my rough arithmetic of the £8,862m 'intangible asset acquisitions' in the recent VLL accounts, I think that includes Brereton, Armstrong, Rothwell, Davenport, and Chapman, plus other misc. So, depends on your assumptions for the latter purchases, but probably puts Brereton around £6m, as the LT seems to have settled on reporting of late. Not the £7m commonly bandied around on here, although certainly higher than the ~£4m+ that some have rather hopefully suggested! Also, as a quick point on what was discussed above on the £4m in maximum liabilities on transfers, I think that covers any performance/promotion-related add-ons, not 'transfers payable'. Possibly linked to Gallagher and Brereton (hopefully more the latter...), but also keep in mind that Armstrong's reported fee was £1.75m up to £3m, and maybe some more add-ons linked to the Dack purchase or anyone else we've purchased in the past few years... If anything, let's hope those liabilities are realised!
  15. RoverCanada

    Bradley Dack

    For sake of argument, thought I'd check out a couple recent estimates of the aging curves for forwards and wingers. Plenty more estimates out there, but to quote a couple: https://statsbomb.com/2016/07/player-aging-attacking-players/ - Main conclusion (obviously generalised from the median number, so you can't blindly apply to everyone...): wingers peak at 26, forwards at 27-28 - Shot, key pass, and 'scoring contribution' rates remain fairly steady from the early 20s through to the late 20s, but they start to drop a bit from 28+ for forwards, while they drop fairly steadily for wingers from 26+ - However, the curves for dribbles, fouls suffered, and crosses all drop pretty steadily from the early 20s onward for both positions, suggesting aging players learn to still generate chances from know how over raw athleticism. So it may depend on the 'type' of striker/forward. - Key caveat is from what I can tell this is filtered on players who played a minimum amount, so there will be some 'survivor' bias as the worse older players drop out, but you can maybe assume that the rate of aging-related decline for top players is similar to that of the mediocre, and this may only be more of a problem when looking at players in their 30s+, where the true athletic freaks start to stand out. https://www.espn.co.uk/football/blog/tactics-and-analysis/67/post/3056495/soccer-age-curves-show-goalkeepers-and-central-defenders-peak-latest - The charts annoyingly seem to be missing, but going by the text of the article, the analysis gets around the 'missing old players' problem by first looking at minutes played (wingers peak at 23, the text doesn't mention strikers on this measure...) - Looking at a time series of individual players over time (seems like the obvious way to measure this to me given the data's freely available, so I'd say this finding trumps the rest!): strikers' shot rates decline steadily over time, but they make up for that by taking higher quality shots, peaking around 26-27, and then declining from about 29 onwards. - The study ranks positions from most to least 'age-sensitive': wide attacking midfielder, central attacking midfielder, full-back, central midfielder, striker, center-back, goalkeeper (generally fairly intuitive, I would think) Interestingly, this recent study, as part of showing the average age of Champions League teams has gradually been rising, shows that the average age of forwards has shown the steadiest/strongest increase: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6360147/, but that may just be a comment on how truly elite strikers have been developing rather than strikers in general (the above studies are looking at PL strikers, so perhaps the numbers do not generalise to lower leagues)

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