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About RoverCanada

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  1. If I could oh so briefly defend Ward (otherwise, at this point it's obvious he's just not up to it anymore), I don't recall too many complaints about him when he stepped in for a few games at the end of the Lambert year, and I remember him being quite good when he finally returned from injury at the end of last year under Mowbray. Hence I'll admit I didn't have much concern about him going into this year. He was Paul Lambert's 1st-choice CB back in his promotion season with Norwich 7 years ago in the Championship, so that connection seems pretty clear and it'd be quite a coincidence if his agent was also in cahoots with Rovers brass. Perhaps its just been one injury too many for Ward... Funny that we're now all begging for Downing's return after writing him off on his arrival He's been a pleasant surprise over 3 clean sheets, albeit a small sample. While it makes sense to see if Wharton's up to it, and I certainly hope he breaks through, I'm skeptical. He's had some injuries and apparently didn't exactly stand out on loan with Cambridge... Nevertheless, If he's fit he should definitely be given a look over Ward in this upcoming run of games, particularly if an opponent has pacey threats. Ward just looks awkward as hell when he tries to sprint... Wharton hasn't managed a Cup game yet though, so perhaps Platt would be next in line instead? Can't speak for how he performed in the two EFL Trophy games nor his u23 performances.
  2. You're not going to get any argument from me that the contract was incredibly suspicious in it's lucrativeness, timing, and being entirely undeserved. My point (and forgive me for even making it as it's tired ground) is that, at least going by the terms of the contract, Kean was not monetarily incentivised to get the club relegated. By 2015/16, if he had kept us in the PL that entire time, he'd have been making £2M + various potential bonuses (top half finish, CL or Europa qualification, cup performance etc.). If we were in L1 by 2015/16, his base salary was £250k. The contract sets out that his base salary was roughly halved for every relegation. The looming part is the £1.6m 'loyalty bonus' that starts in year 3. Such loyalty bonuses are pretty common to reward a manager or player for sticking with a club (imagine a bizarro world where Kean becomes a sought after manager haha...), but I suspect these would also be void if Kean were fired (as he, uh, presumably would be if we were relegated again...). It does make you wonder about his resignation, as he potentially was going to make another £1.6m had he stuck it out into 2013/14. Now, was Kean for some reason given a contract normally reserved for proven PL managers? Yes. The contract does set out a salary for League 1, but to look at it from a different angle, by doing so it reduces the liability to Kean if he were fired after a relegation. Perhaps it's just odd wording, as it may be that other contracts just say "salary cut by 50% in case of any relegation", rather than the pyramid of salary scenarios laid out in Kean's contract. Suppose Hughes is making £2m, gets relegated, his contract says his salary drops to £1m in the Championship, Stoke sticks with him, but they get relegated again, and his contract only stipulates a salary for the Championship. Stoke wants to fire him but he's got £1m left on his contract rather than, say, £500k if his contract set out a L1 salary.
  3. I think you're referring to the 'loyalty bonus' component. Not sure of the terms of such clauses, but they're pretty typical if a manager has stuck around for 3 years+, or whatever it was. I presume (slash hope) that bonus would've been null if Kean had been dismissed with cause (i.e. terrible performance) should we have again been relegated (when that POS should've been fired after the first relegation, or before that... or never hired at all... gah) I went through that purported contract a while back (I can dig up the post if you'd like), and Kean was always set to be paid more if he kept us in the Premier League. He certainly would've been a well compensated had he stuck it through the whole contract, but he was not actually incentivised to get relegated, at least going by what was in the contract relative to if he had kept us up. (Not that I'm at all defending giving Kean a new contract in the first place, nor making him manager at all, but there was a willful misreading of that contract's alleged terms. It's not the smoking gun some hope it is. For that we'd need, say, tangible proof of his SEM links... which I'm not holding out hope for... Unless there's some document out there I haven't seen) And my apologies for dragging up bad memories of that tosser...
  4. Interesting comments re: Tomlinson. Would be a shame if he's been derailed by off-field issues. Hope it's just a short-term thing. Would help answer why Harper was brought in, and Mowbray apparently being more enthused by Hardcastle and Grayson among our young midfielders.
  5. By some rough calculations I did before, we're still losing some £4-7m per year. The decline in revenue dropping to League 1 can't be ignored. Doesn't seem out of the ordinary. My pure speculation is Venky's started to run into cash flow issues after continually trying to cover losses of £20-£40m+ in the Championship. Covering losses of £4-7m I imagine is much 'easier' for them to do. Certainly makes us the financial giants of League 1, but not so much out of Venky's generosity given they're probably going to lose less money trying to get us promoted out of League 1 than if we were trying make a run of it in the Championship. Whittingham, Dack, Smallwood (plus hanging on to Evans and Mulgrew) are pricey by League 1 standards, but it pails in comparison to the £10m+ now being thrown at top Championship players.
  6. In a scenario where we get promoted and Chapman plays a strong part in that, and he's happy at the club, it's not hard to imagine us trying to make him a permanent signing next year. Consider it an extended audition. Loans are always going to be a lower risk than a permanent signing, just with lower potential long-term pay-off. Imagine if Chapman was playing like ****. We'd be pretty relieved he'd be heading back to Middlesbrough as soon as January. Same for Antonsson before he managed a few goals. Even if he doesn't stick around, if Chapman turns out to be the marginal factor in pushing us on to promotion, that's a loan well taken. Now, if we don't get promoted, Chapman goes back to Middlesbrough despite excelling here, and his playing time thus only served to stand in the way of players we're hoping to develop long-term, yes, obviously that's a worse case scenario. But it's a bit much to treat that as the reality today.
  7. For this board's sake, it's probably about time that you definitively said whether you're a fan of Nyambe or not.
  8. Any word on what Walsall fans think of him? Appears to have been their starting CB between 2012-13 and 2015-16 and then apparently left for MK Dons on his own accord. Perhaps he just never gelled with MK Dons, or he really has suddenly lost a step, but you'd think he managed to be a consistent starter for Walsall for four straight seasons for a reason. For reference, those Walsall teams finished 9th, 13th, 14th, and 3rd, respectively. I tried searching for a Walsall fans forum, but couldn't find a working one that went back as far as Downing's time there. Only found one recent general football forum where a couple Walsall fans expressed joy at the prospect of facing him when they faced MK Dons last year, so perhaps he wasn't liked their too! The sentiment of Dons fans is obviously worrisome, but there is more to his career than a shaky 16-17 campaign. Here's hoping he proves a decent backup option.
  9. For some, the goal posts have been moved a touch compared to the start of the window.
  10. So Wharton hasn't been injured? Mowbray's been saying as such for awhile. There were also rumblings he had some @#/? games for the u23s before being loaned out, and he was benched for a time at Cambridge, but him scrambling in one League Cup goal obviously deemed him ready to be starting Championship CB (I know, I know, maybe compared to the likes of Greer and Brown last year...) It'd be quite scandalous if we're not willing to dress a young player because of a wage hike clause, particularly when we've been throwing around a decent amount of money for League One. How high could the wage hike possibly be? Jeez, I suppose good on the lad for generally keeping his mouth shut about this if it's true (but given the above, it sounds a bit more far fetched that he's suddenly been frozen out until... his contract expires? What's the end game here? Another possibility is Wharton simply grumbling about a lack of playing time whilst dealing with injuries and inconsistent form himself!)
  11. While it's almost comical to use this as my 'evidence', given the lighting of their signing pictures, Harper and Hart seem to have been wrapped up by late afternoon/early evening (and Mowbray apparently had the funds to bring in Harper weeks ago before WBA wanted to name him in a lineup). Downing seems to have been the only 'panic' addition. Hence, while I can't outright dismiss your suspicion that Heneghan couldn't be wrapped up until Feeney was out the door and/or Mulgrew/Lenihan was suddenly sold, I'm curious how you can't "believe for one minute" that a Championship squad pipped Heneghan from us. Sheffield United is obviously a more attractive option being a level above us. Mowbray hinted about Feeney's departure a few days ago, so he was probably gone regardless (and you're probably the only one on here remotely confidant of him being a top-half Championship player all of a sudden haha) The storyline of us initially bidding £250-£350k for Heneghan, getting rejected, and then apparently some Championship squads jumped in with interest, which will obviously turn Heneghan's head to greener pastures, so Mowbray had to quickly secure a backup CB, isn't exactly far fetched. I can't entirely dismiss your theory... I'm just perhaps perturbed by your confidence in it! Not quite sure what you're getting at with Steele. With Raya emerging, he was obviously surplus to requirements, so you can almost look at the £500k as 'free' money in the first place (minus the cost of bringing in Leutwiler). You can't look at the Steele outgoing in a vacuum. We had already brought in Whittingham, Smallwood, Dack, etc., so perhaps those additions had been made under a budget that assumed Steele was going out (Mowbray was probably aware Steele was heading out long before it actually happened). Maybe it enabled us to sign Samuel rather than a freebie striker, who knows really. Also depends how you decide the £500k should be spread out over the next few years, or reinvested all at once... we are a loss-making club overall (like any football club really). You seem to be assuming that each move is made on a case-by-case, like-for-like basis, when they are all likely made under the umbrella of a larger budgetary plan. (I know, I know, I'm hinting at Venky's actually having 'plans', excuse me) As I laid out in another post, we're still likely losing ~£5m as a club this year. Whether our net transfer spend is £1m, £500k, or -£500k, whatever, it doesn't make all that much of a difference.
  12. Haha, I even spoke too soon. Can't speak for the quality of our three signings today... but still makes me laugh the contrast between the start and end of the window.
  13. Can you imagine how much @#/? you would've taken on here if you claimed at the start of the summer we'd hang on to Mulgrew, Lenihan, and Graham, have a net transfer spend of about £500k-£750k, including buying Dack, sold Steele for £500k, got Feeney's wages off our books for a few months (I assume), brought in Whittingham and Smallwood, plus a few other depth signings. You would've been tarred and feathered. Plus a couple young loans, though I'm sure that would cause outrage among a few too. Feel free to quibble with depth at CB, or maybe not giving some academy lads a change, but this is faaaar from what many assumed would happen. Kinda funny really.
  14. Haha, as literally seems to have just happened in our pursuit of Heneghan.
  15. Be wary quoting transfermarkt. When no official transfer fee is reported, they either have "?" (as is the case for Samuel) or they report an estimated transfer fee that is based on a player's age, experience, and how much time was left on their contract. As an example of the latter, they have Steele's fee for when we bought him from Middlesbrough at £1.01m, when it was reported to be only £100k (only reportedly, but given Steele was Middlesbrough's 3rd stringer at the time...). Also, would you really still believe Antonsson has a market value of £1.8m ? Let's assume a nominal fee of £50k for Leutwiler (rather than '?'), £500k (as has been reported) for Samuel (rather than '?'), they have Dack at £765k instead of £750k for some reason; let's assume the latter, Mowbray apparently said Gladwin was a free + add-ons, but let's assume £100k. That gives £1.4m in transfer expenditure, minus £500k received for Steele. Not sure what we can expect from the Mahoney Bosman; maybe £250k? That'd put our net transfer expenditure at £650k. Perhaps you'd also add whatever Stokes' payoff (here's hoping it was minimal!). And, as I've harped on before, this all ignores wages, which will always far, far surpass net transfers. Our overall wage expenditure has undoubtedly fallen this year with relegation clauses and the likes of Lowe, Henley, Guthrie, Akpan, etc. out the door. However, we have also added Whittingham, Smallwood, and Caddis on frees, the first two likely on above average League 1 wages, not to mention the wages of the players we spent fees on above (Dack and Samuel are probably on high League 1 wages too). There may be fees and wage contributions for Chapman and Antonsson too, but that'd be pure speculation (also for last year's loans that ended for Gallagher, Emnres, Joao, etc.) Now, the change in Venky's 'investment' also depends on how much our revenue has dropped going down to League 1 (this is oddly oft ignored. I think some have pointed out League 1 has less restrictions on owner expenditure compared to FFP in the Championship, and have thus suggested there's not limit to what Venky's can spend, although I have a suspicion those same posters also bemoan how much debt Venky's have racked up over the years...). We had turnover of £22M in 15/16, made up of £3.5m match day, £13.5m media, and £5m commercial. Once parachute payments end, as they did last year, media revenue for Championship clubs falls to about £5m (it may be slightly higher now, I'm looking at 13/14 figures). Hence our revenue was likely only £14-16m last year. I'm not clear on what media revenue falls to in League 1, but Millwall, for example, only had media revenue of £2m last year. Let's assume we still manage £3m of media revenue this year, match day falls to £3m, and commercial holds at £4m. Turnover of ~£10m vs ~£22m a couple years ago? (setting aside what it was in the PL...) No @#/? overall owner investment is going to fall. Overall, how Venky's investment has 'changed' is = (16/17 wages/other expenditures - 16/17 turnover +/- 16/17 net transfers) - (17/18 wages/other expenditures - 17/18 turnover +/- 17/18 net transfers). We know 17/18 wage/other expenditures will be much lower. It was £36m in 15/16, including staff costs of £25m. Let's guess that staff costs had fallen to £18m with the general net outgoing of players (Duffy, Hanley, Marshall etc. wages - Graham, Stokes, Williams, etc. wages), and operating costs had fallen from £11m to £9m in 16/17. Say the wage bill has been cut in half with net outgoings (Lowe, Henley, Brown, etc. wages - Dack, Whittingham, Smallwood, etc. wages) plus relegation clauses to £9m this year. Operation expenditure down maybe £3m to £6m. Turnover down from £14-16m to £9-10m. That puts us at an operating loss of £5-6m versus an underlying loss of £14-15m a couple years ago (which Venky's largely recouped in 16/17 by selling Hanley, Duffy, and Marshall, but in past years piled on debt to cover those losses) So, to summarise the above, Venky's are still funding the club, in one way or another (their own money, or Bank of India-backed debt, whatever), and are likely still going to be covering losses this year (and hence are 'investing'), but that 'investment' (which I'm defining as losses 'covered') has fallen from ~£15m in the Championship (which wasn't sustainable under FFP anyway) to £5-6m in League 1. My suspicion is losing £1-7m/year isn't a big deal to Venky's, hence why they've apparently somewhat opened the taps this year, but the losses of £20-40m of years past was starting to put a strain on how much debt they could build up, hence the gradual outgoings of Cairney, Gestede, Rhodes, Hanley, Duffy... If Venky's do end up funding net transfer expenditure of £500k-£1m this window, sure that's quite high by League 1 standards, as would be a covering an overall loss of £5m, but the overall expenditure Venky's is maintaining is much less than before (which goes with the territory of a second relegation...), whether they spend £1m in transfers, or recoup a net £1m if we do end up selling Lenihan and/or Graham. Any critiques of my above (occasionally very shaky!) assumptions is of course welcome Just trying to sort out some numbers that I've been wondering about.