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RoverCanada

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  1. Smallwood had a hell of a game. Maybe shouldn't be an automatic starter, but he's certainly a good body to have around.
  2. Haha, yeah, pretty miserable game of football, but it was a decent time in the away end. Personally, I'd attribute that more to Millwall "successfully" suffocating the game than Rovers playing particularly badly. The pitch seemed in bad shape too. First half was very ugly on both sides, but we actually managed a few decent build ups in the second half - you could feel the goal coming. Hard to believe Millwall almost made the playoffs last year. My friend and I thought Shane Ferguson was their only bright light. Cooper's an effective CB too. I don't think I've ever seen a team's fans freak out so much about a questionable, midfield throw in. Best bit was seeing one fan had to put his arm around his mate's shoulders as if to console him after haha... Rodwell was my MOTM. Did quite well in the air (which was a surprise as that seemed to be his weakness at CB so far) and seemed to be the only one on the pitch who could successfully pass the ball around. Showed his silky skill with the ball at his feet a couple times too. He'll be a tough decision in the summer. He could develop into an excellent CB if he manages to put it all together... I think we've really missed Nyambe. Bennett was more assured there than previous outings, but Bennett's definitely better further up field and Nyambe's an absolute beast back there. Lenihan was pretty good too. Thought Travis was pretty good, but not quite as good as previous outings. I'll have to see the replay for his contributions on the goals. Definitely still holding his spot. Just wasn't the night for a player with Dack's talents. He was understandably frustrated with the lack of service he was getting, but made sense to sub him and try and change up the attack. Great to see Armstrong finally show some decent finish. He's had a frustrating year, but the potential is still definitely there. The players did seem a bit confused about our shape when he went on though. Awful game from Bell. I suppose he ultimately held his own defensively, but he's just so frustrating to watch out there. Nuttall... really liked his effort, especially in the first 20mins. Funny how different his approach to headers compared to Graham. Graham of course uses his back on the defender and often is able to trap the ball down. Nuttall kind of jumps from the side, and managed to flick it on a few times doing so, but the problem was there was nobody up there to get that ball. However, his abilities with the ball at his feet... it's often pathetic really. Almost strikes me as a very poor Jordan Rhodes type in the way he's randomly able to get goals despite his obvious limitations. I think that's the 2nd or 3rd time he's gotten such an ugly, scrappy goal for us. Good on him for forcing the issue, although I also thought he was often poorly placed in the box for a lot of our crosses before that one... Anyway, did enough to show he deserves to be around the first team, but probably best to loan him out and add a striker for the rest of this year.
  3. RoverCanada

    JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW

    Not necessarily. His transfer fee, whatever it is in the end, will be amortised. So the year-on-year accounting cost isn't all that large. Looks like Brereton's on a 3-year deal, so if the fee is £7m, that's an accounting cost of £2.3m/year (which is what applies for FFP). If Brereton's value appreciates and he's sold, that would be a major profit that would be booked in one year, which would potentially single-handedly offset any FFP-breaching concerns. (Dack is our current 'ace in the hole' at the moment if we're ever at risk of seriously breaching FFP, as he was signed for only £750k, which will be fully amortised soon, so any fee for him would be pure profit. I don't think we have much to worry about FFP-wise over the next 3-5 years) Frankly, our owners probably do have the financial wherewithal to 'stockpile' an 'intangible asset' like Brereton, which we hope is an appreciating asset. The owners also appear ready and willing to stomach £10-15m losses every year (my suspicion is they lost their patience/nerve/liquidity when we had £30m+ losses). Taking a punt on highly touted 19-year-old (who are rarely 'available') may be how we try to take advantage of our owner's deep pockets while also being a low-revenue Championship side. (I'm purposefully setting aside the question of whether a £7m signing should be immediately ready to be in the starting lineup, or if that £7m could be better spent on veterans. Certainly a discussion to be had there! But Brereton's signing does have a financial logic to it)
  4. Liked the Evans-Travis pairing. Evans was a bit clumsy on the penalty (as was Bennett), but a pretty soft and unlucky pen. Dove in for a couple excellently timed tackles otherwise... Travis gave it away a couple times, but he's showing a lot of poise out there. Didn't quite have the touch on some of his forward passes, but really liked that he was looking for them. Great stuff from Dack. Graham was solid enough (as always), but his occasional scuffs can be frustrating at times. Nothing really to report for Brereton. Too bad that his legs are so obviously going on him, but I liked Conway's composure on the ball. Bennett was much better in the 2nd half, but demonstrated again he's really not a RB with a horrid 1st half... glad to see Nyambe's on the mend. Newcastle generally looked pretty poor. I guess they mostly had a rotated squad, but that looked like a relegation-bound team lacking confidence. Shelvey was the only one who had any PL quality. Sole reason Newcastle was able to turn it on ever so slightly in the final 20 mins or so. Thought we played quite well really. Too bad an iffy pen took it away from us.
  5. RoverCanada

    Lewis Travis

    Yeah, wasn't the rumour something like he and Mowbray had a blow up when his August loan move didn't go through because Mowbray wanted him around as depth and then he left the team without notice? If true (apologies if that rumour turned out to be bollocks!), good player or not, any young player will need to have his head straightened a bit after that. Anyway, you would hope/think that that would be water under the bridge now. I wouldn't be surprised if he does go out on loan. A half-season of starting for a League One side would certainly be good for his development but not necessarily optimal for the 1st team if he can elbow his way into starting... After his strong performance yesterday, maybe the best option is to keep any outstanding loan offers on ice for now and see how he does through January, and then loan him out at the end of the window if he's not getting starting time here (perhaps unjustly!)
  6. RoverCanada

    Leeds United v Rovers: Boxing Day 2018, 3pm

    Yeah, fair point on them essentially being converted midfielders, although you'd think they'd have well adapted by now. When I wrote they should be a strength in the air, I meant because they can both be quite good individually in the air, yet they've been struggling to organise between themselves in the box. I suppose the naive thought is that Mulgrew and Lenihan can be a solid combo: Mulgrew dictating and passing, Lenihan the physical bull. Yet Mulgrew's been pretty disappointing in the air this year (hardly our biggest issue, and he's still an automatic pick, but he seems to escape criticism for his defensive work this year on here...), while Lenihan's been all over the place. They were solid enough in L1, but they're getting exposed this year. Downing always seems seconds away from an individual calamity, but we did seem more organised with him back there being a career-long CB. Anyway, I'll have to see the highlights again before going off of too much of a tangent on those two, who I do like individually... not 100% sure they were really at fault today. At the risk of putting my head above the parapet, despite the injury time collapse I thought we'd acquitted ourselves quite well until then against one of the league's top sides away. There are some positives to take from this one... A win would've been a steal, but I thought we well-deserved a point. (I'm aware it can feel like I'm saying 'yes, we had to amputate your leg, but your cholesterol is looking good!'...) Worth pointing out the bottom 3 is pretty poor at the moment and are looking on pace for ~40 points. So we're not looking at a year like when we got relegated with 51 points.
  7. RoverCanada

    Leeds United v Rovers: Boxing Day 2018, 3pm

    Yeesh. And just when I was starting to think our defending was quite admirable throughout the second half... Kick in the stomach. Mulgrew and Lenihan need to sort themselves out in the air in the back, which should be a strength of ours. And Williams has me jumpy every damn time he's trying to defend...
  8. RoverCanada

    Sunderland Netflix documentary

    Frankly don't give much of a shit about Sunderland, but their disastrous season made this an interesting, morbid watch haha. Especially because you could tell this was designed to be an uplifting, phoenix-through-the-flames documentary, yet I wonder if Netflix knew what a mess they were walking into. I also wonder if this would have been a better watch if you had no idea what was in store for Sunderland... It was kind of funny how many times they set the footage to make it like 'and here was the turning point game...' or desperately trying to find some green shoots of optimism (Coleman's arrival, Honeyman breaking into the 1st team, Fletcher finally scoring, Williams scoring on his return - okay that last bit was definitely a feel good moment!), yet if you look at Sunderland's year in whole it was pretty shit from start to finish haha... Grayson simply came off as out of his depth. Maybe didn't realise what a mess of a squad he had inherited until it was too late. He's had enough success elsewhere that I find it hard to believe that he's just been lucky before this, but you wonder about his career now after Bradford too! Coleman certainly comes off as likeable, and probably like Grayson was doomed before he started, but that brief McGeady interview is probably the most damning bit of the whole documentary. Steele came off as likeable too (hard to hate on a family man haha), but pretty clear he continued his decline... his transfer (£1.5m?!) to Brighton is pretty mystifying. Perhaps there is some value in a 3rd-string, good locker room keeper and PL teams have plenty of cash to throw around... The editing obviously wasn't too favourable to Rodwell (seemed a bit unfair when they showed that locker room shot of a muffled voice asking Rodwell if he was playing on the weekend and Rodwell laughing 'not a chance', completely out of context...). Rodwell's Sunderland contract, and his subsequent performance, is a fair punching bag for 'what's wrong with modern football', but what else was he going to do when he probably didn't have any outside option. It would have been interesting if we were shown Sunderland offering him, say, £1m to tear up the remaining £2m of his contract and Rodwell having another contract lined up with another club, but instead all we see is the CEO's 'be a man and tear up your contract' nonsense.
  9. RoverCanada

    Football vs Business Strategy

    A few thoughts related to the accounting/FFP angle on this: Transfer fees are amortised over the course of a player's contract. So, if Brereton cost is £7m and he signs a 4-year deal (?), the accounting cost is £1.75m per year. For argument's sake, say Brereton is sold for £15m in year 3 of his contract. For that accounting year, that would work out to a £13.25m player trading profit (which is versus the remaining value of his transfer fee). That kind of one-year windfall would go some way to making up our revenue deficit versus some of the bigger budget clubs in this division (particularly those receiving parachute payments) and it can almost serve as a 'safety valve' if we're at risk of non-compliance with FFP. You see that with a lot of clubs now, gambling with significant losses for a few years but then having throw in the towel with a couple major sales to balance the books if promotion doesn't happen. You thus spread the financial hit of a transfer over many years and then can profit from it all at once, potentially in a time of 'need'. Now, Brereton's certainly been a disappointment so far (although I think some of the criticism has been over the top: he's shown some flashes, should have one goal, and was doing something right at Forest...) and my £15m sale example is wishful thinking at this point in time, but it's pretty clear to me that the Armstrong, Brereton, Davenport, and Rothwell signings from this past transfer window (and Dack and Samuel last year) are all part of a general strategy where transfer money is set aside to identify young players with appreciating value. A 'young player transfer kitty', if you will. There will be some misses (Samuels probably, Armstrong blows hot and cold - mostly cold of late, Davenport's been unfortunate with injuries), but the year-on-year accounting cost is relatively low and you only need an occasional big hit to recoup it all (Dack). It may be why they're rethinking the academy, which is costing £2m/year but maybe it's better to spend that £2m on more proven young talent developed elsewhere than to hope something comes up through the academy. I don't think this has necessarily been at the expense of experienced players. New contracts for Mulgrew, Bennett, Evans, and Dack wouldn't have come cheap. Whittingham was a flop, but that was a similar idea of paying good wages for 'proven' experience, but not necessarily transfer fees. Conway's legs are fading, but he's obviously been kept around for his experience/leadership. Now, Brereton's obviously a much bigger swing than the others and there's certainly a legitimate debate about whether that money could have been better spent on some experience this year, but it still strikes me as part of a coherent financial strategy. His transfer reflects that we do have a major financial backer that is willing to flex its financial muscle, but we want to stay within FFP and have relatively low turnover in this league, so we need to focus our investment on so-called 'intangible assets'. While Rothwell's opportunities have been limited, and I agree he should be given more of a look, I don't think it's right to say he's been ignored. He's made appearances in 18 of our 26 games this year. The actual minutes are low, but that doesn't suggest to me that Mowbray doesn't like him or sees no role for him at all. As some of his past comments have suggested, Mowbray thinks he needs to work on his defensive duties first before trusting him over 90 minutes. That's debatable, but it suggests he's a player Mowbray wants to develop over time rather than a player's given up on.
  10. RoverCanada

    Willem Tomlinson

    It might have been our FA Cup loss to Hull last year where I (and I think many others) saw that Tomlinson was pretty badly exposed after a few decent sub cameos. That would've been his first start against non-lower league competition. You obviously don't want to judge a young player too quickly, but I remember being surprised at how bad he looked. (Or I may be thinking of his sub appearances against Northampton or Rochdale...?) Travis outshone him soon after and he only managed that short sub against Lincoln since. Add in apparent off-field issues and this really isn't all that surprising. Hope it works out for him, and maybe we can get a minor fee + sell-on.
  11. RoverCanada

    Swiss Ramble thread on Rovers' finances

    Essentially, everything I've written, or that anybody writes, about our financial situation must be prefaced with "As long as Venky's are willing and able to cover our losses...", and I totally understand if someone can't read past that. My point is that doesn't make us all that different from many other football clubs who are operating under a similar model. I was referring to attendance this year, which is currently averaging 14,351, or 12% up on 12,832 last year. All things being equal, we're then back to £3.3m of matchday revenue. Actually kind of impressive we managed the same attendance in League 1 vs our last year in the Championship! But hardly enough to make a major difference to our finances. Crazy bit with Sunderland is they're only in their second year of parachute payments, so they're getting £35m from that alone this year! Then another £14m next season. Quick google says their players' wage bill is down to £11m, plus £5m owed to Djilobodji and Ndong (however that worked out in the end...) and other staff compensation. So probably depends on what costs they've had to incur on write downs.
  12. RoverCanada

    Swiss Ramble thread on Rovers' finances

    Turnover should be back up to about £17-18m this year with Championship TV money. Attendance is up about 12% this year, but, yes, that would need to go much higher to make a difference. TV money is what really matters... Plenty of clubs non-promotion-payment-receiving clubs in our situation. No such club is sustainable and at least reasonably competitive at this level without occasional major player sales (which makes the latter more difficult!). We already had one round of that with the Duffy, Hanley, Rhodes, etc. sales. Probably a sad reality that Dack will be the next one sooner than we'd like. And not to open up a whole other debate, but that's probably the strategy with the Brereton signing. But of course agreed that promotion would change all of that quite quickly!
  13. RoverCanada

    Swiss Ramble thread on Rovers' finances

    Can't disagree, but that's par for the course for football, particularly the Championship. Show me a team trying to break below the PL and I'll show you a team getting relegated We're just "lucky" to have owners like Venky's who are willing/able to eat the £10-15m/year losses. Where that leads 5-10 years from now... certainly an interesting question! The £7.9/wk figure suggests as a benchmarking exercise that we're not too out of line anymore after our financial horrorshows in our first few years in the Championship. Our financial situation is never going to look "good", but that's the case for every Championship club. I'll take the positive that we've recovered from a yearly financial disaster to merely being a yearly financial blackhole
  14. RoverCanada

    Swiss Ramble thread on Rovers' finances

    Obviously, but we're nowhere near an average player wage of £14,000/wk, and player wages would be anyone's point of reference. (I may have misread what you meant by 'subsidiarising'...) There's 96 admin/grounds crew/commercial staff. I think directors compensation is £150k. Assume the rest of the staff's total costs are £30k each. So that's £3m. 128 players and management staff. Let's say 25 are senior players. Maybe £1m total for Mowbray and all his key staff? Remaining 90 are coaches, trainees, u-23s... let's say £15k each, depending on how full-time the coaches and staff are, what we're paying youth players.. So that's £1.4m. That leaves £9.9m for those 25 senior players. Works out to £7.9/wk. High by L1 standards, and clearly still leads to fairly high losses, but suggests we may have finally cut our cloth on the player front. And that's a fair bit lower than the Championship where average wages are starting to approach £15-20k/wk. If you're advocating for more cuts to our behind-the-scenes staff or liquidating the academy, I'd be interested to hear it.
  15. RoverCanada

    Swiss Ramble thread on Rovers' finances

    No real surprises. Big losses, but more 'manageable' than before. As long as Venky's are fine with £10-15m losses per year going forward, and they appear to be comfortable with that (and not the £30-40m losses of yesteryear...), we'll keep treading water as is... Have a long flight today, so might give the accounts a read-through and will see if I can pick out anything of interest. Note these accounts are up to March 2018 as they're for Venky's London Limited, not the Rovers accounts that cover up to June, I think. So I think this will still include a couple months of our last year in the Championship. So all the numbers may be slightly deflated a bit. (Someone can correct me if I'm wrong on that!) Yeah, noticed our commercial revenue stayed constant at £4.4m. It's actually stayed relatively constant at around £5m since our Championship days. I can't remember the details at the moment, but I recall reading somewhere that Venky's have been propping up our commercial revenue too, presumably via self-sponsorship, as far as you're allowed to do that. What year are you referring to Bolton having £30.8m in turnover? Their accounts say £8.3m of turnover when they were in League One in 16/17: https://www.bwfc.co.uk/siteassets/documents/bwfc-football-and-athletic-company-limited_2016-17-accounts.pdf Note the £15.7m covers wages, social security, and pensions for all Rovers staff, including admin, grounds crew, etc. So would need to make some assumptions to work out what our squad's weekly wage was last year. One bit I noticed on first skim is our playing and management staff dropped from 143 to 128. I think that includes the academy too. That's been on a gradual decline for some time now.
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