Here in lies the rub. The squad that finished the season (including Payne, a fit Chapman and Armstrong) is stronger than the one that came down but those loanees are no longer here and there are no guarantees they will be back. Lets be honest, I've seen some optimistic fees banded about for Armstrong but realistically, if he was our player, would you let him go for less than £3 million plus add ons? Chapman, World Cup honours for England under 20s. Can't imagine a tribunal fee would be low. We got £400k for Mahoney and he hasn't the pedigree of Chapman. Jack Payne is another who would likely command a 7 figure fee. On top of that, we definitely need another 3 first team players. Everyone knows we need to add height and pace. As others have said, Graham is a decent proposition for 1 year. Conway isn't unless it is very low wages.
Our Talisman is Dack. The first contract renewal announced should have been his. Keep the positive momentum going.
Last year was a pivotal one, could we stop the rot? We did and gained some momentum and belief back. This season is massive. We could end up with a competitive side that may bloody a few noses and have us sniffing around the playoffs - like the Rovers of old or, conversely, we could see Dack refuse to sign, Lennihan run his contract down and the players we were all enthused about signing, drift off to teams ready to spend the money. Followed by a relegation battle.
Hoping for the former - as I've renewed! I'd love to trust Mowbray to deliver on his pre season musings, but the cynic in me isn't convinced he will get the finances.
Final point. From a marketing perspective, you would want to announce the 'big' signings/news after the early bird offer has closed. That way any exciting signings will negate the negativity of the price hike!