In developing the future of the club, I want to focus predominantly on developing the finances, facilities and networks (affiliate, scouting, etc) to ensure we’re developing the playing staff as best we can. The playing staff themselves are a whole other kettle of fish, and with the club precarious financially, and a lot of contracts expiring, that’s going to be something I have to assess on an ongoing basis this season, so I’m not really in a position to discuss my approach as yet.
In terms of the club’s facilities, we’re in a reasonable position – nothing is in drastic need of improvement, however it’s absolutely a case that wherever I can improve, I will. My biggest focus is our youth recruitment and junior coaching – these are the two aspects that I consider critical to picking up the best local youth and retaining them. Our youth and training facilities are also going to be built up over seasons, however that’s going to involve a significant cash investment.
In terms of the club finances, I’m going to have to cut out a lot of unnecessary spend, as the club has a measly £399k in the bank, and I’ve been given a seemingly unrealistic wage budget of £36.5k per week, which wipes out that £399k in just over 10 weeks of the season!In order to get a more realistic view of what I can afford to be spending on wages, I’ve followed the sage advice of Mr @FM_Henke and I’m going to try to balance my ticket income across the season with my spend on player wages (and perhaps staff wages if I feel brave). This involved a bit of maths, and some conjecture between real life and the game; the calculation is below, however I’ve essentially taken our season ticket revenue and predicted match ticket income (based on Crewe’s current average attendance), and then divided the total annual income by 52 to give me a weekly figure.
I’m actually pleased that our workable budget is very close to our board-given budget – it means that we can be pretty confident that, after ticket sales and season tickets, we’re in a position to grow financially.. In order to help with my squad planning and bringing down that wage spend, I’ll be using VR Fussball’s Financial Planner from last year – its a brilliant tool that I’ve found success with in the past, and hopefully it works just as well for us this time around.
The use of the planner is by no means an exhaustive squad list, but is more likely to account for how much I’m spending on my first-team and a select few youngsters + reserves that I feel have real potential. The sheet is based on a 25-man squad plus youth, and across pre-season I’ll have decisions to make on who makes that 25-man squad list, and which youth players I’ll be giving full contracts to, as well as who we let go and who gets loaned out.
There are some massively talented players at the club, and while we’re predicted to be drawn into a relegation battle, the recruitment plan has to be focused around bringing in players who can complement the development of these youngsters, so that the squad has a mixture of youth and experience. I’ll talk more about recruitment and squad building once I’ve had a chance to sink my teeth into it, but my main focus is earmarking the players who need to stay, go, or develop.