HEY BIG SPENDER!
The football transfer window closes next week and doubtless there will be a number of multi-million-pound signings, by Premier League clubs in particular. Chelsea and Manchester United are likely to be the biggest spenders as they strive to reach the standard set in recent seasons by Manchester City and Liverpool.
I know a lot of managers are critical of the fact that four to six games into the season the window remains open and that as a result they could lose key players with no time to secure replacements, and I have sympathy for the view that the transfer window should close before the start of the season.
Many fans will be hoping that the deficiencies they see in their team will be addressed this week but in the lower leagues most fans will be disappointed due to the financial constraints in place at so many clubs.
The cost-of-living crisis and the impending 80% increase in energy bills is going to impact significantly on attendances at matches this season and match day sales will be particularly badly hit. So many football fans are going to have to cut back their spending to pay for energy in the winter months and going to football will be an expense many will sadly be able either to justify or afford. Urgent action is clearly needed by the Government but whatever they do the reality is that these increases are going to be unaffordable by so many people.
Football cannot be expected to solve all of society’s problems and through their community trusts football clubs already do so much for the local communities from which they draw their support, but doubtless we can all expect some cheap shots aimed at football (because of the level of spending and wages in the Premier League in particular) from politicians in the coming months as they look to cloak their own inadequacies.
Having said that, I know most clubs will want to help their fans to still be able to attend matches and a progressive and supportive approach to ticket pricing for at least the remainder of this season should be high on the agenda.