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How our squad is made up...encouraging looking forward!

Mr Popodopolous

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I looked this up over the last day or 2 anyway.  For the purposes of this, I will exclude Wolves and some of the playoff pretenders or some of the lower budget sides who are punching above, Wolves because they will surely go up, and some of the other contenders because they may well fall away this season- or next.

Anyway, for this comparison, I will compare us to 4 or 5 other sides- and loanees currently plying their trade from the parent clubs,  as well as goalies- will be excluded.

  • Derby- 19 outfield players. TWELVE of whom are 29 years old and upwards. Of these,  9 are aged 30 or above. (They also additionally have 2 outfield players in on loan- Sam Winnall and a Chelsea loanee, both under 30).
  • Aston Villa-  23 outfield players, THIRTEEN of whom are 29 years old and upwards. Of these, 9 are aged 30 or above. (They also additionally have 4 outfield players on loan- 2 are aged 20, 2 are aged 30.
  • Middlesbrough- 16 outfield players. 7 of whom are aged 29 or above. Of these,  4 are aged 30 or above. (Their 3 outfield loanees all aged between 21-25 and they are in addition to the 16).
  • Cardiff- 22 outfield players, 7 of whom are aged 29 or above. Of these,  4 are aged 30 or above. (They also additionally have 6 outfield players in on loan- 3 aged 29+ and 3 under 29).

So there you have it. 4 sides, with squads- and particularly the first 3 in some ways, Cardiff surprisingly less so in others- not exactly built for the medium to long run. Assuming Wolves wrap it up within a month or so, there is a chance that 2 of these sides minimum, and perhaps 3, will be stuck at this level with these squads. Admittedly, Middlesbrough will have parachute payments for 2 more years and Villa one more is it? However, Villa and Derby have the aging squads to a decent extent and of course, Derby and Cardiff no parachute payments...and as people frequently say on here, Championship ready players are expensive. They are indeed. Bigger budgets or not, I suspect 2 or 3 of these sides- Boro least likely- but the others...hmmm, could have some problems in the next few years if they don't go up THIS season.

Most importantly, here is ours! (I will exclude for the purposes of this, Engvall and Garita because they barely play if at all and Bakinson, Hinds and Holden because they are very much for the future).

City aka US! 20 outfield players, 3 of whom are 29 or above. Incidentally, those 3 are also 30+- they slot into both quite neatly. 3 loanees in- all of whom aged 25 or under.

We therefore have a terrific foundation here- those figures compared to them, are ******* fantastic. We don't have FFP pressure either, which I suspect one or 2 above may have in the coming years. Because also we now increasingly give youth a chance, this is great for 2 reasons and perhaps even 3  over Villa and Derby particularly! Firstly, we don't need a big churn of players to replace a squad aging together, second we don't need to spend big- as stated, Championship ready players cost for sure, and third if they don't quite work out (Engvall) perhaps there can be some resale value- resale value which would be unavailable to Derby and Villa in particular, and to varying levels, Cardiff and Middlesbrough.

Time will tell if our method pays off, but I like it- and I think 2- or more- of the above could be in for a tricky period if they don't go up soon- tricky in terms of trying to go up I mean, not necessarily relegation scrapping or similar, but if you have to replace a lot of players at once- you can slip for sure- certainly happened to big clubs before...

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Eyeliner? Mascara? It worked for Steve Strange (RIP)

Apologies Chief, you’ve obviously put in quite a bit work before posting this...but no analysis of Fulham seems strange?! I know you said you’ve not included some teams because they ‘may well fall away this season’ but I don’t think Fulham are going anywhere soon...

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OP - we do have FFP to worry about.  A £3m loss looks good (not as good as a profit), but shows that this was mainly made to look good because it was offset by £13m transfer profit.  So that to me means we do need to think about the odd player going fir big money, or wages managed carefully.

Still....a decent set of accounts, and we need to remember that FFP is a revolving 3 year period, so we can’t rest on our laurels.

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OK obviously we must consider FFP. What I mean is, or should have said is, with the 3 year rolling period in this one given we can lose 39 million, our losses to date make us fairly comfortable, give us some leeway. We lost about 15  million and 3 million IIRC. Allowable losses of 21 million gives us leeway, some margin for error.

It is not just about FFP though... Derby and Villa have aging squads. So do Boro and Villa to some extent. We are in a good place. Them? In some ways, not so much. Those 2 and Cardiff particularly. Aging squads bring great pedigree and knowhow...big pressure on promotion. That fails, things can unravel.

@BS4 on Tour, I did a brief look at them, will add them tomorrow. Their profile looked not bad on first glance, and this post was comparing us v some others who are more short term in thinking.

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I'm at work so as opposed to a long overview, very quickly will add Fulham- and later will add some of the pretenders or possibilities in the next year or 2 also (e.g. Preston,. Sheff Utd, Millwall as pretenders- Leeds, Forest, Norwich as possibilities to rise again- and maybe Brentford could fit in either category).


15 outfield players. 4 aged 29 or above- this doesn't include loans. When we include loans, they have 6 outfield players in on loan. 5 of whom are aged under 25 and the remaining one is aged 26. So, they are extraordinarily well placed in many respects...except losing 6 players potentially at the end of the season. Great age profile for a squad though!

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