# 22 Spend some fakkin money


osing 0-2 to the most replete side of League 1 boasting a starting XI including Basham, Reed, Adams, Sammon and Sharp, and a second XI that would be very competitive, should not have resulted in much disgruntlement amongst Swindon supporters; but, naturally, it did.  Swindon were not outplayed, although Mark Cooper’s assertion that a 0-0 draw should have been ‘the worst result’ had a whiff of the @DeludedBrendan about it.  Sheffield United largely ‘parked the bus’, which in itself demonstrates the high regard in which Swindon are held by other managers in League 1 (if not Swindon supporters).

Alas, the defeat has focused Swindon supporters’ attention on to the Club’s small squad and the urgent need to ‘strengthen’ before the transfer window closes.  In fact, assuming Nathan Byrne is the only departure, I don’t think that Swindon have a dire need to add to their ranks.  Although the Club has one of the smallest budgets in League 1 (because they are one of the few – perhaps only – clubs in League 1 who don’t lose money), the squad is not desperately small, ameliorated by the versatility of several members.

Vigouroux, Belford, Thompson, Branco, Turnbull, Williams, Ormonde-Ottewill, Barry, Brophy, Kasim, Traore, Rodgers, K.Stewart, Marshall, Randall, Byrne, Robert, J.Stewart, Obika, Hylton, Smith (I haven’t included Storey); that’s 21 players, not a tiny squad. 

Admittedly, there are several green players listed whom, ideally, won’t feature too much this season, but that is the lot of many clubs in Leagues 1 and 2.  Swindon have been unlucky, thus far, on the injury front, unlike last season when they were pretty fortunate.  Conversely, current League 1 leaders Walsall have been largely unaffected, unlike last season when Sam Mantom missed most of the campaign and Tom Bradshaw was out for lengthy spells. Walsall’s results suffered, but the Club ultimately rode it out, knowing that they would not be able to attract superior short-term replacements within budgetary constraints.  Short-term pain for long-term gain.  Mantom and Bradshaw are now fit and flourishing, and so are Walsall (though, clearly, their success is not solely attributed to this). Most League 1 clubs missing four of their first XI through injury are going to suffer; certainly players of Obika’s and Hylton’s ilk.

Swindon will not be able to attract a ready-made replacement for Obika/Hylton given the likely wage demands of players like Ajose.  If Swindon could get Ajose on a short-term loan then fine, but, unless Leeds perform a volte face, this is unlikely.  There is little merit in bringing in another ready-made striker (unless Smith leaves) who will potentially block Obika’s and Hylton’s first team chances.  Swindon is not a big enough club to have Obika and/or Hylton on the bench. 

Many fans think that Lee Power should spend some of the ‘fakkin’ money from the Luongo and Gladwin transfer fees and from the play-off gate receipts.  I don’t, unless he sees fit.

Firstly, Lee Power is entitled to recoup some of the £2.5 - £3 million that he has reportedly invested in/squandered on the club to date.  Just a reminder: the Club was in an incredibly parlous state when he took the reins and severely hindered by the involvement of Mr McCrory: a man of low cunning with probably about £10 in his bank account.  It’s now solvent.  Secondly, some of the transfer proceeds and additional gate receipts/TV money together with the Nigel Eady legacy will contribute towards Swindon’s new training facility: vital if Swindon are to develop and attract young talent.  Thirdly, transfer fees do not need to be incurred to attract talented players: Branco, Traore, Robert, Gladwin and Hylton to name a few.  One wonders if Power had spent £200,000 each on Traore and Robert whether the fans lust for incurring transfer fees would have been satiated.  Fourthly, spending money shortly after a relative windfall is generally ill-advised.  Sitting on cash for long periods is sometimes necessary to avoid squandering it.  Finally, if Power came across a player, whom he admired and would fit into Swindon’s wage structure, I have little doubt that he would spend up to £400,000 (as he did with Luongo). 

Lee Power is one of the few virtuosos in the transfer market and certainly knows more than every Swindon Town fan in this field.  If he makes no further additions before the transfer window closes it will almost certainly be the right decision (which might not necessarily be reflected in results).

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