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Big month for Rob Couhig...

edited January 3 in Football

This month will help determine the long-term future of the club and perhaps shed light on the key, unanswered question to me... what exactly was the point of Rob Couhig buying Wycombe Wanderers.

Gareth has made it clear he needs and expects reinforcements. He's mentioned a striker and a defender. Personally I'd say we need a target man for when Ikpeazu isn't available; a spritely striker to sub in and out with Kashket; a ball-playing central midfielder, a central defender (two if Knight leaves) and a left back. Some of these can be loans, some need to be new signings.

You can make the case for Rob Couhig not spending significantly in the summer. We could have been demolished every match - and what's the point of spending lots of money when you're going to get relegated anyway? But that doesn't hold up now. We've done well enough to look competitive in recent matches; it's tight at the bottom. We've proven we can belong in this division when we're at full strength. But can we ever bank on that?

The romantics on the Gasroom will hope that Bayo, Mr Wycombe and Darius provide the fairytale ending; that McCarthy and Fred show their doubters they're good enough for this league; that Mehmeti, Paterson et al stick two fingers up at the clubs that released them and keep us up. Maybe. But probably not. We've all been frustrated by the narrow losses; the draws where we could have won. We all know that with a bit more quality in the side we would likely be 10 or so points better off now. Do we really want to replicate that in the second half of the season -- where we won't have the luxury of being able to drop winnable points and still be able to hope?

It's all very well investing in an improved press box, new dug-outs, wifi and LED hoardings, and nicer floodlights. I think the new sponsors' lounge overlooking the players' tunnel is a bit bizarre (we're not Tottenham for goodness sake) but fine. However, it all points to one thing - the Couhigs are looking to tart the ground up before flipping it to the highest bidder. The equivalent of putting in a new bathroom and a fresh coat of paint before selling our homes for an inflated price to someone too lazy to do the work themselves.

But if they really want to sell the club, surely it's better to do it with the club in the Championship. Pete Couhig can argue we're a yo-yo club to prospective buyers all he likes, but the proof of that will be in the league table. Do the owners really want to risk trying to make that case if we're struggling in League One next season? (Another reason to invest now - we're a lot more likely to sign players good enough to get us out of League One again when we can also offer them half a season of Championship football.)

Yes, it might cost a little to pay up the contracts of the Parkers of the world; maybe switch Charles to coaching for six months; maybe encourage Samuel, Paterson and Freeman to go on loan if neither are going to get much of a look in. But if we can sign a few decent quality players on loan now, plus one or two free agents or transfers we pay for, we CAN stay up. And what a moment that will be for the WHOLE squad.

Some of you think the chairman can do no wrong. I'm more cynical than that. I think he's made significant missteps so far (I'll be charitable and say his campaign to get the ground reopened during the second wave of a pandemic was just a victim of poor timing). But this month will show clearly what his long-term intention for the club is. We have been given £9m this season to help us attempt to be competitive in this league. Not to store away for a rainy day. Nor to pay out in dividends to the owners. Rob Couhig will be doing the club a favour if he allows Gareth this golden opportunity to keep us up. And if he's looking to sell in the not-too-distant future, he'll be doing himself a big favour as well.

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Comments

  • You've opened yourself up to some abuse here, but as it happens I agree with you

  • It's Pattison for starters.

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  • A not unexpectedly harsh view of the world there @aloysius.

    I hope (and expect) he will support GA to the extent that we remain sustainable IF we get relegated. I sincerely hope that he doesn’t gamble our future sustainability on fees and wages that prove unsustainable in the long run (ie next year).

    The problem is that 4 or 5 million is peanuts in this division. The best we can hope for is a decent back up central defender and/or left back and a back up centre forwards and possibly a couple more B team players.

    That to me would smack of responsible ownership rather than chasing the dream

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  • You want six new players but it’s a one in, one out as we’re at capacity. We’re also losing significant money at the moment due to not having fans in. I’m not of the opinion we should risk the long term future of the club for another season in the second tier.

    Also, what has given you the impression the Couhig’s are looking to sell so quickly?

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  • Also, whilst I was a little uncomfortable with some of RCs phrasing, it’s unnecessarily antagonistic to have a go at him saying/doing what every other owner (and most fans) were about reopening.

    And I’m pleased we did!!

  • I mean, in a way I completely agree.

    Massively overspending in an attempt to stay in the Championship certainly will help determine the long-term future of the club

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  • edited January 3

    He doesn't own the ground though does he? As such spending money on it won't add value to what he is able to sell, which is the football club/squad. So, I'm struggling to see where the benefits are and who would be his target buyers. In the middle of a pandemic who would buy a semi rural club with no chance of ever reaching the holy grail of the Premiership?

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  • @EwanHoosaami we had no chance of ever reaching this division as recently as about 18months ago.
    Brentford were just a small club in the shadow of countless London clubs a few years ago.

    The Couhig's general MO was do us up and sell us on. Eventually reaching the championship on route.
    We did that quicker than even the most optimistic fan would have even dreamt of.
    Does that quicken their desire to sell on? Probably not in the current climate. A miracle to stay up would be amazing but if not we'll be in a strong position for next year.

  • ‘The Couhigs are looking to tart the ground up before flipping it to the highest bidder’ according to Aloysius, who gets full marks for consistency (he has been against the Couhigs from the outset) but scores low on facts.
    Floodlights, press box, dug outs were all compulsory requirements for being in the Championship.

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  • I strongly feel it is better going down in a healthy financial position (relative to most League 1 and 2 clubs) than gambling spending silly money trying to stay up and then failing to do so.

    You cannot just go out and get ready made quality Championship players on the sort of wages we can afford. How many experienced players would be even willing to join a team in our current league position with the liklihood that their wages would be slashed if relegation ensues.

    We all know that our squad have special characters with superb work ethic and togetherness. How long would it take for new players to be "Wycombised"? How would the current squad feel if a few "big time charlies" like Ibe came in on comparatively much higher wages?

    I honestly still think our best chance of staying up is to stick with the unity of our current squad with just a replacement for Knight if he doesn't stay and probably another defensive midfielder. It also needs to be remembered that we can only have a 25 man squad so for every new player coming in one would have to leave.

    Finally the likes of @aloysius need to consider where we would be if the Couhigs had not saved our club at the eleventh hour.

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  • Great post @mooneyman, especially the last paragraph. Hope springs eternal as they say and it jolly well has to in these troubled times.

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  • @Malone - “ the Couhigs general MO was to do us up and sell us on “. Interesting that’s your view of all the Couhigs have done for our club. Not sure where we’d be without them during this crisis.

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  • I’m with @mooneyman on this. We’d have been fucked without the Couhigs taking us on.

  • @davecz said:
    @Malone - “ the Couhigs general MO was to do us up and sell us on “. Interesting that’s your view of all the Couhigs have done for our club. Not sure where we’d be without them during this crisis.

    Probably a bit too casually worded. I probably should have added how they have in effect saved us and will pass us on in a much better position. Everyone would win.

    But it's fairly well known that they were after a project club to improve and move on.
    We weren't the first club they ever looked at.

  • @arnos_grove said:
    I’m with @mooneyman on this. We’d have been fucked without the Couhigs taking us on.

    In financial free fall in League Two. Or worse.

    It can’t be overstated how precarious our position was that summer.

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  • Getting all dramatic about short term fixes when others are playing the longer game @aloysius

  • The current squad at full capacity is the determining factor. IF Rob frees up funds for Gaz (who has gone on record as saying avoiding relegation is preferable/easier than gaining promotion) any signings can only be facilitated with players being shipped out. Given that no fringe players will command a fee (Freeman a possible exception here) and we aren’t about to ‘waste’ money terminating contracts, then that means loaning them out. But why would Parker et al want out when their lives beyond football seem settled and the odd make weight bench warming trip to ex Premier League grounds are preferable to getting whacked in a Nat League South mid table fixture?
    As a result I can’t see much, if any, activity in the ‘window’.

  • What your advocating doesn't sound great to me. Look at where Yeovil are these days. I'd much rather try and emulate Rotherham.

  • @Lloyd2084 said:

    @arnos_grove said:
    I’m with @mooneyman on this. We’d have been fucked without the Couhigs taking us on.

    In financial free fall in League Two. Or worse.

    It can’t be overstated how precarious our position was that summer.

    But at least they would have passed the buckets round for us at Peterborough...

  • The disappearance of Freeman after a couple of promising performances/cameos is intriguing. I’m pretty sure he’s injured (or ill) but in my head I have him bursting into GAs office demanding to start the next game only to be banished to the B team.

    (For the avoidance of doubt - as it seems is sometimes necessary - I do not for one second think that. He’s injured/ill I’m sure)

  • edited January 3

    A lot of this season seems to be all about who isn't on the pitch at any given time.

    Most weeks we seem to spend ages willing xx or yy to be subbed on.

    I understand the Uche hype as it means we don't have to utterly batter Bayo into the ground but I don't get the Freeman stuff at all.
    He had a few run outs early season and along with Bloomfield and Pattison it didn't look like any of them were up to it.

    A few mins playing well a couple of weeks ago hasn't totally reversed that has it?
    Freeman has been a bit of a "Potential" for years now. I don't dislike him but he always seems a bit Stephen McGinn - in that he'll never be a regular?

    Parker seems to evoke a lot of cries to give him a go to. Seemingly based a couple of ok performances early season. But having barely had alook in at a lower level.

    Having said that I think he's ever so slightly better than @perfidious_albion suggests.
    Conference south?!

  • The rainy day fund sounds a great idea to me. Get behind these players and see where it takes us.

    Anything else is suicidal

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  • @aloysius certainly a more realistic view of the Couhigs than some have. I think there are three or four positions we can upgrade in without breaking the bank. That’s obviously what GA is hoping for.

  • A couple of signings with the intention of having a better squad to return to the championship is in my opinion the max we should do . Let’s face it we have a small chance of staying up, not impossible but let’s be sensible financially I’m sure with the squad we are building we could come straight back up with the lessons we have learned.

  • I've no sense that Mr Couhig owes anyone a great deal more than has already been delivered. Without his investment, we'd not be where we are this season - and I think it's fair to say that that's putting it mildly. Thus, I feel he's earned our trust in how he goes about the next month.

    There are a lot of moving parts involved in making the club capable of operating at this higher level in the long term, whether it's now or anon. I suspect we've little chance of avoiding relegation without at least a couple of significant additions to the team but I'm certain I don't have the knowledge of the available finances to assert my preferences and confident that no-one else here does either.

  • @floyd said:
    @aloysius certainly a more realistic view of the Couhigs than some have. I think there are three or four positions we can upgrade in without breaking the bank. That’s obviously what GA is hoping for.

    As a matter of interest, why do you say that it is a more realistic view? Do you have evidence of thei Couhigs intentions for the club in the short or long term? What have they done to suggest that Aloysius is right in his assumptions and predictions?

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  • @glasshalffull said:

    @floyd said:
    @aloysius certainly a more realistic view of the Couhigs than some have. I think there are three or four positions we can upgrade in without breaking the bank. That’s obviously what GA is hoping for.

    As a matter of interest, why do you say that it is a more realistic view? Do you have evidence of thei Couhigs intentions for the club in the short or long term? What have they done to suggest that Aloysius is right in his assumptions and predictions?

    You see some posters talking about making wild purchases and bringing X y and z in.
    Which is never happening - as they're not going to risk it all for a biscuit.

  • I just think it's more realistic to understand the Couhigs view us as a business proposition, rather than that they've suddenly fallen in love with the club. I could be wrong of course (and i hope i am) but unless they've literally got cash to burn, that's got to be the plan.

    That's not to say i don't recognize that where we are today is in large part down to their investment, or than i'm not thankful for that investment, but i'd be shocked if they were still around in five years.

  • No one invests in a lower division football club expecting to make a profit unless they are dreamers or mugs, neither of which applies to the Couhigs.
    They wanted a project to turn a club in financial trouble into a sustainable outfit, and if they could eventually walk away having achieved that without losing money that would be job done.

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  • The view that we didn't invest loads in the summer but we should invest now is a weird one to me. Let's be honest, we're 23 games closer to relegation now and it's going to take a minor miracle from this point to keep us up. It's far more risky to throw money around now then it was in August when we had 46 games to influence, before you even consider the deteriorating balance sheet given its now increasingly likely we're not going to see the benefit of increased attendances at AP at all this season.

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