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Wray keeping tight hold of purse strings
SWINDON Town chairman Jeremy Wray has hinted that manager Paolo Di Canio may have to temper his desire to spend to fit in with the Robins’ budget for the remainder of the summer.
Over the course of the past week Di Canio has been suggesting that he would be keen to add up to four more players to his squad as he prepares for life in League One next season.
Town have already recruited seven new faces, however, and Wray mentioned that the club would not go over their spending limit in pursuit of back to back promotions.
Nevertheless, the County Ground supremo is more than happy with the current state of play in SN1, and he believes Swindon are well set to stage a serious challenge at the top end of the table.
“Paolo has mentioned three other players, I think as the budget stands at the moment we’re probably looking at one or two definitely,” he said.
“Paolo has said he wants to give some thought as to which specific positions he’s looking at and I think the next couple of pre-season friendlies will clarify his thoughts.
“He has at the moment identified a couple of people who he wants to bring in and hopefully we can get that done before pre-season.
“His feeling is that we are in a much stronger position than we were in last year and that we’re just a couple of pieces short of being really ready to go.”
Wray was in attendance yesterday as Swindon Town Football Company Limited held their annual general meeting at the County Ground.
The accounts for the year ended May 31, 2011, which revealed a pre-tax operating loss of £1.3million, were approved and Russell Backhouse was re-elected as a director.
“There’s nothing wrong with making losses if the losses are what you budgeted to make,” Wray said afterwards.
“What you don’t want are unexpected losses, so there is an awareness going on this year that the club will lose money and that is funded in order to get to the next stage.
“We have recognised that the only way this club becomes sustainable and stands on its own two feet is by getting into the Championship, sharing those much greater revenues that are in the Championship, and doesn’t necessarily position itself to spend crazy amounts to try to get to the Premiership.”
A general meeting followed the AGM, during which resolutions were passed allowing the sub-division of the £1 shares in the company into 1p ordinary shares and 99p deferred shares.
The change in the share structure is designed to more easily allow further investment in the club, as Wray explained: “Very simply, the wage cap constraints that we are under means that the money we put into the club has to come in as equity, it cannot come in as loans because we have to use 65 per cent of our turnover plus any funds that we put in directly as equity.
“That is what is available for the playing budget. We’ve gone out and said that we’re trying to put together a playing budget that gets us to the Championship and it’s necessitated putting funds directly into the club.
“We could no longer use the holding company structure because loans are not recognised.”
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