Friday, May 20, 2011

Health club

The Guardian's David Conn's done his doctorly duties, taking our pulse and asking us to stick out our tongue and say "Ah", and pronounced us to be in rude good health - at least in terms of money, and in relation to our top-flight rivals. How novel to be able to say that.

Of course, it could have been so different if our gamble on retaining some of our high wage-earners in the Championship hadn't paid off with an immediate return to the Premier League - but it did, and in most other financial respects Jabba's shown himself to be prudent and risk-averse. Conn points to his interest-free loans to the club as key in helping to stabilise our finances, while the situation can only have improved since the period from which the figures come - we once again have a Premier League club's income and with a lower wage bill than 2008/9, and we've banked £35m from the sale of Rocky.

Again, then, we're confronted with that dichotomy: Jabba's commendable if not universally acknowledged efforts in getting the club on the financial straight and narrow on the one hand, and his deplorable decision-making in pretty much every other respect on the other. The question now is whether he'll be prepared to loosen the purse-strings slightly over the summer, or whether he'll remain overly parsimonious and run the risk of relegation which would be damaging to both the short- and long-term health of the club.




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