Time to start rebuilding, again...
I know we want to get this season out of the way first but the summer will 'almost certainly' see another rebuilding process take place at Pompey.
So, surely this is something that we have to start having one eye on now...
With the 'lingering play-off thoughts' now just about dead, they were always limited though really, following the midweek defeat we can now - to a pretty safe understanding - start planning for life in the championship again, which will see plenty of changes again.
We now know, that with promotion virtually ruled out, premier league football will not be on the agenda - there are obvious pros and cons to this, although all in all I am happy enough to stay put - so that will mean that PLENTY of high earners, the left overs, will definitely be off this summer when their contracts end.
There is a good chances that Steve Cotterill, who has hinted recently at starting to rebuild, will want to keep some but the wages they are on/will want to be on are going to be beyond us and that will determine where their futures lie I reckon...
I say offer a number of these players new deals, we would be 'foolish' in many ways not to, but do so with them being offered £10,000 absolute TOPS!
I would not expect many, if any, of them to sign new contract and if they do not then let them try their hand elsewhere, not that I can see many clubs paying them anything like what we have - nor can I see that many premier league clubs coming in for them, even if they 'might' think that they are premier league quality. That in many ways is still a problem for us; too many have that 'premier league mentality' about them, the old 'big I am' thoughts.
To be honest I have this feeling, if offered, The Herminator would sign a new 1-year contract, and on a reduced rate. I would 'think' that he is still on around £20,000(ish) p/w but think this was a problem more out of the fact that a clause 'pretty much' entitled him to this - even having to take home 50% of that, if not less, would be enough for him at his age because he is settled where he is.
Of course Richard Hughes and Michael Brown will be off.
Dave Nugent will be off when his contract ends, but I really cannot see a whole cluster of clubs clambering after his signature, and they most definitely will not offer him anything like what we are paying now! In many ways I would say that he is just as well off staying put, as even on half of his current wages I suspect that that would be about as much as he would get elsewhere, and he IS NOT a premier league footballer!
The majority, if not all, of loanees will go back and then move on - I am not convinced that I would want this but Ibrahima Sonko - who will be a free agent - and Carl Dickinson - who would be 'cheap' methinks - 'could' yet return?
I know that I would be making moves to get Ritchie de Laet and Jonathan Hogg on loan again next season if we can - neither are going to get into their parent clubs' starting 11, quite possibly ever so lets get talking to Manyoo and Villa, respectively, about the possibility of 'borrowing' them again next season.
David Cotterill has been 'decent' enough so when we are talking to Swansea about extending his loan we might also want to have a word about what sort of fee they would be looking for in the summer - if this is nominal enough, and I cannot see him being prices that highly to be honest, lets look at seeing what we can agree with him too...
It will be interesting to see what happens to the more 'high profile' players, that will be under contract but on bloody good money - the likes of Aaron Mokoena, Tal Ben Haim, Hayden Mullins, Kanu, Liam Lawrence and Dave Kitson?
'Some', I reckon, will have some interest shown in them but it is not as easy as saying they stay or go - some we 'might' want to move on, due to their wages, but it could actually be these wages that determine that they do stay.
Either way we will have enough of a clearout, I just PRAY that Joel Ward is not cashed in on, to make balancing the books all the more easier, especially with players coming in on 'sensible' wages!
Danny Webber, on the right deal if he can prove his fitness, could be worth keeping - read more on these thoughts Can it give him enough 'lift-off' though? - here.
There are many areas we need to look at so I would hope that we have started looking at players going out of contract with others clubs, that can be picked up on a bosman, with the thoughts of starting to look to try and tie them up sooner rather than later.
You can rest assured other clubs are starting to open dialogue with agents of players coming to the end of their contracts, so why we should not be any different?
We will not, at least I hope not, be operating with an embargo round us this summer although we will, or at least should be, working on a realistic budget - looking to offer out realistic wages.
Yep, it will be another rebuilding job at Fratton this summer, although for me this 'could', if done the right way, be a massive summer for Pompey because we have the chance of further stabilising this club by bringing the wage bill down further by offloading, if they will not take what is offered, high earners and bringing in players that will offer as much - in some cases more - but for much less money...
PLAY UP POMPEY!