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Transfers, hysteria and perspective

I cannot wait for the transfer window to shut.

In all honesty, I had little enthusiasm for the new season. Not because I don’t think Cardiff will do well, because I think they will. Not because I don’t love football or watching Cardiff, because I really do (just ask my girlfriend, much to her annoyance).

The thing is, I was kind of enjoying the summer break. The Premier League – and relegation – was exhausting. It was a fun ride while we were there, but by May I was ready for the season to end.

The Women’s World Cup was a refreshing change of pace. The focus was on the football, progression and inspiring a new generation of football fans, both boys and girls.

So when the season kicked-off last weekend, I have to say I could’ve done with a couple more of weeks of rest.

That said, it was great to see Cardiff City back in competitive action, albeit without the result we all craved.

But now, with a full-week in between our second game of the season, attention has turned to transfers as the window slams shut this Thursday at 5pm.

Cardiff have been busy this window – in fact they are the league’s second highest spenders. Only West Brom have spent more.

While the Bluebirds have brought in £9million – according to Transfermarkt – the club’s expenditure is over £3million higher than it’s income.

It’s impossible to say the club hasn’t showed ambition this season. It’s impossible to say that the Vincent Tan and the board has not backed Neil Warnock.

Yet, here we are. With fans in a fit of hysteria.

The window shuts tomorrow afternoon and fans are in meltdown over the club having not yet signed a central midfielder (we already have four), a right-back (we already have three) or another striker (we already have five).

By the time you read this, the club may have announced signings in these positions. Indeed, striker Isaac Vassell is rumoured to be joining from Birmingham. But that’s not the point.

It’s incredibly important to have perspective.

Perspective in terms of how far Cardiff have come in recent years. Lest we forge the financial mess the club was in when Vincent Tan bought it.

Things are certainly better, but there’s still some cause for concern. The excellent Swiss Ramble on Twitter outlined some of Cardiff’s financial situations in a thread a couple of months back.

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Here are some of the key points:

  • In our promotion year, the loss before tax almost doubled from £21m to £39m
  • The wage bill surged last season by 67% (£19.4million)
  • Cardiff’s £39million loss was one of the biggest in the Championship in 2017/18 (only Fulham & Wolves were more)
  • Since Vincent Tan bought Cardiff, the club has lost an average of £17million per season (£133million in total)

There’s plenty more in that thread, so I won’t list them all here. I do recommend you check it out. There are of course positives, too. The £120million Premier League money will go a long way to helping the club financially. Match day revenue rose by 37% too.

My point is that it’s important to maintain perspective of where the club has come from – and still is in many ways. We’d all like those extra signings, but this isn’t a PlayStation game.

Perspective is also needed in terms of the current state of the Football League. Clubs like Bury and Bolton are the obvious examples, with serious threats over the futures of those clubs.

A number of Football League clubs have sold their stadiums to private companies this season to cover losses.

Indeed, last season, Championship clubs made a combined operating loss of £510million. Staggering.

The biggest cause is club’s chasing the Premier League dream, but is that worth risking the club’s future by plunging themselves into financial risk?

I have the utmost faith in Mehmet Dalman, Ken Choo and Vincent Tan, as well as Neil Warnock, and I’m confident that they wouldn’t risk the future of the club.

So as fans, we must maintain our perspective. Having seen Cardiff City on the brink once before, think twice before you lose your shit over player transfers.

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