Fans being misled?

I have been backing our transfer policy and the way that we are being patient and keeping to our principles and I am generally glad to see the supporters trust releasing a statement about us doing exactly this but I do have a few issues with the statement and mainly this line;-

“Over the past three and a half years the club have a net deficit on transfers of in excess of £40m when you factor in signing on fees and agent fees, and in the last 18 months alone (highlighting just how much we backed Garry Monk) we have spent in excess of £50m on these deals”

I don’t like misleading, I get really annoyed with it to be honest and I can’t help but feel that this line (although 100% true) is very carefully written and may be designed to mislead. It is easy to do this, businesses do it all the time to make results look really good (or bad depending on the agenda) you just choose to show accounts over a selective period which makes your result show optimum results; it is not lying, it’s just creative.

On this note; why three and a half years? It seems a strange timescale to measure our spending unless there was such an agenda. Why not over our whole Premier league time? Surely this would make sense, three and a half years seems a really odd time to go back to.

It could have something to do with us getting close to £30 million for Brendan, Allen and Sinclair just before the period chosen which would make the figures sound very different. These figures (including the players we bought over that same summer) would leave us with a net figure of more like £24 million over a 4 ½ year period, closer to half the £40 million told and barely £5 million a season.

Manipulating figures is easy; If you wanted to flip it and make it negative then you could take the period from the day before Brendan left to the day after Bony left (before we spent some of that money) and possibly have us with a negative net transfer spend (or a positive one I suppose but) a position where we have received more than we spent (how would the fans react to that?).

Picking your dates can be clever if you want to deceive but I am concerned as to why they chose three and a half years to measure this unless deceiving us was the exact aim.

And then, why have they changed from net to simple outgoings when relating to Monks reign? Maybe because we received £28 million from the Bony deal which on its own would leave a net figure of £22 million (this before the sales of Chico, Pablo Hernandez, Vorm, Ben Davies, Jazz Richards etc..). When you put all this together then it doesn’t sound like we have ‘backed’ the manager quite as much as when they simply claim that he spent in ‘excess of £50m’. An agenda again? A scapegoat?

I’m talking ‘newspaper figures’, I don’t have the exact details but I can clearly see that this statement and especially that part of it is designed for you and I to think that we have spent plenty of money and it is the way that it has been spent (the managers fault) and not the amount of money (boards fault) which has put us in this difficult position.

The statement seems to be totally designed to take as much attention away from our board and our transfer policies and lay the whole blame on Garry Monk. There seems to be little love lost between trust and our former manager in this line; “The decision to sack Garry Monk looked an inevitable one when it was made and whilst many have commented that it should have been done earlier, his performance last season had probably earned him the time until the decision was finally taken.”

The reality is that I don’t really disagree with the majority of the statement; I don’t want us to waste money for the sake of it and if nobody comes in then I don’t believe it is a disaster, I still totally back the board and our Supporters Trust is the envy of every other side in the Premier League and I totally applaud the overall theory of our transfer policy and I 100% agree with this line;-

‘It is doubly frustrating when we watch our rivals making signings, but we know that the terms of some of them are along the lines we mention above, and whilst that is their call to do so, they could be decisions that come back to financially haunt them in the future. As we have seen, transfers do not guarantee success, so we have to remain prudent in what we do’

The following line from this suggests that these clubs (like Newcastle) will have less to spend in the summer, while we should be in a strong position to strengthen then and we all know that is a far better time to buy. I do totally back the trust and the boards position on these transfers and the overall message is that we need to stick together and we certainly do need to do that but I think that involves giving fans the whole information and trusting us to make an informed decision and not giving us information which is designed to make our decision for us (even if it is to mislead us into the right decision).

Read the statement in full here;