Plymouth Argyle chairman Simon Hallett has warned it won’t be ‘business as normal’ in this summer’s transfer window, writes Ollie Young.
The club are looking to fight off the financial damage of covid-19 and aren’t willing to throw money at new players.
The newly-promoted League One club are therefore aiming to build a squad capable of stepping up in class but with clubs all over the country being affected financially by the pandemic, the transfer market is expected to be difficult to work in.
“We will continue to build a squad and Ryan Lowe certainly has a budget to go out and work with but our process will be slow,” Hallett told The Indy.
“We believe that if we’re patient, we will be able to build a good squad with limited resources.”
Like many businesses, the pandemic has hit Argyle and the Home Park top brass admitted that he has to put the security of the football club ahead of transfers.
“The priority of our club will not be spending lots of money on a squad, it will be on financial survival,” he said.
“We recently announced to the fans that I will be putting more money in but we still have to be careful.
“Some clubs are lucky and well-financed but most clubs will not have been getting their expected revenue and if you haven’t got that, you can’t offer three-year contracts on high wages, for example.”
Hallett also revealed that Neil Dewsnip leads the recruitment process and preparations for next season began last year. Dewsnip, who was appointed director of football in December is a fan of using data analytics to identify talent and has previously held roles at Everton and the English FA.
Hallett added: “Work for next season began at Christmas and this year we’ve been working very hard by using data analytics as part of the recruitment process under Neil’s excellent leadership.
“Our pre-made plans have been in the pipeline throughout the year but obviously the pandemic has hit us and we have had to adjust but rest-assured, we will continue the recruitment process.”
Meanwhile, at Home Park this week, there has been mixed news for the Green Army as firstly, long-serving player and club captain Gary Sawyer has signed a new deal at the club.
This is the 34-year-old’s second spell with the Pilgrims having re-joined from Leyton Orient in 2015 and so far, he has made 297 appearances forLowe’s men.
Sadly, however, one player who won’t be at Argyle next season is this year’s player of the season Antoni Sarcevic. The club’s top scorer for the 2019-20 campaign had an offer on the table but has rejected it as he looks to move closer to home.
Manager Lowe praised Sarcevic after it was revealed the midfielder would be leaving: “We respect his decision, it’s a family decision and he wants to be closer to home and we understand that,” the Pilgrims chief said.
“We thank him for the impact he had at the club, and we wish him all the best moving forward.”
Sarcevic, who arrived at Home Park in 2017, paid tribute to the club in an emotional statement which read: “It means so much to have played for this unbelievable football club. I can’t tell you how much it meant to have played a part in putting things right from the wrongs of last season.
“I cannot wait to see where Argyle get to with the wonderful people in charge of the club now,” he added.
The 28 year-old concluded by heaping praise on the Plymouth side’s fans. “The Green Army are something special and you as fans will move on but I will never forget the love and support you showed me and my family.”
Sarcevic is expected to head back to the North West with Salford City understood to be chasing the midfielders signiture, along with one of his former clubs Fleetwood Town.