There is no question so much depends on tomorrow night. Just like in May, the winner takes the spoils – forget the trophy in May, the real prize was a guaranteed £65M (prize money for UEL win and group stage lucre added together) and top seed period in the CL pot 1.
While pot 1 is not on offer tomorrow night, the £60M+ as well as group place is, and those are the serious deal.
As things stand, we have probably used up most of our summer budget – the club’s finances are far far better than the last accounts, but we’re not just going to waste money and spend for the sake of it.
Which is why we’ve probably reached our current limit with £15M (give or take) spent this summer, which is actually the most we’ve spent in one summer since the Advocaat days.
To spend more? We need that CL money.
If we are to bring more players in, and there’s definitely the sense we’ll need to, especially in light of the Morelos stuff and the potential for Glen Kamara to be sold as well, then while we’ll clearly get transfer fees for them, major investment would only be helped by having a further £60M.
Of course, that full £60M isn’t immediate on qualifying. The immediate payment is around £12M less because it relies on gate receipts as well. But the TV cash (Up to £20M)? The group prize money (£15M)? The coefficient payment (£8M)? Those are all pretty much instant and gives Gio potentially £40M to spend before the window ends.
Admittedly it closes in just over a week, but that’s just enough time to get some big deals over the line if it’s felt we need them.
If we don’t make it, the current squad is definitely our lot till January at the earliest.
It’s not just about making the CL – it’s about the future of our club.
We can cope without, but lord it would be nicer if we get there.