THE OTHER 64,000 dollar question I get asked is ‘Who’s got the biggest playing budget?’
We’ll never know the exact workings, of course, because clubs don’t want to show their hand.
But I’m in a privileged position where I get to speak to and see all the Skrill Premier clubs on a regular basis, and I’ve used my contacts at the 24 clubs to put together the latest budget table for players only – not staff, travel and hotels – for 2013-14.
Of course, things might change over the course of the campaign. Some will increase their kitty after a good FA Cup run, others simply to avoid relegation. The odd one will experience cash-flow problems and cut their budget, although we hope not too many.
I would also add the disclaimer that some will be economical with the truth to make themselves look good, but I can only take managers, chairmen and directors at face value.
A couple might be misplaced as a result, but this is as close as we’ll come to the Conference Rich (or not-so-rich) List. Like when I did it two years ago, it’ll be fascinating to look back at the end of the season and see who’s under and over-achieved.
THE SKRILL PREMIER BUDGET TABLE:
Forest Green, Luton Town
Barnet, Wrexham, Grimsby Town, Kidderminster, Cambridge United, Gateshead
Aldershot, Lincoln City, Hereford, Salisbury, Dartford, Chester, Woking, FC Halifax, Southport
Macclesfield, Tamworth, Alfreton, Braintree, Nuneaton, Welling, Hyde
MY Skrill Premier tips for the season:
CHAMPIONS – Grimsby Town
PLAY-OFFS – Kidderminster, Luton, Forest Green, Cambridge
DARK?HORSES – Woking