I am not going to talk about reports linking our manager with a move across London. For starters, the rumours are just one way with Chelsea said to be “considering moving” for Mauricio Pochettino, with there being no indication that the feeling is mutual.
Still, Poch did put the cat among the pigeons with his comments about transfers following the crazy 5-4 win against Leicester on the final day of the season. Usually, the subject of discussions between manager and board is kept private, but the Argentine deliberately made it known to the media what outcome he wants from the talks. More funds to win trophies
It is calculated gamble. A power play to put pressure on Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis to loosen the purse strings that has seen us spend just £50m net during Pochettino’s four years in charge. Usually, such ploys by coaches don’t end well.
Popular managers in the past, including most famously Brian Clough at Derby County, have lost their battles with the board, and although there seems to be a good working relationship between the manager and Levy at the moment, things could swiftly change depending on the outcome of the meetings in the coming days.
There is no doubt the board want Poch to stay. An £8.5m a season contract is reportedly on the table, but justifiably the manager wants assurances over what he can achieve during the next few years.
The £850m stadium cost will inevitably suck up a lot of potential income, and that could hit the club’s ability to spend significantly in the transfer market. Yet the board are in a bit of bind. At the moment when the financial squeeze will begin to bite, the manager is wanting increased funds.
You can see both points of view. Pochettino doesn’t want to get into the Wenger situation where he has to manage expectations during a time the club cut back to finance payments on the new ground. The board meanwhile will not want to lose a world-class coach during a time of massive upheaval and change.
Compromise is the likely outcome of these talks, but much will depend on the temperament of both the board and Poch. Funds are needed to get this team to win, but with other financial pressures to consider, will the manager have to do things with one hand tied behind his back?
For so many reasons, I’m hoping for a swift resolution to this, and we can then get on building for next season.