Embargo exit a step in the right direction

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks at Ewood Park, starting with the departure of Gary Bowyer and arrival of Paul Lambert in the dugout, and continuing now with the club making its exit from the much maligned transfer embargo placed on it for exceeding Financial Fair Play Limits.

After a promising start to his stint as Rovers manager, the removal of the embargo has come at the perfect time for Paul Lambert. With four weeks to go until the January transfer window opens, Lambert has time to assess his squad and the finances available to him before deciding which areas need strengthening and which players he wants to do that with.

Lambert’s own appointment demonstrated the steps the club has taken in stabilising itself following years of turmoil; and in exiting the Financial Fair Play restrictions – despite not selling a player as had been suggested was required to lift the embargo – Rovers have shown that Lambert’s recruitment was not a one-off in that respect.

Of course, there is no guarantee the club is completely clear of financial difficulties. When the next accounts are made public, supporters will be able to see how much further (or not) the club has stabilised itself.

And it is likely that in the early days of the upcoming transfer windows, they will have to be careful not to slip back past the lines set by Financial Fair Play. If they were to fall back under these restrictions, it would be arguably a worse reflection than coming under the embargo in the first place – to fall foul once is one thing, but to do it again after being set free would be another thing altogether.

If Lambert’s appointment showed the nous the Rovers hierarchy are rediscovering with regards to running the competitive side of a football club, then managing to extricate themselves from the FFP embargo possibly shows the club are finally starting to make sensible decisions.

It will take a long time and probably involve writing off a significant portion of the debt the owners have saddled the club with to get back to pre-Venky’s standards. That’s if the new manager or his successors can’t manage a return to the Premiership’s promised land any season soon.


By Toby Wilding

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