I'm not sure how to read what I've just read, so instead of taking it word for word as the Gospel according to Randy, I'm going to let you read it, then I'm going to give you my explanation of what he is saying.
I also have to throw in a disclaimer here. Despite me trying to get time to ask Lerner a few questions, he ignores our requests. We want to ask him questions that maybe the local press won't or won't publish that they've asked and gotten shunned, and I fancy that because we're maybe going to be a little more honest, he declines, or actually just ignores the request.
Basically, I'm not sure exactly what he has said, but this is all that I am reading on the Express & Star website. There could be more, but this is what I've got to work with.
Randy Lerner, May 27th 2009
I would expect to invest less this summer than last summer. When we set out to build up the squad, we probably expected year four to mean more modest spending than year three.
With respect to the squad, that is what the manager does. With respect to the finances, it is about building the business and trying to generate more of the funding that strengthens the squad from internal operations, which means we are increasingly conscious of not adding debt.
Once you start getting into debt as the vehicle of achieving your goals you are getting into a different game. That game is not football.
Okay, maybe he isn't talking to us because we, okay that really should be me, or actually I, am little unkind towards him. Well, given the chance to ask him some questions, maybe I wouldn't be. We'll probably never know so he is just going to have to live with this. Although I must say, the press lady at the club, I've forgotten her name is a horrible witch, so that probably explains a lot.
Anyway, to what Lerner has said above and rather than me tell you what I think, I'm going to bite my tongue for a bit, mostly because I've just deleted everything I had written, frightened that it is just sounding like a broken record and actually, I don't believe for a second what he is saying above.
We all wanted rid of Ellis, we wanted what was it 'roots and branch change' and if the above is true, then we haven't got it. I don't believe it, I don't want to believe that we've just changed corners and nothing else.
I believe we've made progress this season, I honestly do, and I believe we've got quality players, I honestly do, but I also see that we need to bring in a quality central midfielder, a quality right winger, a quality central defender and quite likely a quality left back and I fancy that for all this quality, unless Martin O'Neill has spent the past three seasons scouting these players, then they're going to cost money and if we spend less than we did last summer, we are going to maybe replace Laursen and maybe get in a quite decent, hard working central midfielder, when we already have three or four of them.
Yes, it might be possible to do it the old fashioned way and I actually agree with Doc that we don't need to be spending fortunes on players and part of me actually really likes the slow way of doing things, but there comes a time when real quality is needed and I'm not convinced we have that person to unlock defences or to shore up the defence and if this season has taught us anything, it's no good just having the one player to do the job.
I think Lerner is lying to us, but in a positive way. He's trying to baffle and outwit other clubs by pretending we only have the money the business can afford to pay and that he isn't actually making any investments and that we've had our lot from him.
Yes, we can continue developing, but to think that we can get into the top four without significant investment is the playing side of things is football naivety. This isn't 1996 and the big four clubs are not in as much debt as they are in, just for the fun of it. It's because they are the top four too!