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Club News

MANAGER: Nothing right now, but still things going on

Transfer window update from Paul Simpson

31 August 2023

Club News

MANAGER: Nothing right now, but still things going on

Transfer window update from Paul Simpson

31 August 2023

The summer transfer window is heading into its final 24 hours and manager Paul Simpson confirmed that work is still ongoing with his search for a striker, but that there’s nothing to report just yet after what has been a frustrating few days.

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“We’re nowhere with it at the moment,” he admitted. “It’s massively frustrating, that’s all I can say. I was trying to tot it up before I came to speak to you, and we’ve had 11 strikers that we’ve discussed to bring in on loan that for different reasons have fallen through.

“We’ve had four strikers we’ve made offers for, and with the bits and pieces that get included, we’re looking at transfer fees that would be more than we’ve paid out as a football club in our history.

“We are trying, but there’s nothing to come as we sit here right now. We’re not in the throes of signing anybody at the moment, but there are still things going on, be that for loans or permanents, we’re open to it all.

“We’ve got until 12pm on Friday for them to be involved on Saturday, and 11pm on Friday for them to be involved for the first half of the season.

“We’ll keep going until that point, but I’m not going to make any promises because we’ve been so frustrated with it. I can assure everybody that it’s not through a lack of trying, it’s not because the directors don’t want to spend the money, we just can’t get anybody in, which is the top and bottom of it.

“There are still a couple of things that are still alive. We had another one fall through this morning, and the problem we have is that we’re in the same market as everyone else. Everyone is looking for that target man, at every level.

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“I spoke to a Championship club this morning about a player in a different position because I’m trying to get things in place in case any of ours leave, and this Championship team are looking for a striker as well. It seems everybody is, so we’re no different, and it’s a challenge.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve been shocked but I’ve been really surprised about the jump in the finances from League Two to League One. It’s a huge jump, and as I sit here now, I honestly don’t know how teams can afford it.

“I don’t have their books, and I don’t know what they do, but I know what we can afford and I know how fantastic our supporters have been in terms of turning up in their numbers, which helps our financial fair play budget.

“I don’t know how others can afford it, and maybe time will tell that they can’t.”

When asked on the reasons behind the targets not being secured, he explained: “It’s a mix of all sorts. The location is one, if you’ve got a player who is wanted by three or four clubs, they’re going to stay close to home, that’s just human nature.

“We’re trying to sell the club to them at the moment and tell them that this could be a place for them to progress their career. Whether that be in terms of a development player or a more senior player who has hit a brick wall at the club they’re at, we can give them an opportunity.

“We’ve missed out on them at the moment, and we’ve just got to hope that one drops. The truth is, if they don’t, we’ll go with what we’ve got and there’s no point bleating about it.

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“We’ve stepped up to another level and we’re trying to be competitive at the next level, but it isn’t going to happen overnight. We’re not there yet, it’s as simple as that. We’ve got to make sure we keep doing the right things.

“It’s really difficult when you’re in this position, it’s tough, but you have to keep going. It’s a great challenge to have. I think it’s really easy for me to ask everyone to stick together when we’re winning and up the top of the table and going to Wembley, it’s easy to stick together when things are nice and rosy.

“This is when we need to stick together, we need to have a bit of calmness and level heads so we don’t start all being daft about it. I get it, everyone starts to have their own opinions and starts to think that the decisions I make are wrong, that’s football, but let’s just be calm about it, stick together, and keep working as hard as we all can to get ourselves going.”

As he continues to work on incomings, we wondered if there was any movement planned the other way.

“We know the reports on Corey [Whelan],” he told us. “I think someone contacted one of our directors to ask about his character, then his agent was contacted, and I think Corey said he didn’t fancy it.

“None of that came to me. It’s been dealt with without needing to get me involved, which is how these things happen sometimes.

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“I’ve had enquiries for one or two players but until we can get the right ones in, and until the players agree they want to go, there’s no change, so there’s no point in me talking about it.

“We’ve got a group of players here that I do think we need to keep changing and keep trying to improve. We’ve learned over the first month of the season that we do need improvements to the group.

“I’ve got things in mind that I’d like to do, but they can only happen if we get players to move out. It’s not a case of just collecting a group of players, we don’t want eight or nine players sat in the stand, I need to make it really competitive.

“If nothing moves out then the chances are there’ll be nothing moving in.”

“We have had a non-league club ask about Gabe Breeze,” he revealed. “We want him to go out because he needs games, but they wanted him to be available for the FA Cup and we weren’t prepared to allow that.

“He will go to a non-league club so that can go on beyond the window. But, yes, he’s one we want to allow to get games.

“There’s been absolutely nothing for Owen Moxon, that hasn’t changed. We’re in a situation where it now isn’t about finances, it’s about things they want to add to his contract that we don’t think is acceptable.

“If the fans knew what those things were, I won’t elaborate because it’s confidential, I know they’d understand. We’ve made him what I think is the best offer that’s been made to a Carlisle player that I know about, so we’ll keep talking and trying to find a way.

“He’s our player, nobody has asked about him, there have been no offers that I know of for him, so we carry on.

“I expect him to be our player until at least the end of next season and I hope we can come to a resolution with the other bits and pieces.”

And with that 11pm on Friday night cut-off, he said: “If we have to go that long, we will, but I don’t like doing it.

“This will probably be the first time in my management career that we’ve gone this close because I like to get it done and dusted.

“This has been the most challenging transfer window I’ve ever been involved in, I don’t know if it’s because we’ve gone up a level and we were weeks behind because of the play-offs, I don’t know what the issue is.

“The market is a really difficult one at the moment, especially for the player we’re looking for. Who knows, something might happen, and I might be sitting really happy on Friday night, but I hope it’s not at five past 11, I hope it’s earlier than that.

“All I can do is assure the fans that we’re doing everything we possibly can and I’ll do it until the last moment we’re able to.”


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