Of the many positives brought by securing promotion early, the opportunity to steal a decisive march in building a squad fit for the Premiership is not one of them, according to Mick McCarthy.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers manager maintains that while he may already be looking towards next season, following his side’s 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers last week, the clubs with which he wants to do business are still concentrating on the current campaign.
And, he says, that means that while the pressure is less intense than had Wolves faced the play-offs, there is still not much he can do in terms of concrete transfer activity.
“Going up early is an advantage but let’s suppose there are targets in the Premier League, do you think any of those teams will do any business with their players until May 23?” McCarthy asked.
“And if you start ringing up, they’ll say ‘Hold on, we don’t know whether we’re going to be in that league or not’.
“Clubs abroad, their leagues are all still playing. It’s an advantage but just because we’ve finished and we can plan, not everyone else can.
“What happens if there’s anyone in play-off teams? They’re not finished until May 25. We can plan but we can’t really nail anything until other clubs are done.”
McCarthy is likely to want to give the bulk of the players who have taken him into the top flight the chance to prove they can keep the club there.
But he is clearly going to have to add experience to a team that had just one player, Jody Craddock, aged over 30 when it last played. That could mean the club breaking their current wage structure, capped at around £10,000 a week, and their record transfer fee of £3?million.
“We’ve got to be pro-active in the market and market forces will dictate,” said McCarthy. “We will have to compete with Premier League teams on and off the pitch if we want to be a Premier League club.
“You want to bring in players who are going to be successful. What if you get someone in on a Bosman with no transfer fee involved? But if you’re going to spend £5million, £6million, £7million or £10million on someone – does that not mean you’ll have to give them more money?
“They require paying and surely you’ve got to do it because if you don’t, you don’t get them. Then you can end up with bringing in Championship players and end up back in the Championship.”