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What did they expect?

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I was surely not alone nearly a month ago in expressing the concern that if Ashton went during the window we would find it expensive to get a replacement.The widow is a sellers'' markert - anyone buying is a little desperate, because of uinjuries, threatened relegation, player failures, etc. The sellers know they are on a good thing. If the potential buyer comes with a large cash pile, known to everybody, then sellers will ask even crazier prices.So what has the club done, when according to Mr. Doncaster, they have been planning for the a possible departure of Ashton for several weeks?They identified targets! Fine, but they ought to have been aware of the problem I mentioned above!Perhaps they were, and perhaps the rather formal enquiries in several directions were saying  in effect "We''ve got other  irons in the fire!" in an attempt to overcome the problem. Perhaps the "buy later, get loan players for now "strategy was always a very definite fall back position.Will it be different in the summer? Yes, even if we do not have new management. From now on we can make pre-contract arrangements and enter understandings before the general rush. There will be more players. Will they be good ones we desperately want? Why not! Several good players went last summer either free or very reasonabe in price, and some of us were partly despairing at bargains missed, but we believed that there was some sort of plan.... This coming summer we shall not be able to build a championship side at one go, with or without the Ashton money. The side is too average in ability, too small in size and there will probably be some deadwood to clear out. We shall not have enough money to assemble an adequate squad, so it will have to be our own youngsters promoted, a gamble on other youngsters,  one or two established but out of contract players, and perhaps one or two quality players by transfer. This is what the better teams have quietly been doing for some time.

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