Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert believes that the financial impact caused by the current suspension of football will help lower league clubs to take back control when it comes to transfer negotiations with players and agents.
Like the rest of Leagues One and Two, Lambert’s side are reportedly set to see their season cancelled next week, with the current campaign having been suspended since mid-March due to the ongoing global outbreak of Coronavirus.
When football does return, it has been suggested that a salary cap will be introduced in the lower leagues, while clubs are also expected to be less active in terms of buying players in the transfer market, which Lambert believes will be a good thing for those sides.
Speaking about how he believes the current situation will impact football long-term, Lambert was quoted by The Sunderland Echo as telling The Guardian: “When life has finally returned to normal, I think football will change for the better.
“We should see the reversal of a power balance that has swung the wrong way for too long, switching it back in favour of the clubs.
“I would certainly expect that to happen in the divisions below the Premier League, where the financial implications of Covid-19 are hitting particularly hard.”
Explaining how the fallout from this situation would impact transfer negotiations, Lambert continued: “Players and agents will have to lower their expectations, and we will see fewer instances of football clubs being held to ransom over deals and contracts.
“Anyone going in saying, ‘This guy wants this money, and I want this amount for doing the deal’, might have to face a new reality.
“Do you want the club to go out of existence, and then there’s no club to play at? If agents ask too much then clubs will say: ‘No problem, we’ll do something else.’”
Lambert also believes that that is something that will be a good thing for young players looking to make their way into senior football, as he added: “Recruitment will change and that may well see more youth players becoming involved.
“At Ipswich we have a really talented group from under-15s and under-16s upwards. I know that if we can’t go out and spend a certain amount, we can bring these guys in and develop them.”
Lambert does seem to have a point here.
While investing in a squad is often appealing for clubs, the financial losses brought about by the current situation mean that may no longer be possible when football returns, as clubs will be doing all they can to ensure they don’t go out of business by overspending.
As a result, with plenty of clubs likely to find themselves in that situation, it is likely players will have to accept those reduced offers eventually, given the lack of more lucrative options available.
That is something that should hopefully help clubs to stabilise again financially, allowing them to move forward on what might even be a more secure footing than when this whole situation began.