You are being very kind about Ajose and I think if you were the one who had to justify the return versus the financial outlay you would struggle to come up with anything. I still think he must have had some sort of coaching clause in his original contract. As you say Amond would on what we have seen and heard be a far more appropriate coach but as you say it’s done……..Good you've moved on from the Cliff Hill financing,
Generally we need a mix of Academy players, signings with potential and seasoned pros (journeyman) like Grounds to help us compete. What we don't need are the likes of Daniel. Ajose was an unfortunate, potentially a good signing but ended up not, despite his lack of playing time for us he still has a lot to offer in experience and could be an asset to the academy, personally I'd rather sign Amond for this role, but there you are we move on.
This year has shown us that not every batch of graduates are going to make it, with only Alfie Pond being taken on, and therefore not always the big money cheque around the corner, but we do have some add ons out there yet to be seen or capitalised with most expectations coming from Ethan, Jay Stansfield and Ben Chrisene, but these could all come to nothing should their contracts with their current clubs not be renewed although the signs are promising on all three. There could also be add ons for Joel but with Peterborough in same division and lack of appearances last year I would say unlikely to be great.
And you are right we do generate income through player sales hence the academy, and signing players with potential, but when offers come in for them we currently don't have to accept them as in the past, we can consider them, part of this consideration will involve where the player is within the club, how long left of their contract i.e. last season Joel was on his way regardless, so we negotiated a deal the best we could with consideration to his contract and like Ben and Jay considering what we would likely get in a tribunal. We also take into account the players position i.e. McArdle, if they haven't settled. So yes we are a selling club but not at any costs. Part of being a selling club and a good one at that can be an attraction for players looking to use us as a stepping stone to greater things as Nombe is doing, plus Chiek obviously recognised the potential when released by Stevenage.
We also do bring in income from the gates (including season ticket sales - record number this year), money from the EFL, hospitality, and our current Achilles heel merchandising. however we have a new commercial director in place so we can only be hopeful that this will improve.
There are a number of clubs on lower budgets and income than us and surviving in Division3 some of them supplemented by their owners others selling like us, financially we have got to be in the bottom third of the division but as a team/club the top third. We shall sign good players without breaking our budget and if last season is anything to go by they will be quality!