Viewpoint: Lack of funds forces City to live within their means
I often wonder what Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale gets up to on transfer-deadline day. With no funds at his disposal, he probably stays away from Sky Sports News, watches Grand Designs instead, or browses Ted Baker’s autumn catalogue thinking Jim White is an ageing snooker player!
The Grecians’ finances – or lack of – are well known and it is rare to see them partake in the last-day madness of a transfer window, which us football fans find compulsive viewing.
I am sure Exeter fans are like many others across the country, staying updated with the day’s events on their mobiles, on their laptops or PCs, even if they know deep down that any activity is highly unlikely. But they will be tuned in hoping that their club are one of those that pulls off a last-minute coup.
I say it is rare because Tis likes to do his business well in advance and have things in place before the season starts. Finances also dictate that, when he may really need to, the money is just not there to bring a new addition to the club.
That is very much the case at present. Right-back seems to be a problematic area for City, with Jordan Moore-Taylor and Aaron Dawson both given a chance to stake a claim for a regular place in the team.
Unfortunately for Moore-Taylor, a natural left-footer, his weakness on the right side has been exposed at times. It is no criticism of the hugely talented defender, but the stark reality for a young man who looked far more composed and at home on the left side of the central defence on Tuesday.
I have just as much sympathy for Dawson, who has always impressed me when played in his natural position of central midfield. It is very much a case of using square pegs to fill a round hole at right-back, but, until Scott Golbourne’s timely sale from Barnsley to Wolves last week, there was little Tisdale could do to solve the problem in terms of recruitment.
That sale ensured City picked up a few quid as a result of a sell-on clause they insisted on when transferring him to Barnsley. Tis didn’t receive all of the sell-on fee, but he did get some of it, which will at the very least help towards his playing budget.
Now, it is a case of seeing what is available and what can be done, but there is no guarantee that the money will be enough to sign a player for the rest of the season.
Tisdale hinted that he may have to be patient and wait until later in the season before bringing someone in and, with Pat Baldwin filling in well at right-back in the second half against York, and then again on Tuesday, it could be a defensive reshuffle will have to suffice for now.
That could see a run in the side for Moore-Taylor in his preferred position of left-sided centre back, alongside Danny Coles. Baldwin will continue at right-back, with Craig “Mr Consistent” Woodman retaining the left-back berth.
The downside to that is breaking up the dependable Coles-Baldwin centre-back partnership. But, at a time there is no recognised right-back in the ranks, Tisdale may have to sacrifice something to get the best out of what he has at his disposal for now.