Harris: 'Millwall won't gamble like Aston Villa – that would be a disaster'

NEIL Harris believes the risks some Championship clubs are willing to take in the transfer market makes it more difficult for Millwall to compete for players.

The Lions were beaten to the signature of Ben Marshall by Norwich this summer after the Canaries offered a financial package that Millwall couldn't match.

Aston Villa – who splashed out big wages on the likes of John Terry, Robert Snodgrass and Lewis Grabban trying to win promotion last season – are currently in financial peril.

Derby County and Leeds United hired Frank Lampard and Marcelo Bielsa, respectively, in the closed season on multi-million pound contracts, and Nottingham Forest and Stoke City have already paid £10million-plus fees for players this summer.

"It's a volatile market at the moment," Harris said. "There are some clubs that have a hell of a lot of money to spend this summer and there are some clubs that are struggling and can't spend.

"It makes it a difficult market for clubs like ourselves that are stable and organised and have a clear structure around what we're trying to do.

"It's difficult because one day a player could be worth £200,000 and the next day someone is bidding £6million for him. Maybe it's not at those levels but that is what we're fighting at the moment.

"The disparity within the division is huge."

Villa boss Steve Bruce said this week that the club would have to sell star midfielder Jack Grealish – who has been linked with Spurs – and other first-team players to raise money to comply with Financial Fair Play rules.

Villa missed out on a lucrative promotion to the Premier League when they lost the Championship play-off final to Fulham in May.

Millwall defeated Aston Villa 1-0 on the final day of last season.

"Financial Fair Play is an absolute must," Harris continued. "I thought Steve Bruce's interview this week was class, to be fair. He was very open about his football club and very honest.

"There are a lot of other clubs out there in a similar position and it hasn't gone public. There will be clubs that don't go up this year that will be in Villa's situation next year.

"There are clubs that continuously gamble to get into the Premier League. It makes it very difficult for us to compete at this level because each year you've got at least eight clubs that will take that gamble.

"Me, the board, the chairman, we don't want to be in that position taking a gamble. It might be exciting for a year or two and you could have one great year and get very close, but it could be disaster afterwards for the next ten.

"It makes it difficult for us to attract players when clubs double or triple wage offers we might be making."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly