NEIL Harris wasn’t surprised to see Swansea ship out three first-team players in January as the Welsh club continues to cut costs after relegation from the Premier League last season.
Wilfried Bony, Tom Carroll and Jefferson Montero – the latter who came off the bench to provide two assists in the Swan’s comeback 2-1 win at The Den in August – left on January 31 and weren’t replaced.
That continued a process of reducing costs and recouping transfer fees that began last summer with over £40million worth of sales as well as big earners Andre and Jordan Ayew leaving on loan.
Last September, in an interview with the BBC, one of Swansea’s owners, Steve Kaplan, discussed the club’s position in relation to Financial Fair Play. “It is something we are monitoring, we are talking about it regularly with our chief financial officer and chief operating officer,” Kaplan said.
“We're a squad that's spent heavily on players and not necessarily got the return on those players when they're going on the market. We have to be very careful because it is important in terms of our ability in the transfer market."
Millwall were unsuccessful in their attempts to sign a striker on deadline day, and the likes of Bony would have been far out of their wage range.
Harris praised the way owner John Berylson has run Millwall with the club unlikely to “gamble” by paying out big transfer fees in a bid for promotion to the Premier League.
Millwall were relying on other Championship sides signing centre-forwards to get the green light for their targets.
“I think it probably sums up the transfer window,” Harris said. “They let three go, it looked at one stage it was going to be five, two pulled out last minute.
“When I’ve talked about the transfer window and why it was impossible for us to get a player in, it’s because clubs weren’t letting players out or players didn’t want to go out because they thought they’d have a chance of playing for the club they’re at.
“Clubs like Boro, Swansea, couldn’t get players in. Clubs that have been in the Premier League recently and spent huge amounts of money the last few years.
“Because of Financial Fair Play they couldn’t sign players without getting ones out. There’s a knock-on effect and clubs like ourselves below them in the food chain couldn’t do any business. We need to take players from those types of clubs.
“I wasn’t surprised at all what Swansea did. You look at Boro who added one or two early in the window and were trying to do late business but couldn’t get any done.
“I’ve spoken about FFP and the trouble some clubs are in. We’re not, because John runs the business in the correct manner. It helps us to be stable.
“There are a lot of fans out there would love to see us go and spend £30-40million and take the gamble that we might get in the Premier League. But it’s one hell of a gamble. If it doesn’t work then clubs are really in danger of going out of business.
“It was the transfer window summed up, Swansea having to let three top-class players go and not bring anyone in.”
Image: Millwall FC