Thomas says Cobblers have 'competitive' budget but can't compete with League Two's big spenders

‘I think it will be in a similar place to last season or perhaps even a touch higher.’

By James Heneghan
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 11:25 am

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas says the club have a ‘competitive’ transfer budget but admits they cannot compete with some of the money that’s being splashed out in League Two this summer.

Jon Brady and Colin Calderwood are leading town’s recruitment drive and they have done some impressive business so far with six signings through the door, headlined by experienced striker Danny Hylton and talented young defender Sam Sherring.

However, the club have also lost goalkeeper Liam Roberts to Middlesbrough while Fraser Horsfall rejected a new deal at Sixfields in favour of a lucrative contract at big-spending Stockport County. Salford City and Crawley Town are also splashing the cash this summer.

Kelvin Thomas.

"Our budget is one of the worst in the league if you listen to some people! Obviously that wasn’t the case last season and even if it was, Jon and his team did a fantastic job in finishing where they did,” said Thomas.

"We will be sensibly ambitious. We commit to a certain number that we are OK losing and we will be in and around that. I think it will be in a similar place to last season or perhaps even a touch higher.

"It will definitely be a top 10 budget. It won’t be Stockport, it won’t be Salford and it won’t be some of the other teams who are really spending big money but it will be a competitive budget and we will aim to overachieve as we did last season.

"It’s not a reaction what other teams are doing, it’s purely a case of this is what we can do and this is what we are comfortable spending. Now it is about trying to make sure we sign the best players we can within the budget and then looking to develop those players.”

If Cobblers cannot compete with teams financially, they will look for other ways to persuade players to join them. Both Sherring and Akin Odimayo pointed to the club’s record of developing young players as key factors in signing.

"It’s becoming clear now that more and more we are seen as a club who will develop players,” Thomas added. “There have been some players who would have looked at Fraser (Horsfall) or Charlie (Goode) and would rather come to us over a club which might struggle in League One because we are seen as a progressive club.

"Some people might say we are being used as a bit of a springboard but that’s fine, players can use the club to improve and we can use those players to help us. Long gone are the days when players stay at one club for 15 years.

"We will take advantage of that and we will take that reputation of developing players, whether it’s a loan signing or a permanent. The money being spent has distorted the league slightly but we can only focus on us and do what we can.

"Jon is very, very good at talking to players and explaining what he and what the club can do for that player. Akin was an interesting one because he did well at Swindon and could have stayed there and he also had offers to go elsewhere but he saw us as a place where he could come and get better.”