Date: 2nd August 2019 at 8:00am
Written by: Mark Day

You know how you can tell the football season is finally here?

Pre-match press conferences. Actual ones this time, with a table, sponsors board and a press gallery. Makes a change to the five-minute chat on the side of the pitch at the end of a three-hour sprint session, or whatever it is clubs do these days.

Pep Clotet yesterday held his first ‘actual’ press conference of the season and there were a lot of talking points. The most prominent ones were the recruitment that took place at the club over the summer, plus the deals that have been done internally with new contracts for Harlee Dean and Lukas Jutkiewicz.

However, the biggest news to come out of it regarded a possible new strike partner for Lukas Jutkiewicz. Although sadly it wasn’t the arrival of George Puscas, I suppose we can keep dreaming until it’s official.

It was revealed by Brian Dick that Birmingham have politely declined to meet Newcastle United’s asking price of £15m for Dwight Gayle.

Given Birmingham’s financial issues in the past, it’s good to see that they’re taking a more sensible approach when it comes to transfers, rather than just splashing the cash in an attempt to achieve their goals. Yes, I am looking at you Aston Villa.

With the Financial Fair Play vultures never too far away, I’m glad to see that the Blues are being prudent in their spending. Going after the likes of Jonathan Afolabi and George Puscas who combined would cost around £9m. On top of that, Dwight Gayle is 29. Afolabi and Puscas are 19 and 23 respectively, so you’d be getting players who are still on the up in terms of their career, rather than preparing to take a step back as players over 30 tend to do.

Add to that the deal to bring in Moha Ramos on a loan-deal first rather than splashing the cash straight away. Now obviously they must have felt pretty convinced by Ivan Sunjic to fork out what they did for him, but I’ll allow the occasional splurge so long as the rest of it is done properly.

It shows that they aren’t desperate to get promoted now and are willing to do it in a way that’s not only done well run on the pitch, but also well run off it.

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