Manager: Dudley (Wolverhampton)
Twitter name: @dudleyben
Since: 2005 (co-founder and committee member – charts and graphs)
Trophy cabinet: Empty (best finish – second in 2005/06)
Last season: 11th
Darts music: Forever Young – Alphaville
Outlook: As the hunt for that elusive first Kenna title enters its ninth year, the Newington Reds manager stands accused by the club’s fans of giving up before the season has begun. While they believe Joe Hart is a solid buy in goal, they think forking out £22m Shinji Kagawa – who spends much time as an unused substitute – and £14m on the controversial Loic Remy represents a particular lack of financial and tactical savvy.
But, those complaints are nothing next to what Reds supporters view as the manager’s biggest crime. With three midfielders still to buy, the Wulfrunian left the auction halfway through to go to Lion King on Ice in the West End. Fans’ forums lit up last Saturday with deprecation for a move which resulted in the manager missing out on such late-auction deals as Juan Mata and Joe Cole – who went for £0.5m each.
What Reds are left with is a team unlikely to bother the top half of the table, even if James McCarthy is brought into the top flight. With only £2m left in the war chest, the Reds manager better sort out his office fax machine once and for all come the window if he wants to unlock the £10m bonus and drag himself back into the contest.
First transfer window – 5 October 2013
Starting budget: £12m, remaining budget: £5.5m, net loss: £6.5m
(Hyperlink denotes from which team player was bought)
|DEF||Cuellar, C||SUN||Free||DEF||T-Catherine, K||CAR||£0.5m|
|MID||Allen, J||LIV||Free||MID||Downing, S||WHU||£0.5m|
|MID||Jedinak, M||CRY||Free||MID||Stirling, R||LIV||£0.5m|
|MID||Kagawa, S||MUN||Free||MID||Huddlestone, T||HUL||£3.5m|
|STR||Defoe, J||TOT||Free||STR||Osvaldo, P||SOT||£1.5m|
Second transfer window – 7 February 2014
Starting budget: £15.5m, remaining budget: £1.5m, net loss: £14m
|DEF||T-Catherine, K||CAR||Free||DEF||Bertrand, R||AVL||£0.5m|
|MID||Downing, S||WHU||£0.5m||MID||Januzaj, A||MUN||£12m|
|MID||McCarthy, J||EVE||Free||MID||Redmond, N||NOR||£0.5m|
|MID||Huddlestone, T||HUL||Free||MID||Assaidi, O||STO||£0.5m|
|STR||Osvaldo, D||JUV||Free||STR||Berahino, S||WBA||£0.5m|