Express & Star

Careful Darrell Clarke eyes Walsall transfers

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke is not ruling out January transfers but insists the survival of the club is paramount.

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The Saddlers have had to make tough decisions over the past year with fans unable to watch their team live and revenue slashed across the business.

Now, following the announcement of a Premier League respite, Walsall have some short-term respite but when asked if that means a bigger playing budget in January, Clarke insisted the club comes first.

“We’ve had to make 13 people redundant, fans have given up a lot of their season ticket money, staff are on pay cuts and players are on deferrals so this is no disrespect, but we’ve got to survive as a football club,” he said.

“It’s not about putting money into signing new players. I believe we have a squad of players capable of getting out of this division.

“It will need a few tweaks but it won’t be at a financial massive layout, we’re not in that position as a football club. I’ll be having discussions with the chairman and we’ll see how we go but the first priority is to make sure that we do what we need to do to sustain the football club and get a level playing field.

“This club is a well-run football club, on the financial front, for the last 13 years and that’s why we are sat here having the same conversation.

“The plaudits go to the people running the football club and everyone who has done their bit. Let’s not talk about wholesale players coming in because it isn’t going to be that.”

Meanwhile, Clarke is pleased to see the EFL and Premier League agree on a financial bailout.

“Any help that we get, we obviously appreciate," Clarke added.

"It’s been a long time coming, it’s been a frustrating period. They’ve got a package together but it’s certainly not the end of the problem.

"We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ve said this on numerous occasions that we are very appreciative of our fans support, the ones that haven’t took their season ticket money back so without that we’d be struggling anyway, we know that.

"We’ve got to make sure that we’ve got a football club at the end of it which I’m sure we will do with the people running the football club."