At the start of January I described how expected return on player investment has never been higher for Championship clubs, due to the inflated Premier League mega-millions bestowed for promotion. And that the group of clubs challenging for promotion below Middlesbrough had most to gain. Now the window’s closed it’s worth reviewing how things have turned out.
Firstly, the top of the table now looks somewhat different. Hull City have usurped Middesbrough at the summit, and Burnley and Birmingham have improved their positions at the expense of Derby and Ipswich. Boro’s minor capitulation perhaps spurred the £9m deadline day signing of Jordan Rhodes – the most notable signing of the window. Even though Boro have slightly faltered their promotion chances are still high (> 80%) and in this respect the £9m investment makes perfect sense, even if it only garners a small performance improvement, because it comes with little risk.
Nick Blackman (Reading to Derby County) and Diego Fabbrini (Watford to Birmingham Citly) are other significant signings. As is the transfer of Joe Mason from Cardiff City to Wolves, two clubs on the fringes of the promotion picture, which is perhaps surprising because of their relative positions. But, overall, despite the potential bounty on offer, transfer window spending has been relatively light by the Championship promotion challengers.
The only team not to enhance their squad in the Window are Ipswich Town (the team I support). Sadly that’s the way Town roll these days. Here’s (naively?) hoping Mick McCarthy can defy convention and maintain a promotion challenge despite negligible player investment.
Championship challengers January transfer window investment
|Ritchie de Laet|
|Julien De Sart|
|Brighton and Hove Albion|