EXCLUSIVE: Playing budget could’ve been better spent

Cristian Benavente with Karl Robinson
Cristian Benavente with Karl Robinson
0
Have your say

Despite having a small budget in the Championship, Pete Winkelman believes too much money was misspent this season.

Dons came into the season without their top three goal-scorers from last seaso – but with an estimated £5 million from the sale of Dele Alli – and by January, the players they’d brought in to replace them had already left the club for pastures new.

Sergio Aguza gets his new shirt from Karl Robinson

Sergio Aguza gets his new shirt from Karl Robinson

Given Dons’ precarious position at the turn of the year, the chairman offered up extra money to Robinson, who was in the midst of clearing his decks to free up more funds.

Though fingers have been pointed at Winkelman for not giving Robinson a bigger budget, the chairman said the money the manager was given should have been spent in wiser ways.

“Should we have spent the money better? Oh God yes. The money was spent. I didn’t not spend.

“I even offered up next year’s money. This wasn’t about money.

“Karl is a manager, he has to protect himself and I get it most of the time. But we weren’t the only club with a low budget.

“You can see where the Dele Alli was spent if you look at the accounts. But did we spend it well? No. So much money never played in the first team. That’s the reality of it.

“If you look at the accounts, you’ll see we made a £3.5 million loss the year we got promoted, and even though our income doubled this year, we’ll still make a £2 million loss.”

Winkelman also highlighted that too much of the playing budget was wasted on players who barely played this season.

“Our wage bill nearly tripled this year,” he added.

“Too much of our budget never played for us.

“More of that money could have gone towards people who’d play for us, whatever price was on their heads at the time.

“That would have been a better use.

“The money was still spent, but it wasn’t done in such a high profile way.

“It was on the people you see walking around the stadium but not on the pitch.”