DOUGIE Freedman intends to raid the lower leagues in search of bargains to boost his promotion push in the new year.
With finances likely to be tight over the next month, the Wanderers boss knows every penny will need accounting for as the transfer window reopens today.
But the Scot insists that is the way he likes it – and having already shown an eye for a bargain at Crystal Palace where he recruited the likes of Glenn Murray and Yannick Bolasie from outside the top flight, he intends to follow a similar path at the Reebok.
Impending Financial Fair Play rules will force Championship clubs to reduce losses or face financial or transfer sanctions from the Football League in the future. Wanderers currently boast the biggest wage budget of any club in the division and already have debts of £136.5million owed almost exclusively to owner Eddie Davies, which rose by £22m in the last financial year.
Getting back into the big time is still the primary objective for Freedman and Wanderers, but in order to do so, the Glaswegian is not worried about taking chances on players from the road less travelled.
“It’s something I criticised the club for before I came here – what’s wrong with the lower leagues? What’s wrong with League Two? What’s wrong with reserve team players?” he said.
“So that’s where I will be going to shop and I feel very proud of my record in developing players. That will hopefully get us in line with the Financial Fair Play side of things.”
Freedman is mindful of the effect FFP could have on Wanderers’ future, particularly if their bid for promotion does not go according to plan.
But the manager, who hopes to string back-to-back wins together for the first time this season at Leeds United this afternoon, believes the regulations will be good for the game.
“It’s another obstacle in the way when you are trying to sign players,” he said.
“It is difficult, but it’s there for a reason and I respect it. I think it should be there because people shouldn’t buy their way out.
“As a coach I like to develop players and make them better, no matter what their age is.
“I certainly don’t mind buying down in the lower leagues because that’s what I like to do as a coach.
“If one comes along with the quality then I’m sure that the board will back us but we do have to be careful.
“But it does suit my buying, looking at the lower leagues, and seeing what is available.”