Neil Warnock: Players will need to get real over money as clubs tighten their belts

What I Learnt This Week

As you may have noticed, if you've been following Crystal Palace's results recently, we need a goalscorer. Although the transfer window's shut we can get loan signings in and I've been working on bringing someone in for weeks. But like most people these days, managers have to balance the books and even a loan signing means juggling the budget. Nor are we the only club chasing a striker.

The process starts with our chief scout talking to other clubs and agents, and telling me who might be available. Then I try to persuade the player to come, and find a way of paying for him. I've never known it to be as hard as it is at the moment. We went after Birmingham's Gary McSheffrey, who's gone to Nottingham Forest; West Brom's Craig Beattie, who did well here earlier in the season, but has now gone to Sheffield United; and Scott Sinclair of Chelsea, who was with us last season, but has gone to Birmingham. Then I heard that Anthony Stokes was available. He's been on loan at Sheffield United – yes, it's a merry-go-round at times.

I spoke to his club, Sunderland, and his agent, and he was up for coming but we could only afford him by loaning someone out. A couple of players who were supposed to be leaving turned moves down, which meant I was forced to rekindle Charlton's interest in Danny Butterfield, our long-serving defender. I didn't want to let him go, but Nathaniel Clyne is keeping him out of the team and we do have additional cover.

As well as getting Stokes in, Danny's loan meant we could extend Rui Fonte's stay from Arsenal. He has only started one game but we have three away games in six days coming up and I'm sure he'll get his chance.

There will be a lot of movement in the summer as we, like a lot of clubs, have several players out of contract and won't be renewing. I think Championship wage bills will drop significantly in the next couple of years. It's going to be a rude awakening for a lot of players. I've already had one agent come back to me about a player I was after, he's now lowered his asking price. He's still too expensive, though.



2. Horror tacklers should be banned for 10 games

I'm going to try to go to the Emirates for the FA Cup tie tomorrow. We're playing Burnley next week – it's the first leg of our safari – and I love going to Arsenal. I've been told how poorly the Gunners are playing, how they got booed off in the last home game, and some fans think Arsène Wenger must go. So, it must have been a misprint when I read that they have not lost for 16 games. Just remember the old saying, be careful what you wish for. If I were an Arsenal fan I would just hope the small element doesn't drive him to say he's had enough.

I fully agree, by the way, with Arsène's views on bad tackles. When I think of the tackle for which Nick Carle was sent off, I couldn't believe Lucas Neill got away with his one in midweek. The only way to stop these challenges is to use DVD evidence to ban players. Ten games. I'd do the same with divers as well.

I think Coventry v Chelsea will be a good match. I don't think Chelsea will rip anyone to pieces the way they play. When they play their quick passing game they are great to watch, but they've not got the width.

In today's other game, Manchester United won't find it straightforward at Fulham. I fancy them for the league but this could be where their quintuple dream ends – it only takes a bad decision to go against them. No, what am I talking about? Those decisions never go against United.



3. Impetigo and square eyes hit our house

My son William has been at home all week having caught impetigo from his big sister Natalie. I now know what it must have been like during the Black Death, we've all been walking around saying, "stay away, stay away".

But it has shown what a good relationship he has with his other sister, Amy. She came home from school the first day smiling her head off. She said to William, "I have been to see your teacher and I have got you loads of homework for the week." I wish you could have seen his face when she dropped it on the table. I could tell when I was watching him playing on the magnetic dartboard, doing a few dribbles on the carpet, using his DS games console and watching television, how much he was missing his schoolwork. He has given up Nintendo Wii for Lent, as we found his eyes were going a bit square.



4. Pakistan attack raises Olympics safety fears

I was as shocked as everybody else about the news from Pakistan. It is bound to make people think twice about where they go to play cricket. Other sports will also be affected. I'm hoping to take William to the 2012 Olympics, but you immediately wonder how secure that will be.

I guess it comes down to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Down here it seems that applies to everyday life – I've been in London 16 months and hardly a week goes by when somebody doesn't get knifed, most of it within 10 to 15 minutes of where I'm living. It's opened my eyes a bit, you even need to think twice about doing simple things with the family.

It's not as bad, though, as when I was playing for Aldershot in the 1970s. It was the time of the Guildford bombing. Aldershot was a military town and I lost count of the times we had to leave a cinema because of a bomb scare.



5. Ashley gives Guus a lesson in English football

Guus Hiddink had an early introduction to the ways of the English footballer when Ashley Cole got himself arrested. It's the first time I've heard of a player being arrested following an official club function. Maybe they had a Russian theme with vodka and caviar all round. It's a reminder that players have to be aware of who they are.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests