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.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders