Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton boss Ben Garner: Our hands were tied to a degree – a lot of the playing budget was already spent

Ben Garner has admitted one of the biggest “frustrations” of his managerial career so far has been the inability to pay transfer fees for players.

Charlton Athletic’s summer window saw them sign players that were out of contract with Jesurun Rak-Sakyi brought in on loan from Crystal Palace.

Addicks owner Thomas Sandgaard did have to pay compensation to Swindon Town for Garner and his assistant Scott Marshall. Former Eagles first-team coach Garner has also had a spell in charge of Bristol Rovers.

Sandgaard recently claimed at Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust fans’ forum that the club’s first-team player budget was still around the fourth highest in League One but that he was moving to a scenario where the South London outfit would eventually break even.

Ipswich Town, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday are out in front in terms of their financial outlay.

Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley has responded to Sandgaard’s claims that they are spending more aggressively, claiming that the £500,000 signing of Colby Bishop was covered by the sale of Marcus Harness to Ipswich for £750,000.

“I don’t know where our budget is in the league, we won’t find that out until wages and finances are published,” Garner told the South London Press.

“If you’ve got the full budget – in terms of that it is all available – that’s very different. The thing with the budget coming in here, is that a lot of the budget is already used. So we’ve only had a very small portion of that to work with in this window.

“It’s not just the size of the budget – it’s the availability of it. How much is available out of that budget to work with? We had our hands tied, in certain ways, this window with how much was available within that budget.

“But generally speaking across the leagues, the bigger the budget then the better you should do. The teams with the biggest transfer budgets and the highest wages generally are the teams which finish at the top end of their division, and likewise the other way around – those with the smallest budgets and smallest transfer spends finish down the bottom end of the table.”

Charlton sold Josh Davison to AFC Wimbledon. The Dons have recently confirmed the striker is their record signing and is believed to have cost in the region of £160,000. Charlton also had a sell-on when Nick Pope moved from Burnley to Newcastle United.

“Probably the one frustration in my managerial career so far is that I’ve never had any money to spend,” said Garner. “I’d love to do that, because if I’m given that opportunity I could use it very well – really strengthen teams and be competitive.

“Each club I’ve been at so far has been the opposite – we’re making profits in transfer fees and it’s solely been training and coaching on the ground that is improving teams and players.”


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