It may be that time of year again, but can we actually afford to sign anyone at the moment, when a return to playing is not in sight? Before looking at new players, we have to decide what to do with the ones we have.
We've apparently got 15 players out of contract, and I'd assume that RL would like to keep the majority, though not all, of these. Can we afford to offer fresh contracts whilst having no idea when these individuals will be called upon to play football again? The furlough helps a little, but falls well short of what the majority will be earning, and there's no guarantee that it will be extended beyond October.
I'm sure RL would love to sign some of this season's loanees too. Some of these would require transfer fees, and would also need to be enticed by wages that were towards the top end of our scale. Is this feasible at this stage?
There's also the question of what the going rate will be. If we want commitment from players now, we may find we are paying more than market forces dictate in a year's time.
I think there will be clubs who let all their "out of contracts" go, and decide to employ only those who they are already committed to, until the picture is clearer. After all there will be a substantial pool of footballers desperate for a job when football does resume.
It's a very difficult balance. With us, as always, it will depend on the depth of Mr Hallett's pocket and his generosity to the club.
As far as I was aware most of last summers signings have a one year extension in their current contract which the club can trigger. So I’d be surprised if any of last summers recruits aren’t here next season. If they aren’t, you’d assume it was the clubs decision.