Owner Marcus Evans is standing firm. He will not allow Flynn Downes or Luke Woolfenden to leave the club at knockdown prices, and so say all of us! They have been improving rapidly as a pair, and have grown up at the club. It would be insane to let them go cheaply and although we know that every player has a price, they are not the sort of prices that are being bandied around at the moment.
It would be rather paradoxical to sell cheap if Evans wants to adhere to his five-point plan. If you want a reminder of his thinking way back in 2017, when he instigated it in a 2,000-word self-penned proclamation in the Town programme, here is what he told us.
- To provide a significant ongoing financial commitment to the club’s academy; enabling a steady flow of players into the first-team.
- To provide a sustainable and competitive squad salary budget.
- To make annual investment funds available to purchase players in the early stages of their career and to assist in their development.
- To maintain a stable management and coaching team.
- To develop a squad that can play attractive and exciting football.
Now, it could be argued that there is no reference here to holding on to your best young talent but it is inferred in many of the points he outlines. He is looking for continuity across the board, and this is the reason why he offered Paul Lambert a new five-year contract.
I admire Evans for his stickability in the face of a massive financial downturn. He appears to be resolute in his belief that the only way to improve as a club, is through perseverance and the pursuit of stable goals. Keeping Downes and Wolfenden could be crucial is this regard. If they go, then they have to leave for the right amount, and let us hope that the hefty price tag on their heads might just dissuade the big fish from sniffing around too long.