The Times today said "Pearson confirmed plans to offload at least 15 players in the January transfer window." The Hull Daily Mail says "the Tigers are looking to shift up to 10 players."
We've got 29 'senior' professionals on the books:
Boaz Myhill, Nathan Doyle, Andy Dawson, Ian Ashbee, Anthony Gardner, Paul McShane, Craig Fagan, Nick Barmby, Jozy Altidore, Geovanni, Stephen Hunt, Matt Duke, Richard Garcia, Bernard Mendy, Péter Halmosi, Kevin Kilbane, Caleb Folan, Steven Mouyokolo, George Boateng, Jimmy Bullard, Dean Marney, Kamel Ghilas, Kamil Zayatte, Daniel Cousin, Tony Warner, Seyi Olofinjana, Ibrahima Sonko, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Bryan Hughes
Plus 11 'young' professionals, which is where this figure of 40 players has come from, although I doubt these 11 wages put together equal one 'senior' pro's wage:
Nicky Featherstone, Will Atkinson, Mark Oxley, Liam Cooper, Jamie Devitt, Steve Gardner, Ryan Kendall, John Leonard, Nathan Hanley, Yann Ekra, Tom Cairney
Pearson said in today's HDM that the club can "operate off a £27m to £30m wage bill." However, City have currently "got a £36m wage bill and you've got £12m sat in the stands every week."
I think a lot will depend on how much City have to supplement the wages of outgoing players, and to a lesser extent the transfer fees received. If we sell the 6 highest earning reserves and their new clubs meet their wage demands, we'll have a squad of 23 and a wage bill we can manage. If we have to meet the players and their buyers half way and make contributions, more players will have to go and we could be seeing those young professionals in the matchday squad as the season goes on.
10 to go?
I imagine the club will be looking to find new clubs for the following:
Nathan Doyle, Craig Fagan, Péter Halmosi, Bernard Mendy, Caleb Folan, George Boateng, Daniel Cousin, Tony Warner, Ibrahima Sonko, Bryan Hughes.
For many of them it will mean dropping down at least one level, where clubs won't match what City are currently paying.
That would leave us with a threadbare squad of 19 senior pro's:
Goalkeepers (2): Boaz Myhill, Matt Duke
Defenders (6): Andy Dawson, Anthony Gardner, Paul McShane, Kevin Kilbane, Steven Mouyokolo, Kamil Zayatte
Midfielders (7): Ian Ashbee, Nick Barmby, Stephen Hunt, Richard Garcia, Jimmy Bullard, Dean Marney, Seyi Olofinjana
Forwards (4): Jozy Altidore, Geovanni, Kamel Ghilas, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
Would that be enough to balance the books, and would it retain enough quality and depth to keep City in the Premier League?
And contrary to Pearson's hopes, if City can't slice enough off the wage bill by moving on those players not in the club's long-term plans, which first team players may have to be sacrificed as more appealing saleable assets?
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