So, news broke recently in terms of reports from Germany that Julian Borner could be leaving Sheffield Wednesday this summer, with Hannover 96, who play in the second tier of German football, the suggested interested party. According to some elements of the media, it’s a case of the centre half leaving Hillsborough for free and us saving on his wages.
There is no doubt that Sheffield Wednesday are attempting to cut costs this summer, as are many clubs, but my focus, and I’m sure yours, is on us. There is a desire to bring the wage ceiling down, restructuring this area to make it more manageable and sensible, ahead of a big recruitment drive and an attempt at getting back into the Championship at the first time of asking.
So you can see why it makes sense and sounds like a good idea that Wednesday could shed another wage off the total. For years, you could say there has been a desire for the club to do their transfer business smarter. And this applies to outgoings as much as incomings. Reducing costs is the aim of the game in many respects, but we have just let the likes of Keiren Westwood, Tom Lees, Adam Reach, et al., leave. So we are cutting our cloth accordingly.
On balance, what we need as a club is revenue, and to bring money into the building. Wednesday owe cash to players and fans, and cutting costs will not solve even a small percentage of this. But bringing money in can help. And that’s why I believe that the club will take a stance of wanting to get a fee for Borner, be it from Hannover 96 or another team this summer.
Of course, I’m not saying we should make silly demands, not at all. And I know some fans will make comments saying Borner’s crap, he’s not worth anything, etc. And, it’s fair to say a player is only worth what another club will pay. But the German has a value, even with a year left on his deal. Personally, I don’t know how much he’s worth, especially after a subpar 2020/21 campaign ending in relegation. According to Transfermarkt, the former Arminia Bielefeld man has a value of around £1 million, but I’d suggest less.
Now, in Wednesday’s position in the third tier of English football, with the current financial difficulties facing us and our desire to cut costs, you will get teams who come in, lowball us, and try and take the Michael. It’s natural. But as I said, we must be smarter, and we must control the situations that we can control. And this is one. It isn’t a case of us accepting anything in terms of a fee, but £10k could help with the refunds, for example. If we got £50k, £100k, or more, think of how useful it could be to a club lacking cash flow and revenue.
If a club wants a player, such as Hannover’s apparent desire to sign Borner, it’s about finding a deal that works for everyone. A small fee to them could be more significant to us. And, if the 30-year-old doesn’t move on, I believe he’s on a reasonable wage for the next 12 months. While he struggled for large parts of last season, you’d expect he is more than capable of performing in League One, and it’d be one less body to recruit this summer.