Jose Gomes has admitted that it could be a difficult summer for Reading in the transfer market, with the club currently unable to buy any players due to the need to comply with financial fair play regulations.
Speaking to Portuguese outlet Maisfutebol, the Royals boss said:
“I am concentrating on the formation of the Reading squad, which at this moment is complicated due to the embargo. I hope they resolve within a week, ten days, to be able to build a squad that allows me to fight for bigger things. This is also the dream of the owner of Reading, get to the Premier League.
“If they settle the fair play issue in time and things get resolved to the point where we can prepare our squad so that we can fight for these places, I will do it myself. Right now we can not talk about it because I can not hire anyone. Only a free player who pays to train. I can not go get any, not on loan.
There is an attempt to balance things financially with financial fair play. We ourselves are currently in an embargo of inscriptions. Even if the owner wants - and has financial power - the Federation does not allow money to be injected into the club so that things are really balanced.
“We have to sell, we have to make money, and we have to look with some financial engineering way to let the owner help too.”
First things first, let’s deal with that worrying word ‘embargo’. It doesn’t seem as though the club has been placed under an official embargo by the FA or EFL, but rather the hierarchy at the club (Nigel Howe et al) have decided internally to not make any transfers until the club’s financial position is a little better. Although frustrating, this is a sensible move and avoids the risk of receiving a points deduction six months down the line.
It’s not as if this self-imposed embargo is stopping Reading from doing anything though. ‘Financial engineering’, as Gomes puts it, is going on, which presumably means trying to offload those players who are on higher wages to create funds for new signings. In terms of new signings, the free agent market is currently being looked in to, with one unnamed player seemingly on trial at the club - maybe with the hope of eventually agreeing a deal.
Among other things in the interview, Gomes also commented on the recent rumour linking him to a Premier League job:
“I saw, they sent me the news. Officially there was no approach. But if you would have to talk to the people of Reading and the people of Reading would agree. If they were not, regardless of the club’s name, even if they were in the Premier League, I would not quit Reading if they were not going to say, ‘If it’s good for you, it’s because we’ve already reached an agreement.’
“As with Reading’s approach, I immediately spoke to the president of Rio Ave and told him that if he told me that no, the answer would be no. It has nothing to do with money. This is how I am in life. It would be ungrateful of me not to acknowledge the opportunity given to me.”
As with much of what Gomes says to the media, this is all carefully worded to make sure it doesn’t come back to bite him. He has freely admitted to other outlets and elsewhere in the Maisfutebol interview that he has a desire to manager at the highest level, but is clear he would not leave Reading if the owners didn’t want him to.
This is, as Gomes admits, almost identical to the scenario at Rio Ave last December, when he claimed he would not leave the club unless given permission and that it would be difficult to leave such a loyal fanbase. Two days later, he was unveiled as Reading’s new boss. Now, I’m not saying the 48-year-old is in the process of packing his bags and leaving Berkshire, there’s yet to be an official approach, but should the financial constraints continue and a better offer comes along...
You can read the full three-part interview with Gomes here, including how he was approached to move to Berkshire, his response to the support of the fans and his ambitions for the future. The above quotes have been translated through Google translate, so should be taken with a pinch of salt!