Crawley Town fans forum: 'We have a top 10 budget and this squad has been backed' - the key points

Crawley Town fans at the forum
Crawley Town fans at the forum

Crawley Town held a fans forum tonight (Monday) to answer supporters' questions about the running of the club, the finances and team tactics.

The forum consisted of head coach Gabriele Cioffi, assistant Nathan Rooney, director of football Selim Gaygusuz and consultant to the chairman Erdem Konyar, who brokered the deal for Ziya Eren to buy the club in 2016.

The fans who attended were given a sheet that showed the investment Mr Eren has put into the club.

Here are the key questions and points from the forum.

Q. I have had the same seat at the Broadfield for 21 years. I have seen the good times and the bad times. What I can't understand about this investor is that you say that you want to put money into the club, but how can justify the performance out there based on these figures? These players are not up to the standard. Are you going to invest in a team to keep this club up?

A. Erdem Konyar: Firstly, I don't agree with your opinion on the squad not being good enough. The players who have been recruited have been mainly from the league above. If you ahve written off these players and say they are relegation material that's unfair on these lads. I know we are in a situation which is not good but our budget is a top 10 budget and this squad has been backed. It;s a £1.88million budget and that is a top 10 budget. Unfortunately it hasn't worked out for some players who have come in. We have got 154 games now where we all have to be united, including yourselves. We have to do our best, we know how important it is to maintain our EFL status. We are ambitious and passionate and we will keep on building. Every year the squad value has grown. The investment has grown. The chairman has put in £3.2million of his money into the club and not taken a penny.

Q. If we have a top 10 budget, why are we near the bottom?

A. Erdem: Because it happens. Unfortunately it hasn't worked out but we have to stay united. We have to keep fighting and keep believing. Whether you like it or not, this team has been in the EFL for eight years, so relatively new. You have to remember we have one of the smallest attendances, we have to preserve our status and that is one of the most important things for Crawley - preservation. We have had Ollie Palmer suspended for nine games, other things have gone against us but we have to stay united. We have to go to Northampton and win, then beat Macclesfield and then keep building. You can be critical and we have to take that on the chin but there's a job here and that job's going to get done. We will keep this team up and we will then build for next season.

Q. How many players have we actually bought?

A. Selim: We have spent funds on Dominic Poleon, we spent money on Thomas Verheydt under the previous manager, who also wanted James Collins. Billy Clifford and Ollie Palmer we spent money on. This season we spent on the two strikers we have got. I bought in Enzio Boldewijn. I wanted to bring in Frank Nouble from Colchester and Bruno Andrade from Lincoln to replace Enzio. At the end of the season I believe there will be a good budget for Gabriele Cioffi to bring in the players he wants.

Q. As director of football Selim, do you have ultimate responsibility for transfers?

A. Selim: The most important thing is the manager's style. I love 4-3-2-1, but I am nit the manager. This season was built on 4-3-3 but when the manager goes, you have the players for the style the previous manager wanted. Maybe the new manager is completely different, the window is closed, so what can we do? We have to give what we can to the manager. It's not easy for a manager to come in.

Erdem: It's a collective but when Harry was here, he would have the final say, when Dermot was here he had the final say and the same with Gaby. If the gaffer doesn't wantb a player then there is no point paying for that player. There have been two players who came here when the gaffer has not know - Panutche Camara and Ashley Nathaniel-George - and I personally said these could be good investments for the club and we need a policy to start creating a new angle for getting revenue for the club. We need to keep ourselves sustainable. To keep a competitive budget this is the kind of thing you need to do in football. It's about finding those wildcards. You have to think of the long-term future of the club.

Q. Sounds like you [Erdem Konyar] you have an important role as consultant?

A. Erdem: I have been in football for 10 years and I bought the chairman here and the project to him. I have always tried to help. I believe in finding raw talent, that's what my business is based on and I have brought through £40million players. I am happy I can translate my knowledge and know how to help this club. That's the most important thing to me.

Q. You say we are looking to build and when Mr Eren came in he said he had a 10 year plan. Does he regret saying that?

A. Erdem: I know it doesn't look great at the moment, I get that but in football anything can happen. Due the budget this was the year, with plays like Morais coming, we thought this could be the year. To be honest with you the plan has been working. The squad value has increased every year, as has the injection to the budget. Unfortunately this it has gone south and there are many variables why. We have to find solutions. We have to keep positive and keep the players motivated. We have been close. Last year with Harry Kewell we had a great second half of the season. But then Notts County come in and pay £100,000 for him.

Q. I was desperately sad when the young lad Connolly from Brighton didn't come here?

A. Arron Connolly I was told was out for 10 weeks. There were other strikers as well but I was told they had injuries too. Connolly was one of the strikers I wanted but we can't afford a striker who would be out for 10 weeks. It was a player we were looking at.

Q. Since December we have conceded four times in the last five minutes - what do the coaches put that down to?

A. Cioffi: It's not a case of fitness or intensity. It's about mentality. You have to look at the big picture. In the last game the players were trying to get the equaliser and lost their balance. Our team is one of the highest in the table for running so it's not about fitness. It's mindset.

Q. Why don't we shoot more?

A. Cioffi: We are working on finishing three times a week. In the last six games we had 121 crosses. We have to work on how we attack the box. Our team is producing two or three clear chances. The real problem would be if we weren't creating chances.

More to follow....

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