Until now, Palace fans have been in the dark over Bakary Sako’s future but following the Eagles 2-2 draw with Helsingør yesterday evening, Roy Hodgson gave an update on the Mali international’s immediate future.
Having reached the end of his contract in SE25, Bakary was offered fresh terms by those behind the scenes at Selhurst but has turned them down, leaving us in a bit of a quandary as to how we look to source a replacement, given the well documented lack of funds for new signings.
Sadly, with both Cabaye and Sako deciding to leave following the expiration of their contracts, Palace have been left with the unenviable task of replacing them, despite receiving no financial compensation for their departure. When you also consider that Ruben Loftus-Cheek, a key cog in the Eagles’ first-team set-up last term has returned to Chelsea following the conclusion of his season-long loan, it looks as though we’re facing a real uphill battle in the transfer market between now and Deadline Day.
Whilst the owners have plenty of money at their disposal, (Josh Harris alone is worth in excess of $3 billion) Financial Fair Play regulations have put a stop to clubs spending beyond their means, leaving us in something of a quandary when it comes to finding fresh faces to fit into the squad. The last few years have seen us spend big on the likes of Cabaye, Benteke and Sakho to name just a few, whilst Yannick Bolasie’s transfer to Everton has really been the only sizeable sale we’ve made since promotion in 2013.
With little in the way of commercial or corporate revenue compared to many of our Premier League rivals, the simple mathematics of the situation dictate that we have reached something of a crossroads but with players moving on for nothing, managing to adequately replace them is going to be rather tricky without any player sales.
We could of course flaunt the laws and see where it takes us, after all, Bournemouth did just that and have been hit with a puny £4 million fine but knowing our luck, we’ll be the first team to have points deducted for it if we follow the same path.
A year ago, the sight of Sako moving on wouldn’t have bothered me in the slightest but after his purple patch in front of goal last season, this feels like a real low blow in a summer that has given Palace fans little in the way of good news so far.