Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Money Counts, but It Doesn't Talk

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Money Counts, but It Doesn't Talk

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Brown

It was largely the big spenders of Division Two who were successful last season and the pattern looks set to continue this time around. The one notable exception was Queens Park Rangers, who came out of administration and worked their way to the play-off final on a non-existent transfer budget.

Manager Ian Holloway worked wonders at Loftus Road, but defeat to the money men of Cardiff left Rangers with an uncertain future.

Holloway ended the season with only 14 players and, although he has signed winger Gareth Ainsworth, repeating their fourth-place finish could be a tall order unless new investors are found.

Sheffield Wednesday are another club that have had severe financial problems in recent years and relegation to Division Two only compounded the situation.

But former Wednesday favourite Chris Turner could be the man to turn around the club's fortunes, despite the tight budget, and the massive fan base at Hillsborough will be a big advantage for the Owls.

Bristol City missed out in the play-offs after defeat to Cardiff in the semi-finals but will be strong candidates to go up despite the sale of goalscoring midfielder Scott Murray to Reading.

Danny Wilson's men lifted the LDV Vans Trophy at the Millennium Stadium and will hope to add the Division Two championship trophy to their cabinet this season.

Luton have spent the summer in turmoil following the controversial sacking of Joe Kinnear and the appointment of Mike Newell as manager after a telephone poll.

Fans are furious at the way the club is being run and the off-field problems are sure to seriously dent any hopes of success on the pitch.

Oldham's future has also been in doubt and with several key players leaving Boundary Park, it would be an amazing achievement if Iain Dowie can repeat last season's play-off place.

Tranmere were the form team of the last few weeks of the 2002-03 season, missing out on the play-offs by just one point after a 15-game unbeaten run, and look set to challenge again. …

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