BLACKBURN Rovers managing director Derek Shaw has confirmed the club will look to boost its squad in the January transfer window.

Rovers are one of three Championship clubs who will be prevented from paying fees for new players until the summer at least after failing Financial Fair Play.


But the rules of the ‘FFP embargo’ will not stop the Ewood Park outfit from making free transfers and loan signings provided their squad contains fewer than 24 ‘established’ players and provided they do not pay each new arrival more than £600,000 a year.

‘Established’ players are those aged 21 or above on June 30, 2014 who have made at least five first-team starts for their current clubs.

It is understood Rovers currently have 22 ‘established’ players.

That number will rise to 23 on January 1 when Bradley Orr officially returns from his year-long loan at FC Toronto.

And that number could rise again if Fleetwood Town opt against renewing Josh Morris’ loan and if Derby County activate a break clause in Leon Best’s season-long deal.

But that number will come down if Jason Steele, Alex Baptiste or Ryan Tunnicliffe, who are on season-long loans from Middlesbrough, Bolton Wanderers and Fulham respectively, are recalled by their parent clubs next month.

Shaw said: “We can strengthen to a certain extent.

“A little bit of that will be with what happens with the loan players.

“But it certainly doesn’t mean we won’t be bringing in some cover.

“The nucleus of the side is very good and you can’t have expensive transfers for every single position.

“We’re quite happy with what we’ve got, what we’ve got has got us to just under the play-offs, and two weeks ago we were in the play-offs, so we think we’ve got a good chance.”

Should Rovers reach the maximum 24 ‘established’ players they would be able to trade in a one in one out basis.

The club’s finance director, Mike Cheston, said: “It’s a misnomer to call it a transfer embargo because we’ve still got room to move.

“The embargo is a restriction. It means we can’t incur costs to buy players but you can get good loan deals, you can get out-of-contract players that don’t cost anything, and the salary restriction we can certainly work within.

“We still have the flexibility to trade and improve the squad.”

Rovers will be placed under the embargo from January 1 after posting losses of more than £8m for last season.

The embargo will be lifted in the summer if they prove to the Football League they are working toward the maximum permitted loss of £6m for the current 2014-15 campaign.

But if Rovers were to remain in the Championship for the 2015-16 season then they would be permitted to lose up £13m after the original Financial Fair Play rules, which were decided when the club was still playing in the Premier League, were changed last month.

Shaw, who confirmed the embargo does not prevent clubs from offering new contracts to existing players, said: “Our owners support the club very, very strongly but that’s what the league is trying to change.

“They want the clubs to stand on their own two feet. That’s very difficult for a club like Blackburn with the gates we get – to be competitive and to get promoted.

“But it’s certainly been done and Bournemouth and Brentford are doing it, so it can be done.

“We have got a very, very, good squad and as soon as they can the owners will be supporting the squad with fresh signings.”

The other Championship clubs to be hit with a ‘FFP embargo’ are Leeds United and Nottingham Forest.

Shaw is surprised there are not more.

He said: “I am a little surprised.

“The statement from the Football League left it open to suggest there may be more clubs to come, which does surprise me because if there are more clubs to come in the January window it would have been more pleasing if they had all been announced at once.”