The three areas likely to dominate Tony Mowbray’s talks with owners Venky’s


With a benefactor model, Rovers remain reliant on funding from Venky’s and finance will form the biggest part of the


Last summer’s budget was set with a ‘flex’ option which allowed Rovers to adjust it should they wish to supplement a wage increase with a drop in transfer fees, or vice versa.

Ben Brereton was the biggest outlay in 2018 of around £6m, while Adam Armstrong arrived from Newcastle United for around £1.7m. Joe Rothwell came in from Oxford to take the overall spend to around £8m, with a similar number expected this time around.

Money made available in January however, went unspent, with Harry Chapman the sole addition and Mowbray has stressed that he won’t splash the cash just for the sake of it.

While more experience will be sought after, that will come at an increased cost, and with Rovers needing to box clever in their continued bid to balance the books, that is likely to have accelerated the boss’ desire to explore the European market more.


Mowbray is fully aware that his, and the owners’ ambition, and the finances made available, run hand-in-hand. While finance is likely to be key to any possible promotion push, there is no quick fix.

Mowbray was keen to give his promotion-winners a fair crack of the whip this season and he has remained loyal for the most part.

However, there is a growing sense that group have taken Rovers as far as they can, and a fresh impetus, in terms of new personnel, is needed to help take them forward.

A 15th-placed finish was a good season post-promotion, but Rovers must now look to build and make the most of that, and the boss will certainly be setting his sights higher next term.

However, the caveat to that is losses of £17m for the last financial year, making FFP firmly to the forefront of talks.

Rovers’ wage bill is firmly mid-table in the Championship, yet their wage to turnover ratio remains eye-wateringly high.

There have no big money departures since Shane Duffy and Grant Hanley in 2016, while no sign of any huge increase in other revenues.

Mowbray won’t want to lose prize-assets such as Bradley Dack and Darragh Lenihan this summer, and with two years left to run on their respective deals, Rovers could well be able to resist any advances this summer, but must show signs of progress to their star duo so they don’t get itchy feet.


‘Recruitment is the currency of a football club’ is a well-worn Mowbray phrase. But while last summer’s focused on adding depth to the squad, this year it is likely to focus more on ready-made players to improve the first-team.

So important was his recruitment vision, Mowbray travelled to Switzerland earlier this year to meet with Balaji Rao who gave the green-light to his plans.

With that financial backing, Rovers have stepped up their scouting of the European markets and taken trips to the continent to study players first hand.

Mowbray sees quality, and value for money, in the European market, given the success of Huddersfield and Norwich, and to a lesser extent Brentford, in recent years.

The owners will want to see some return on that investment however, which is why European signings are expected, although not wholesale.

Mowbray is confident the outlay will be repaid in time, but much like the £3m a year Academy spend, is something the owners are likely to monitor closely.