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CEO On League One Challenge

18 May 2015

Matt Williams Looks Ahead To 2015/16 Campaign

HERESave money on your season ticket for the 2015/16 season by purchasing before the end of May. See“Personally I think it’s great to have it at Channel Five early in the evening before Match of the Day,” said Matt.

“I forget the number of times I fall asleep watching Match of the Day on a Saturday night and end up having to Sky Plus the Football League Show.

“I’m delighted and hopefully with our promotion into League One and everything that we do here – like the fantastic work Jamie Edwards does in the community – that we’ll have enhanced coverage on there.

“It’s all about promoting the good work we do via our own media channels but also on a local and national basis.”

And as Town say goodbye to League Two, they also bid farewell to the BBC’s Football League Show, which will now be shown on Channel Five, something Matt feels can only benefit the Club more.

“I was having a little day off and tried to not think about football and you pick up your phone and you’ve got nine or ten answer phone messages from agents all across Europe,” said Matt.

“I had a guy this morning from Spain offering us, in his words, some of the best young players in Spain that haven’t currently got a club, which always comes as a surprise.

“I had an agent offering me a striker on loan from a Premier League club and he was trying to sell him as a cross between Danny Welbeck, Didier Drogba and Lionel Messi – with all the will in the world if he is that good would he be coming to Shrewsbury? And that’s no disrespect to us.

“You’ve got to sift through the nonsense that you have to find the right type of player with the right type of experience because we know what it takes to progress in League One and hopefully we can do that.”

And for Matt, that phone never takes a break, even when he tries to take on himself.
“Everything increases at the level you are,” added Matt.

“Instantly people who we’ve got out of contract will seek more than they were 12-months ago and rightly so because their stock is higher than it was 12 months ago.

“It’s a juggling act and you need to look at all the aspects, which is what Micky is fantastic at doing.

“He needs to assemble a group of hungry, like-minded individuals with some assets in there tempered with some quality and experience.

“It really is a great job for him to get people to buy into what Shrewsbury is all about and he’s already started doing that. He’s been meeting players and agents. The phone never stops.”

But, as Matt explains, when you gain promotion, revenue and expenditure rise simultaneously.

Next season, Town can look forward to bigger away attendances at the Greenhous Meadow and with that comes more revenue.

“I was in a meeting and someone asked ‘you must get a big wedge for finishing runners-up’?,” explained Matt.

“We get £10,000 for finishing second. It costs more than that in bonuses to be blunt, but we want to be in League One next year and we want to carry on moving forward.

“We can’t sit here and say we’ve got a chance of getting into the Championship. What we want to do is be competitive and I think Micky’s first target will be to get to fifty points, as it probably is every season and go from there.

“You look at Wigan Athletic, who have come down, and they are still under parachute payments like Wolves were when we were in League One last season.

“You’ve also got cash rich clubs like my old club (Blackpool) who don’t like spending any money but you also have some other big clubs in there, and you’ve got some clubs with some good history and a lot of ex-Premier League clubs.

“They’ll all be keen to have a crack at getting into the Championship because for a club like Shrewsbury to get into the Championship is massive.

“The financial distributions from the Football League are so much different from the Championship down into League One. 80% goes to the Championship, 12% to League One and just 8% to League two.

“Yes we get a slight increase on our central distribution but it’s nowhere near as the jump from League One to the Championship is so it’s something we’ve got to be mindful of.”

Town will be coming up against some big clubs with much bigger cheque books in League One, a cause not really helped by the cash prize they received for finishing second in League Two.

“It’s a massive step up, we know that from where we were two seasons ago,” said Matt.

“But we know what’s required to be competitive. There’s no point in arriving in League One and standing still and not looking to move forward.

“We have to look to move forward and that is in everything that we do, we should always be aiming to make ourselves better.

“I’m always trying to make myself better, my staff better and my club better. So if we can do that then it all bodes well.”

“On the field, recruitment and discussions with agents and players has been ongoing for a couple of weeks now and at this stage of the season you always get agents who perceive Shrewsbury to be cash rich because we’ve just been promoted but that’s not the case.

“We have to temper their expectations but it’s certainly a much more attractive proposition than it was 12 months ago.”

Having sealed promotion back to the third tier of English football at the end of April, Matt insists plans are already in place both on and off the pitch to ensure the Club can consolidate their League One status – but is aware of the step up in class.

Chief executive Matt Williams believes Shrewsbury Town’s previous experience of Sky Bet League 1 football will hold them in good stead ahead of next season.

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