Two things which happen in football often bring a huge rebuild, relegation and missing out on promotion. But this year both could be much more costly.
When Cardiff failed to get past Fulham, in the play off semi finals this week, despite giving it their all, the final whistle brought more than just the end of their campaign, realistically it called time on several bluebirds stays in South Wales.
Financial fair play will feature heavily on most teams agendas next season, the need to keep within the boundaries or face the punishment holds a bigger risk, now the EFL are keener to impose their deductions, ask Wigan, Bolton and now Sheffield Wednesday what failure to comply feels like, and although Neil Harris’ has a team which almost made it to the promised land, missing out means the merciless talent scouts will be willing to help Harris balance the books.
The trouble with high profile failure is you automatically shop window your assets, and for Cardiff, losing on TV when the nation watches (the only game on that night) everyone will have seen what Cardiff have, but where will the attention be focused?
Neil Etheridge and Alex Smithies
Not too many teams can brag two top class keepers, and realistically many teams will be keen to explore their options, naturally the three teams falling into the league have money to spend, and relegated ‘keepers often move on, faith in their abilities lost somewhat, Etheridge has just one year left on his deal too, which means he could well wave goodbye to Wales.
Just one season at Cardiff is all Curtis has needed to catch the eye of many admirers, although even at 27, Nelson is the young part of the Bluebirds back line, with Bamba, 35 and Flint, 31, being the two senior defenders in the squad, Nelson however could well be courted to fill the vacancies in Bournemouths defence, or even Norwich, both clubs will be looking to bolster their back line.
Joe Ralls, Josh Murphy and Junior Hoilett
Ralls is an easy spot, a talented midfielder, and one mentioned back in January as a potential premier league mover, his confidence in moving the play could fit well in the promoted teams, or even which-ever team does not win at Wembley in a few days.
Murphy, one of the Wing based brothers who promised so much when fledglings at Norwich, is a very saleable asset, although at 25, the “potential” often attached to him and his sibling is in the rear-view mirror, 25 is by no means “past it” in fact as a wide man, arguably his best years are on the horizon. Unlike Junior Hoilett, a player who has had brushes with top flight football, at 30, Junior is surely worth one last roll of the dice, his marauding style makes Hoilett very hard to control, or mark for that matter, and Hoilett is definitely ambitious enough to want one more bite of the Premier League Cherry.
Callum Patterson, Danny Ward and Isaac Vassell
Ward is out of contract, and likely to move on, Whilst Vassell, a new arrival at Cardiff although not having set the world alight, is an easy sell, however it would mean his CV having three moves in quick succession, Luton-Birmingham-Cardiff as a career path is an obvious progression, but having not broken records at the latter two, Vassell needs a purple patch like no other. Callum Patterson however would be a blow to the squad, 95 appearances, albeit mainly in midfield, Patterson has become a stalwart in the team, capable to play in many positions, from Right-Back to striker, the utility player is exactly the kind of signing many teams will look for, the ability to play all over the pitch making Patterson a very handy asset in any team looking to function on smaller squad numbers.
By no means will Cardiff have to sell players, but with the unpredictable future of football, many clubs will be trimming, and we expect Cardiff to be one