Gateshead have confirmed the club is currently under a transfer embargo.
Operations Director Michael Williams has answered several questions, clarifying the club’s current standing in light of the ongoing speculation brought about by various newspaper articles and social media posts.
Is the club under a transfer embargo?
Why was this information not communicated to the fans sooner?
We are proud members of the Vanarama National League and did not want to comment on a confidential and ongoing issue between ourselves and the league as it could potentially affect our working relationship.
Unfortunately, that confidential information found its way into one of our local newspapers. After consulting and taking professional advice on the matter, we now feel it is a necessary time to provide what further information we can to our fans.
To your understanding, what is the reason behind the embargo?
Being new, foreign based owners of the club, the National League has understandably scrutinized over our spending this season, especially as the budget submitted by the club’s previous owners was the lowest in the league despite the club remaining a full-time outfit.
While the club’s playing budget is still well below average for the National League, it has surpassed the initial budget submitted in the summer and is very high in comparison to our income.
Our income is roughly three times less than the league average and is even below average compared to sides in the National League North.
Because of this, the National League intervened by imposing a transfer embargo on the club which prevents us from increasing our playing budget further by signing additional players at this moment in time.
The league correctly imposes these sanctions to look after its clubs and encourage sides to spend within their means or at least have a clear budget structure planned and outlined from the beginning of the season.
Is this something that was planned for?
Our intention was always to strengthen the side with the addition of new players.
Since taking over, we have brought in seven further players as well as improved Steve Watson’s contract which has significantly increased our wage expenditure.
We were aware that sanctions such as a transfer embargo could always be a possibility due to the reasons listed above that meant we would go over the initial budget submitted in the summer.
We believe sanctions such as this are quite common, though rarely get made public.
As a club, we are confident that this embargo will not have any negative impact on the team or the season as a whole.
What is ‘Gateshead FC Academy Limited’ as shown on the Companies House?
This has absolutely nothing to do with Gateshead Football Club.
This is something that was set-up without our knowledge so we simply cannot provide any further comment on the matter.
We do intend to launch our own academy in the near future but that will be very much part of Gateshead FC.
We will run the Academy in conjunction with Gateshead College, following the Athletic Bilbao ethos as previously discussed as we look to unearth, nurture and develop young, hungry talent from the region in order to prepare them for our first team.
Will Steve Watson have to cut his squad?
We have players contracted until the end of the season and any outgoings regarding our own players will be down to the manager. Obviously, we also have loan players whose future is ultimately out of our hands, as has always been the case.
In the event the club wants to sign a new player, we will simply need to seek approval from the National League.
What is the plan for the rest of the season?
We are now approaching the stage where we’ll be looking to negotiate new, longer term contracts with our existing players to tie them down for next season.
We believe it’s important to have a strong foundation in place so that the club is ready to start the 2019/2020 campaign on the front foot.
Steve, Micky and the players have done a fantastic job so far this season and we’re confident they can carry on the good work and we will continue to do whatever we can to help them.
We hope our fans will continue to support the club and enjoy what could prove to be a very memorable season for this football club.