Neil Warnock insists Cardiff have been rightly prudent on their return to the Premier League and not matched the spending of fellow new boys Fulham and Wolves.
Fulham have become the first newly-promoted Premier League club to spend over £100million, while Wolves have also recruited heavily and broke their transfer record this week by reportedly paying £18m for Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore.
Warnock, speaking ahead of Saturday’s opening game at Bournemouth, told reporters the club had ‘spent about £25m net’ in boosting their squad with six new arrivals this summer.
Neil Warnock has defended Cardiff’s summer spending, which paled in comparison to rivals
The club spent around £41million in total on six new recruits including forward Bobby Reid (R)
CARDIFF’S SUMMER TRANSFER BUSINESS
In: Bobby Reid, Greg Cunningham, Alex Smithies, Josh Murphy, Victor Camarasa and Harry Arter
Out: Lee Camp, Matty Kennedy, Greg Halford, Ben Wilson, Mark Harris and Omar Bogle
Cardiff say the actual figure is £41m, but both parties agree that the club’s financial prudence compared to their newly-promoted rivals has been a sensible course of action.
‘We’re not throwing money away or done things we can’t sustain,’ Warnock said.
‘We’ve got players on loan so if things don’t go right it’s not going to bankrupt the club in 12 months.
‘But at the same time they’ve got something to prove and last year we gave most teams a run.’
Wolves and Fulham spent big on the likes of Adama Traore (L) and Jean Michael Seri (R)
Warnock has strengthened every department of his squad as Cardiff return to the top flight for the first time since the 2013/14 campaign – their solitary season in the Premier League.
Goalkeeper Alex Smithies has come in from QPR, defender Greg Cunningham has joined from Preston and on-loan midfield pair Harry Arter – who is unable to play against his parent club on Saturday – and Victor Camarasa were signed on deadline day.
Josh Murphy, an £11m signing from Norwich, and Bobby Reid add attacking options to an area where Warnock believes Cardiff are still light.
‘I’d have probably bought a top-class striker, but I’m not sure I’d have spent it elsewhere really,’ said Warnock.
‘If I had to spend £15-20million on the two midfield players I brought in I’d probably have done it.’
Jefferson Lerma, who cost Bournemouth a record £25million, was top of Cardiff’s wishlist
Warnock saw Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe at the Premier League managers’ meeting on Wednesday and told him that Colombian midfielder Jefferson Lerma had been top of Cardiff’s transfer targets last season.
Lerma joined Bournemouth from Spanish outfit Levante in a club-record £25m deal on Tuesday.
‘We had a laugh because Lerma was number one on our list at the end of last season,’ Warnock said. ‘We thought we’d get him for six or seven million and they’ve got him for £25million.
‘I said to Eddie “what’s it like to be in that position?” But it shows how far the club has moved on.
‘But I don’t envy anybody like that because money brings you more problems than it’s worth. We’ve just got to stabilise the club and give it a chance.
‘We’ve been written off so many times, but we’ve kept surprising everyone and I think everyone else after the top six is a winnable game.’