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Monday, August 02, 2010

League One 2010/11: Preview

He's our financial expert that knows when to buy and when to sell.

We call him Enron Turlman, because that's his name, and when we wanted someone to cast his eye over the fortunes of this season's Football League clubs, we gave him a call.

Here's his assessment of this year's League One. Who look like making a profit and who are just going to be regularly turned over?

Bournemouth (BOU)

Last season: 2nd in League Two

Manager: Eddie Howe

Signings: Harry Arter, Steve Lovell, Mitchell Nelson, Marc Pugh, Stephen Purches, Michael Symes, Rhoys Wiggins.

Enron's view: "These boys have been playing with fire over the last few years and they certainly had their fingers singed. However, they posted some good figures last term, and it looks like they're turning it around.

"Some solid brokers mean they should have an uneventful year, but I'd advise them not to get their dicks out too much. Keep your head down and your nose clean. These lads need to establish themselves again."

Brentford (BRE)

Last season: 9th in League One

Manager: Andy Scott

Signings: Toumani Diagouraga, Nicky Forster, Kirk Hudson, Richard Lee, David McCracken, Simon Royce, Michael Spillane, Craig Woodman.

Enron's view: "Another day, another dollar. Nothing great has come out of this company for a while but, at the same time, they know they make enough deals to keep them sitting in a comfortable position.

"Unfortunately, they don't have the pull to be able to lure any top quality brokers to their table, so expect this firm to keep attending low-budget strip joints."

Brighton & Hove Albion (BHA)

Last season: 13th in League One

Manager: Gus Poyet

Signings: Agustin Battipiedi, Christian Baz, Gordon Greer, Radostin Kishishev, Matt Sparrow.

Enron's view:
"Are these chaps still working from the road? Or have they got an office now? I'm sorry, but I refuse to acknowledge them as a real company until they set up an office. They're not a bloody Avon lady.

"They've got some good traders on their books, and they should be looking up rather than over their shoulder. It'll probably be a year of mediocrity, but if they can put a good couple of quarters together then they might fancy a crack at the big time."

Bristol Rovers (BRR)

Last season: 11th in League One

Manager: Paul Trollope

Signings: Will Hoskins, Harry Pell, Gary Swayer.

Enron's view: "Pirates are thieves. Crooks. Scoundrels of the sea. They show no mercy and are driven by greed. They have hunger for more. A hunger that is never satisfied.

"BRR is not a company that is hungry. They stink of acceptance. They've acknowledged that another year like the last one is successful. They are building a firm from the ground up.

"It's slow and horrible to watch. They need a visionary to lead the charge from averageness to gobsmackingly adventurous."

Carlisle United (CSL)

Last season: 14th in League One

Manager: Greg Abbott

Signings: James Berrett, Craig Curran, Sean McDaid, Jason Price, Frank Simek, Francois Zoko.

Enron's view: "This farm-based company has been under the radar for the past couple of years. Not that their financial reports have been distinctly forgettable.

"It's because I didn't think they were a real company until a fortnight ago when I had to order a few bags of manure. I had a score to settle with Piers Morgan, you see.

"They've ticked along with some decent profits and some overachieving brokers, so I reckon they'll have another year being behind the main contenders and ahead of the half-brained stragglers."

Charlton Athletic (CHN)

Last season: 4th in League One

Manager: Phil Parkinson

Signings: Pawel Abbott, Gary Doherty, Simon Francis, Johnnie Jackson, Alan McCormack, Kyel Reid.

Enron's view: "Hmm. These were a bit of a disappointment last year. They looked good in the first quarter, and then the profits just started to disappear. They picked it back up in the fourth quarter, but just missed out on their targets.

"Was it a lack of luck? You're telling me the difference between a bum and a businessman is luck? That's crap. These guys didn't run out of luck. They ran out of ideas and it cost them.

"They've learned though, and they should be sniffing the asses of the top guys again this year."

Colchester United (CLR)

Last season: 8th in League One

Manager: John Ward

Signings: Andy Bond, Ben Coker, Lloyd James.

Enron's view: "A new CEO normally indicates an aim to move forwards - whether it be instantly or in the future. CLR have placed their trust in John Ward to take the company forward.

"When will they be moving forward? Probably not this year. A good year last year was more than expected but some big traders have left and their replacements represent a move to stabilise the firm.

"They'll post some decent figures. Nothing outstanding, but I reckon the shareholders won't be too upset raking in some easy and reliable profit."

Dagenham & Redbridge (D&R)

Last season: 7th in League Two

Manager: John Still

Signings: Gareth Gwillim, Duran Reynolds,
Stuart Lewis, Alex Osborn, Damian Scannell, Gavin Tomlin, Luke Wilkinson.

Enron's view: "These turkeys are at it again. Trying to upset the rhythm of the trading pit. They don't belong here, and I know they'll soon drop back into the lower level trading circles by the end of the year.

"They know they overachieved last term, and they'll be hoping to mix it with the 'big' boys long enough to establish themselves as a realistic trader. The reality is they'll probably drop back into the hole they managed to drag themselves out of."

Exeter City (EXE)

Last season: 18th in League One

Manager: Paul Tisdale

Signings: John O'Flynn, Jake Thomson.

Enron's view: "Money makes the world go round and these guys are rolling in it. What? They're not? When did that happen? You say they've never had money? Oh well, that changes everything.

"Remarkable figures last year, and these guys are metaphorically hung like a donkey who has taken the types of pills that are advertised via e-mail.

"They have been slapping it in the face of their rivals for the better part of two years now and they'll be aiming to keep the python at this level for another year at least."

Hartlepool United (HPL)

Last season: 20th in League One

Manager: Chris Turner

Signings: Andy Rafferty

Enron's view: "Any company that sets up in a town renowned for thinking monkeys are French spies is clearly missing half a brain.

"Further proof is when they nearly got sent into the lower echelons of trading all because they were employing people who don't have a work permit. It's moronic.

"They escaped last year and will be hoping to do so again this term. Hopefully the HR bods can sort out the correct paperwork this time."

Huddersfield Town (HDF)

Last season: 6th in League One

Manager: Lee Clark

Signings: Scott Arfield, Ian Bennett, Joey Gudjonsson, Jamie McCombe, Gary Naysmith.

Enron's view: "I've never been to Yorkshire. Why would I? They wear three stripe not pin-stripe. Regardless of this, HDF are pulling out all the stops to move up a level.

"They have brought in some quality traders and they are prepared to become the devil's play-thing in order to leapfrog competition. They know this region of trading better than most, and I fancy them to make a decent go of it."

Leyton Orient (LYO)

Last season: 17th in League One

Manager: Russell Slade

Signings: Aaron Brown, Lee Butcher, Dean Cox, Stephen Dawson, Terrell Forbes, Elliot Omozusi, George Porter, Alex Revell, Matthew Spring.

Enron's view: "I did a bit of SWOT analysis on these boys last year. It wasn't a pleasant read. It was almost as bad as when I read 'The Handmaid's Tale'.

"The numbers don't add up for these schmucks. They are sweating their asses big time, and the time will come when there isn't any moisture in them. Their brokers are spent and look like they're running on empty.

"I offered one of them a black coffee the other day and he just took it. If it were me, I'd have been trying to trade it for a Venti Peppermint Java Chip Frappuchinno."

Milton Keynes Dons (MKD)

Last season: 12th in League One

Manager: Karl Robinson

Signings: Lewis Guy, Dietmar Hamann, Gary Mackenzie, David Martin.

Enron's view: "Not long ago these boys were talking about the future. A future which involved Armani suits and bowls full of caviar and whale's sperm. They dreamed of money and the FTSE 100.

"Now they can't even keep a substandard CEO on board because he's claiming his hands are being tied by the majority shareholders.

"Well, the new CEO will have a tough job to placate the board and he'll probably have to limit the company's dreams to establishing itself as a solid and reliable firm."

Notts County (NTC)

Last season: 1st in League Two

Manager: Craig Short

Signings: Rob Burch, Ben Burgess, Liam Chilvers, David Grof, Krystian Pearce, Kevin Smith, John Spicer.

Enron's view: "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. However, being greedy in a world full of empty promises is going to leave you feeling hungry. They've had their ups and downs and who knows what is 'round the corner.

"One minute they'll be making the deal of the century, and the next they'll be in court trying to get one of their traders off for murder. It's a company that I'd love to work for. The new CEO has a real job on his hands."

Oldham Athletic (ODM)

Last season: 16th in League One

Manager: Paul Dickov

Signings: Ritchie Jones, Dean Kelly, Rod McDonald.

Enron's view: "I don't have too much visibility on the new CEO at ODM, but I've been assured that is will be an exciting financial year for this company.

"Who knows where it's going. If everything is synergetic, then they could be pushing towards the top end of this year's figures. They don't look like they have the leverage to make these optimistic numbers a viable option though.

"They'll either be sipping Moet & Chandon with me at The Ivy or they'll be wiping sick from their shoes at Burger King."

Peterborough United (PTB)

Last season: 24th in Championship

Manager: Gary Johnson

Signings: Arron Davies, Dave Hibbert, Kelvin Langmead, Mark Little, Grant McCann, James Wesolowski.

Enron's view: "Spunking money on young upcoming traders? It's enough to make you sick. You need to invest in a mix of wise heads and fresh meat. Just focusing on one never works. You need to mix it. Get amongst it.

"They had a horrible financial year last term and they've been through a shedload of CEOs. They are looking steady now though, and I reckon they'll make a push."

Plymouth Argyle (PYA)

Last season: 23rd in Championship

Manager: Peter Reid

Signings: Bondz N'Gala, Rory Patterson, Anton Peterlin.

Enron's view: "Last year these guys were walking around blind and without a cane. They were staring into the abyss and, with nothing staring back, the firm found character.

"It's character in the shape of a new CEO, and he'll be looking to get these brokers off their hands and into the beds of deal-makers. The time for making friends is gone. If they need a friend, buy a dog.

"These boys need to shift some goods and fast. They've got it in them and, if they do it right, they'll stand a good chance of getting back to where they once were."

Rochdale (RDA)

Last season: 3rd in League Two

Manager: Keith Hill

Signings: Jean Louis Akpa-Akpro, Brian Barry-Murphy,
Matt Done, Anthony Elding, Alan Goodall, Jack Redshaw, Joe Widdowson.

Enron's view: "They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. True. However, if you put him in a pin-stripe suit and tell him to buy and sell, you might make a bit of money from him before he dies.

"RDA was a name that symbolised averageness. Last year they took risks and it paid off. They're not at the top, but they're no longer eating Spam fritters.

"Can they stay in this trading tier? You bet your ass they can. They've got balls the size of fists, and no-one wants to be punched by a fisty bollock."

Sheffield Wednesday (SHW)

Last season: 22nd in Championship

Manager: Alan Irvine

Signings: Giles Coke, Paul Heffernan, Clinton Morrison, Chris Sedgwick, Gary Teale.

Enron's view: "When you're company is leaking money, what do you do? Try and cover the gaps temporarily? It's an option, but not the one a shark would take.

"Sharks don't give a crap about leaks. It's part of the game. You throw money into it until the leak fixes itself. These guys have leaks everywhere and they're not fixing them.

"Admittedly, they're not throwing money into the firm, but I like their guts for standing by and waiting for the problem to fix itself.

"They need to bounce back for their bold move to work though, else they'll be serving me an Iced Vanilla Latte in the morning."

Southampton (STN)

Last season: 7th in League One

Manager: Alan Pardew

Signings: Danny Butterfield, Ryan Dickson, Frazer Richardson.

Enron's view: "I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-Tsu's Art of War and you'll see that every battle is won before it's ever fought.

"These guys were losing money hand over fist last year, but now they're on the up again.

"Progress is befitting of a company that places its trust in a man with a proven track record. Quality brokers were brought in and the results will speak for themselves."

Swindon Town (SWT)

Last season: 5th in League One

Manager: Danny Wilson

Signings: Paul Caddis, Simon Ferry, David Prutton.

Enron's view: "Last year was an accountant's wet dream. They punched some big numbers in and sealed some massive deals. Kudos on that. However, it means jack if they can't follow it up.

"Can they follow? Definitely. They've got some stars in their office and they'll push hard in every quarter. I'd invest now and watch the stock rise to unimanginable heights.

"I must warn you though, I'm typing this with a hooker under my desk, so I might not be too accurate. SWT isn't the only stock that is rising."

Tranmere Rovers (TRN)

Last season: 19th in League One

Manager: Les Parry

Signings: Joss Labadie, Enoch Showunmi, Nick Wood.

Enron's view: "Last year was almost a nightmare. They hired a totally inept CEO. The guy didn't know what he was doing. He probably thought he was taking charge of a failing nightclub in Goole.

"He went, and the guy they brought in just keep them in the black. They'll be looking to move forwards and not back, now.

"They've got the traders to make some decent money, but a year of posting respectable profits is on the agenda, not dreaming of a brighter future."

Walsall (WLL)

Last season: 10th in League One

Manager: Chris Hutchings

Signings: David Bevan, Jonny Brain, Oliver Lancashire, Aaron Lescott, Paul Marshall.

Enron's view: "I neither like or dislike this firm, because it's distinctly neutral. What make a man turn neutral? Lust for hold? Power? Or were they just born with a heart full of neutrality? It's sickening.

"I don't know where I stand with them. At least with crooks you know they're evil.

"This company should have another solid season, but if they ever want to register in my world then they need to stick their colours to the mast of good or evil.
The evil mast promises more success."

Yeovil Town (YVL)

Last season: 15th in League One

Manager: Terry Skiverton

Signings: Luke Ayling, Paul Hutington, Ed Upson, Andy Williams.

Enron's view: "I don't like these corn-chewing tossbags, and they don't like me. I reckon they need a paradigm-shift, but they told me to shove my pardigm up my ass.

Fair enough. They've got the balls to play, but they don't have the dick to do it. It's all well and good having bullets, but if you're gun don't work it's a waste of time.

"These boys will struggle all year and will be lucky to stay in the black."

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