TRANMERE have loosened the purse strings at Prenton Park to give manager Les Parry the opportunity to move for new signings sooner rather than later.
Parry has been told that some funds will be made available to recruit players, without first having to take existing squad members off the payroll.
The sum of money involved is modest but Parry said: “It is a massive turnaround from the position we were in. It is most welcome because recently we identified players we would like to bring in but we were not able to move for them.”
Parry, battling to guide Tranmere clear of the League One relegation zone, was constrained in his attempts to recruit new players while the only means of raising the funds to cover their wages was by releasing members of the current squad.
The situation caused Rovers to miss out on two targets this month. But there was good news for Parry in a meeting with chairman Peter Johnson and the Tranmere board this week.
Parry said: “We had a talk with the chairman and the rest of the directors and they were able to identify a couple of bob for us to sign a player without anyone having to go out of the squad first of all.
“It’s not a great deal of money and we are going to have to be careful we spend it wisely by getting the right person in. But at least we are not now waiting on telephone calls from other clubs to take our players.”
Rovers have circulated other clubs with a list of players at Prenton Park who are available for loan or transfer. But up until now there have been no takers.
Tranmere’s original budget for players this season was spent by Parry’s predecessor John Barnes, who was sacked in early October.
Rovers have until the close of the January transfer window to make permanent signings. They will then have a further opportunity to make “emergency loan” signings during a period in February and March.
Parry added: “This is most welcome because it’s no good identifying players and not being able to move for them. We identified a couple of players recently and we would have loved to bring them in. But we could not move and in the last week both of them were signed by other clubs.”
While Rovers’ League One fixture against Yeovil at Prenton Park may have been postponed last weekend because of waterlogging, the thaw at least enabled the squad to resume training on outside pitches.
Parry said: “We were able to get on grass for the first time in two-and-a-half weeks. We had an 11 versus 11 game at Ingleborough Road on Saturday morning.
“The lads were rusty to say the least and watching them play for an hour, I was thinking ‘thank goodness the game against Yeovil was called off because if they had performed like that, it would have been awful’.
“So we got rid of some cobwebs. The surface at Ingleborough Road isn’t great and it’s difficult to play on but it was a welcome change after all those indoor training sessions.”
Bas Savage played in the Saturday morning game, the striker’s first match action of any kind since suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon at Leeds last April. Parry said: “Bas got through the game and did OK.”
Parry plans to arrange a reserve team family for next week to take another look at Savage’s progress and give a runout to some trialists.
Tranmere don’t have a scheduled reserve team game until next month.
Tranmere were able to work on the Raby Vale training ground yesterday for the first time in 2010 as they prepare for tomorrow’s rearranged League One game at Oldham Athletic.
The original game was called off on Boxing Day because of snow and ice around Boundary Park. Ominously, snow is forecast for the Oldham area tomorrow night.
TRANMERE’S League One fixture against Yeovil, called off last Saturday because of a waterlogged pitch at Prenton Park, has been rescheduled for next Tuesday, January 26 (kick-off 7.45pm).