Hull City: Vital week as Barmby outlines long-term plans to Allams
NICK Barmby admits Hull City face a vital week in shaping the club's future as he puts his squad strengthening plans before owner Assem Allam.
After a 2-1 defeat at West Ham United on Saturday saw the Tigers finish the Championship season in eighth, Barmby's focus has immediately turned to bolstering his ranks ahead of another promotion challenge in 2012-13.
Together with head of football operations Adam Pearson, Barmby expects to meet with chairman Allam and vice-chairman Ehab Allam on Thursday to finalise the club's strategy for the summer transfer market.
As well as setting a budget in place for an annual wage bill, the club's hierarchy will also detail the levels of financial support available to Barmby.
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The City boss has continually stressed the need to strengthen and retain his star players and he hopes his ambitions can be matched this week.
"It's been well documented but it is a massive week for us," Barmby told the Mail.
"We'll sit down with the owners and discuss our budget but momentum is everything. You can't stand still at any time if you want to do well.
"We know we've got the basis of an exciting team but we've got to keep it going now. We all want the same goal, for Hull City to be successful.
"I genuinely believe that we can be one of the teams that can be right up there next season."
A quirk of fate ahead of the meeting yesterday saw the annual Sunday Times Rich List estimate Allam's wealth to have soared to £417m, rising £130m over the last year.
However, having already ploughed £51m into the Tigers since taking control from Russell Bartlett in December 2010, there is reluctance from the Allam family to prop up City's books through further personal investment next season.
As a result, Pearson has previously stated that the majority of summer trading will be done in the free transfer market.
Barmby wants to see money made available to sign players for key positions, though, including a deal for on-loan goalkeeper Vito Mannone from Arsenal.
The Mail understands Barmby's very public calls for a show of support have caused friction in the City boardroom ahead of the meeting this week but he again stressed the need to be bold this summer.
"It's very important that we keep hold of our best players too," he added.
"Everyone knows who those players are and why it's so important. It's imperative we do that because we're not a selling club and these lads want to be here.
"We owe it to them to really go for it next season."
Although Carlton Cole's brace condemned City to a final-day defeat at Upton Park, a final standing of eighth has universally been accepted as a heartening campaign.
A seven-point gap eventually separated the Tigers from the Championship play-offs, but Barmby says the club will begin next season with renewed optimism.
"I've told them that they've truly got to believe in themselves," he said. "They should go home in the summer to reflect on the season and come back with that real competitive edge in them.
"They've got it in them and we can have a really good go at this league next season."