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Hythe boss Clive Cook slams players' wage demands as he looks to add to his squad

By Alex Hoad

Hythe boss Clive Cook says he is disappointed at money-hungry players sending the summer transfer market into a frenzy.

Cook hopes to add two or even three more players to the summer captures of Ashley Miller from Folkestone and Ryan Palmer from Ashford, although he claims teams awash with cash in the lower reaches of non-league are making it tough for clubs throughout the pyramid.

Cook, whose side narrowly missed the Ryman League, Division 1 South play-offs last season, said: “I am a bit disappointed in players’ attitudes towards money.

Clive Cook. Picture John Westhrop

Clive Cook. Picture: John Westhrop

“I know people don’t do anything for nothing anymore but some of them are demanding unbelievable money.

“You talk to players and they’ll tell you they have an offer from a Southern Counties East League team who are offering massive money.

“It goes up the ladder. If players are being offered a certain amount to play in that league, they will want more to play a level up and so on.”

He added: “I do think all the money in the Premier League filters down so players in the divisions below ask for more but there are a lot of sponsors of clubs at our level and below who are ploughing vast amounts of money into clubs.

“Everyone in non-league is looking for that next Jamie Vardy or Alfie May. I always keep my old paperwork and budgets and the difference between three years ago and now is unbelievable. 

“It is incredible how the money in the game at our level has gone. We live in crazy times.

“My missus doesn’t know much about football but she says to me ‘it’ll all come to a head at some point’ and she’s right.

“The numbers will probably come back to bite people and I can see clubs going to the wall as investors chase personal success.”

Hythe have a reputation as boasting one of the biggest budgets in their division and Cook claims that makes his life more difficult.

He said: “We do have that reputation. It’s made things really hard work. I have a budget to stick to and I will. If you have got to spend money, then you have got to do it on the right person.

“You need the right mix between the player and the club. I am happy with Ashley Miller and Ryan Palmer, they are two good boys  and the others I bring in will be too.”

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