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Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Tuesday, 3 August 2010 17:36 UK

Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling wary of rising wages

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We must take 'bold steps' - Cowling

Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling says he will have to reduce the wage bill at the club if they fail to get promoted.

Cowling reckons his side are one of the top eight spenders in League One and is keen to see progress soon.

He told BBC Look East: "Certainly the wages that we're paying at the moment are not sustainable if we don't achieve what we need to.

"There may be a time in the next couple of seasons when we need to look at it if we can't get [to the Championship]."

He added: "We're not taking any risks with what we're doing.

"The worst that will happen is we might have to settle a little bit closer to where we were."

Cowling has overseen a period of change at the club, shepherding them into a new stadium two years ago and stabilising the side after bosses Paul Lambert and later Adi Boothroyd were poached by other sides.

The last two seasons we've started with a budget and exceeded it. So I've allowed us to go over budget

Colchester United chairman Robbie Cowling

The managerial exits have forced Cowling to dig deeper into his pockets than he would have liked.

"We have a budget, but the problem we've had over the last two seasons has been a change in managers," he added.

"What happens when you change a manager is the new man needs a bit of wriggle room to get the players he wants to establish his side.

"So the last two seasons we've started with a budget and exceeded it. So I've allowed us to go over budget.

"That means we're starting the season slightly over the budget we had agreed on."

Robbie Cowling was talking to Look East as part of their investigation into the state of football finances. You can see both parts of the series on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 August at 1800 BST on BBC One.



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