Allardyce Has Reduced Control Because of Contract Clauses


Sam Allardyce talked with Paul Gilder of the Journal last night on the release clauses in the contracts of Michael Owen and Oba Martins. You can hear the frustration coming out of Sam as he clearly expresses how bad these clauses are for the club and himself.

We’ll take a look at the sensible things Sam says. One thing is for certain – there will never be any more of these clauses in players’ contracts – as long as he is Newcastle’s manager.

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Newcastle Boss Sam Allardyce
These release clauses are so stupid!

This is what Sam had to say to Gilder – talking on the release clauses:

“It leaves us in a position where, although we have long contracts with both players, we haven’t really got long contracts,” “If those clauses are invoked, there will be nothing we can do about it.

I’m planning to start next season with Michael and Obafemi here, but I’m in a position where at some point between now and August I might lose those players and that would be a massive blow for me and this football club.”

“When will someone come forward for the players with the clauses? At what point do they do it? How do I plan for it? I can’t control what happens in the outside world, I can only control what happens inside Newcastle United.

We are in a precarious position and all the speculation that’s flying around is difficult to cope with. Everyone knows about the clause situation and that leaves us in a poor situation as a football club. I’m disappointed but I have got to get on with it.”

We are impressed with Sam – that even in his frustration he doesn’t blame the players at all – he expresses that it leaves him in an almost untenable position – but not one bad word against his two players. It is this excellent man management that gets the players behind Sam (and Newcastle). If he can persuade both players to stay at the club and even renegotiate their contracts that would be a massive step forward for Sam for next season. That may be possible but you can bet Sam is ready to talk to both players next week. We were surprised to hear Sam say yesterday he didn’t need to talk to Owen next week – but now with this supposed bid from Manchester United – it would seem appropriate to sit down with Michael and talk these things over.

These clauses also cast doubt on Shepherd’s ability to negotiate with these top players and their agents. It appears we were willing to accede too much to their wishes to get them to Newcastle. That must stop – and it looks like it will with Sam Allardyce at the helm.

Comments welcome.



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15 comments so far

  • Jeff

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #1

    I think Shepard is at fault regarding these Clauses……..Owen can leave for 9million when bought for 17 million………great business….NOT!!!!If Owen demanded this clause then it showed his loyalty so they shouldnt have signed him at least with martins we make 3 million….yes martins done well last season but he cant control a ball and his team play is shocking so if he left he is replacable……….As for Owen he is a world class striker yes we have saw very little but everyone knows he is quality but with this clause which will only get activated if a top club comes in for him cos he aint going to go to west ham or man city etc etc etc………..so this is leaving newcastle in a crazy position…………..does sam go out and buy a striker or does he wait hoping no one puts in a bid?Thats why I blame shephard for agreeing to these clauses……Sams plans are f*&^&*ed….

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  • Tony_D

    Jun 29, 2007 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #2

    Release clauses are becoming more and more common, normally based on poor team performance or relegation. Owens became active when we didn’t qualify for Europe, but really no reason for Oba to have a release clause that is active at the moment.

    We really need SA to renegotiate these contracts so he knows what players will definitely be playing for us next year. If they are not willing to renegotiate or commit to next season then SA should assume they are leaving and get 2 more high quality goal scorers in, if Owen and Oba are then still here next season play them as squad players until they commit to the club.

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  • nightfall

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #3

    if they are leaving we need top strikers…smith is not one of them… we all know thet ferguson is a good manager, but smith sucked undr his wing, so…don’t get him… man utds midfield created 3-4 chances for smith every match and he scored how many goals?? why getting him, if we can get much better players, especially now when we don’t have money problems… plus i’m getting real sick of smiths arrogance on the pitch… we don’t need such player…

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  • Tino

    Jun 29, 2007 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #4

    These clauses suggest that it is the player, not the club, that is in control, and no self respecting English club (especially not Newcastle) should ever be in a situation where we desperately need a player. Great teams come from continuity, and players with release clauses do not make for a great team. Scholes and Giggs and Neville have been at ManU since one knows when, and see how they blossom, even in their old age. Alan remained committed to the club throughout, and there is someone who would have demanded a release clause. Club fails to qualify for Europe because players did badly or got injured, and suddenly the palyer wants to leave! Indeed, they must leave, but lets avoid all this by getting loyal ones in, and keeping our bright young ones happy. Give Taylor the same wages we know Chelsea will soon tempt him with, don’t wait until its toolate, Lords knows the lad deserves it, tie Milner and Ramage to good deals, and Shola, him lets sell to Birmingham or Wigan, make some money out of the lad and get someone in quickly.

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  • Soren

    Jun 29, 2007 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #5

    Not much else to do, than try to renegotiate their contracts and let their true colours be shown.

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  • StevieA

    Jun 29, 2007 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #6

    I don’t mind release clauses but they are for such low amounts compared to top players on the continent. I hope that Martins signs a new contract, Owen is a fantastic player but I can’t stand the deafening silence!

    Either he is tired of the press (which is a possibility) and he plans to stay. Or he is keeping his options open. Frankly I think we will overtake Arsenal in the years to come with or without Owen. Plenty more quality strikers around to replace him.

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  • Johnny Utah

    Jun 29, 2007 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #7

    Martins might leave for Arsenal…but who cares? He was a stop gap last year and we don’t need him now. He is the obvious third striker now, behind a CF in Viduka and a true Striker in Owen. Owen will saty to see what happens this year and if we are crap, he is gone. We have until January to prove we are focused on big things.

    As for the rest…Shola should be sold for sure. He is okay and would do well to land in the championship or Scotland. I like getting Smith to backup Viduka and another younger striker to back up Owen. Maybe Lita, maybe Defoe…maybe one of the young Dutch hotshots.

    If we can sell Martins for 13M to Arsenal I would be delighted. We would have made 3M off him and he is probably 28 years old anyways…another Kanu. I would rather see another winger come in to play forward like SWP. We could play a hybrid of the 4-3-3 with Viduka, Owens and SWP up front. Emre, Barton and Milner in the middle (with Dyer, Butt, Nobby, Duff and Luque ready to play) and a backfield made up of Taylor and Rozenhal (for now) in the middle with Geremi (hopefully) and another star at LB (Bridgey?). That is a team that is bound for Europe, especialy considering that Given is still top 10 in the world between the posts.

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  • Johnny Utah

    Jun 29, 2007 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #8

    I would love to see a youth movement in defense if we sign Edmilson to provide some leadership. Let’s make a big bid for Micah Richards. Taylor and Richards could dominate for yars to come! That may well be the future England pairing!

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 29, 2007 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #9

    StevieA – if we do lose Owen it would be interesting who Sam will bring in – but it looks like he’s already after Gudjohnsen. Think you’re right he would bring in some good strikers. But Sam needs to know the intentions of Owen and Martins now – so he can plan his transfer activities.

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  • StevieA

    Jun 29, 2007 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #10

    Ed – You are right and I am sure Sam is thinking the same way. As I have said he is a thinker but he get’s things done. He plans ahead.

    We have already been linked with Gudjohnsen, Smith and Rigters recently. I know Owen would be a big loss but you would get more games out of these players. Sam is a big stats man and might have his doubts about Owens fitness.
    Rigters looks like an exciting player I would like us to sign him. Also Ameobi will be much better under Allardyce and minus the hip injury.

    As for the comments about Martins. Not too long ago Martins was one of the best young strikers in europe! Yes he dissapointed last season because he could have done so much better goals wise, but you have to remember the football we played last season was terrible and didn’t suit his play at all. He seems to come to life when other players get tired so we need to make use of that Stamina for 90 minutes, if we can I think he could be amazing for us.

    Viduka will be far more effective than Sibierski and will help to get the best out of Martins. Our problem last season was that the team was negative. Both in midfield and defence, Sam is putting that right now and I think Barton will make such a big difference to the team and help Emre to play too.

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  • StevieA

    Jun 29, 2007 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #11

    ^^^ By negative I mean the defenders playing with no confidence (except Taylor) . Also the midfield played far too deep and passed sideways 80% of the time. It was so frustrating to watch!

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 29, 2007 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #12

    StevieA – just shows you the potential of Oba when he disappointed last season – but still put in 17 goals. I will never forgot the goal he scored against Tottenham Hotspur at While Hart Lane – clocked at 84 mph – right out of the blue – with his left foot. Called – a STUNNER.

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  • StevieA

    Jun 29, 2007 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #13

    Ed – I agree. We have to keep Oba no matter what happens. He seems to be happy where he is but is the type who would move to Juventus or Inter like a shot if a deal could be done.

    I think he will stay next season and improve on the 17 goals he got. So many games he let the game pass him by when he has the potential to score 1 or 2 goals a game. He has so much pace but towards the end of the season you rarely saw that pace. He could be unplayable in the right mindset. I even think he is the best striker at the club overall because he has everything.

    The goal against Spurs was just amazing. Remarkable power.. let’s hope we see some more of those shots next season (in black & white)!

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  • […] Allardyce Has Reduced Control Because of Contract Clauses I?m planning to start next season with Michael and Obafemi here, but I?m in a position where at some point between now and August I might lose those players and that would be a massive blow for me and this football club.? … […]

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  • sagar

    Jul 1, 2007 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #15

    john utaka
    oba’ martins is around 22 years.very young, got potential to improve under big sam. no need to sell him.
    and shola, i wouldnt sell him either, he has shown promise in europe and in the league, he just needs to get back to full fitness and hopefully can do wel under Big Sam.
    if there was anyone i woulld sell it would be michael owen who for all we know might get injured again at the start of the season.and well most fans have turned against him.

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