Sam’s Summer Signings Just Superb

Continuing today with the interview Sam gave to the Sunday Times last weekend Sam talks about the new management at Newcastle and the transfer money he is being given by Chris Mort.

It turns out that Sam has been restricted to some extent by the uncovering of more debt at Newcastle than Mort first realized, but it doesn’t look like the restrictions are too great, certainly it may not be restricted to just £10M.

But we’ll also take a look at just how much net spending Sam has paid out in his transfer dealings – we think you’ll be surprised – given the talent he’s moved in.


Sam Allardyce – directing the transfer traffic at St. James’ Park

This is what Sam told the Sunday Times about the new owners:

“The new people didn’t realize what buying the club was going to cost in the end.”

“The need to service the debt will impact on my spending, which is not what I wanted, and from that point of view you could say the job is not exactly as it appeared in the brochure.”

“But Mike’s willingness to spend £11M this past week on Jose Enrique [from Villareal] and Alan Smith [Manchester United] is an encouraging sign.”

“Whether the new owner will let me spend as much as Freddy would have is something we’ll find out come the end of August [when the transfer window closes].”

“But there’s a few players I’ve targeted, either for August or when the window reopens in January, and so far, so good.”

Sam is pressing ahead with new signings at Newcastle with Abdoulaye Faye from Bolton scheduled to sign today – assuming he passes his medical at the club. The fee is estimated at around ₤2M.

Sam is also said to be after Mario Yepes of PSG. (₤1.5M), Juliano Belletti of Barcelona (₤3M) and would also like to capture Phil Neville from Everton for as much as ₤4M. So Sam’s spending in the market is not over by any means – and it also looks very promising that we’ll get around ₤7M for Dyer from West Ham in the next couple of days.

If we assume Sam gets all 3 signings above plus Faye then those four will cost him about ₤10.5M. With around ₤20M Sam has already spent to date that would be a total outlay of around ₤30M. The players he would have brought in being Barton, Viduka, Geremi, Rozehnal, Smith, Cacapa, Enrique, Faye, Yepes, Belletti and Neville.

That’s 11 players in for ₤30M but Sam has also recovered about ₤14M from Parker and Dyer (hopefully) so Sam’s net outlay is still only ₤16M – not bad for 11 players of the class and experience he has brought in. Assume we don’t get Neville and that’s 10 players for ₤12M. Not bad at all in our opinion.

We think it’s been a really great summer of signings for Big Sam – certainly the best for many many years.

Comments on our signings are very welcome.

76 comments so far

  • Josh

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #1

    Sorry. Your journalism is going down hill, you have lost any hint of critical approach. It is a shame!

  • Kash

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #2

    I really don’t think Neville is a viable option. He’s crap at RB and LB. He’s been impressive as a DM, but if we’re signing Faye, then we have sufficient cover. I’d like to see Belletti though, he’s a big, strong up and down RB. But never really seen him tested defensively.

  • bobby

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #3

    not sure about this article. i cant see us signing Yepes, Belletti or Neville.

  • Luke

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #4

    Pot calling kettle black. To criticise someone’s lack of objectivity you may want to call on examples, whether this is true or not.

  • Dave

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #5

    Lay off em Josh. This is still the best NUFC site out there by a long shot. By critical I assume you mean negatively, as there is lots of positive criticism in the articles of late. Could this be Josh, rather than bad journalism, a real optimism for the season ahead, held by all Newcastle fans including the lads at nufcblog.

    In relation to the article Ed, I think that it’s been a fantastic summer of business. Lets hope it transfers in to a fantastic season of results. Sam sounded a little disappointed (as one would be) but not enough for him to dwell on it or let it get in the way of real progress.

  • Lull, Malaysia

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #6

    Ed, apart from Faye, do you think Yepes, Belleti and Neville will sign? Because you sound quite confident we can land these 3 players 🙂 I’m on the other hand, getting nervous with the lack of players since the transfer market will close in 2 weeks from now.

  • bw positive

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #7

    Still very disapointed that the new owners didnt bother to pay off the debt in lump sum, ridding the club of interest gain, before investing. It is now clearly apparent Mike is completely pro business in his thinking for Nufcs future. I understand that no businessman deals in unprofitable entities, but people must understand that failure to keep a fan base happy, can be disasterous for the club. If Sam gets all those signings, then not one man can argue that we havent invested. But what kind of businessmen would invest so heavily in a club, without checking the finances. Im not certain, missing 80m debt is such a background issue. It is fundamentally a vital component of what is on offer. MA stated he intends to win the league within 3 seasons, and the champs league with 5. To bring in a worldclass player for this season also. Then without official denial or change of statement, we have to put 2 and 2 together and realise things may vary slightly. Why should 80m debt prevent us from spending. Arsenal, Man utd and Chelsea are in a far worse situation , albeit with a larger income accepted. But Sam should move heaven and earth to get those players, INCLUDING Neville. If he can, we will UNDOUBTABLY have the strongest squad I have ever seen at this club.

  • e

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #8

    i think this is the best nufc site going!!!!!111

  • Chris

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #9

    It’s great to see money being well spent for once at Newcastle. Good solid players for a very reasonable fee, instead of the big money flops in the past. We are starting to look like a team with a lot of options and a manager who knows how and when to make changes on the pitch.
    Faye will be another good signing. He’s vey strong and proved he can cut it in the Premiership already. A bargain at £2m.
    It will be hard for Sam to persuade Neville to come though. He’s in a team already that look like they’re going places. Plus he’s captain and playing in midfield which he supposedly prefers. I can only see him playing at right-back for us. Saying that though, every player has there price.
    If we can get a reasonable right-back in before the transfer window closes then I’d be more than happy. Well done Big Sam!

  • bw positive

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #10

    JOSH WHAT ON ABOUT MAN ! The only part of this article I somewhat doubt, is us getting BOTH Faye and Yepe. Otherwise it is pretty much what we have been hearing from multiple reliable sources. The Toon has no place for negativity, especially from negative minded people. The only shame is that you started this thread with such a pointless, cynical state of mind. God, even when we are winning and class players are being bought and linked, Shepperd and the sheep gone, new owners and management in coupled with all the dead wood gone, DO WE STILL HAVE NEGATIVE NANCIES !

  • Ed Harrison

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #11

    Lull – i think it will be hard to get Neville – although to me he would be like Smith and could be used in multiple positions – including RB. Faye seems to be coming and I think we can capture Belletti. Not sure about Yepes – seems there’s a problem, with the fee since Sam wants him as a free signing.

  • Ed Harrison

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #12

    bw positive – not sure that’s ever done too much – to pay off debt in one move – you usually have some plan to pay it off over a number of years – but to get it off the books. Agree it would have been nice.

  • Ed Harrison

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #13

    Hey – i’m just assuming we get all 3 mentioned – to make some calculations on how much it would have cost us – to give an opinion of the talent Sam has brought in – for the approximate cost – and then make the point. We think it’s great value…..we’ve never done dealings like this for many a year.

  • Ross G

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #14

    The signings so far have been promising, Rozehnal has been impressive, i know Cacapa is quality. Enrique is exciting and Smith adds the bite and versatility between midfield and attack. Viduka is probably the best free transfer in the prem if not Geremi must be up there too. I do however prefer Yepes to Faye. Although Faye is a decent CB he was never good in midfield and he will be off to the African nations this year. Yepes is the captain of Coloumbia a die hard player, left footed which adds balance and he could play LB. He is also available at half the price or maybe free. I dont think we will get both as that will leave us with 6 CBs. It looks like Sam has chosen Faye and I think he will become our worst CB although better than Ramage. We will not sign Neville end of. I hope we get Belletti he is a class RB both defensively and in Attack. I am delighted to see Dyer go, and upset to see Nobby go but if we get Faye/Yepes and Belletti I think we should spend the Dyer/Solano/Luque money on a creative midfielder or even more an alrounder say we get 7 for Dyer, 2 Luque, 1 Solano then we should go for someone like Manuel Fernandes who would be immense just imagine Butt holding with Barton and Fernandes the box to box players. If not maybe Riquelme, (Guti), Gonzales, Veluso, etc even one of my favourites albiet defensive -Diarra of Chelsea. Exciting times yes but it has been worrying how strict our spending has been, ok the club finances come first but for petes sake Mike is worth 2 billion not an issue surely. Magnusson isnt even worth or near 1b yet he has been willing a proven to spend heavilly. Back the Boss, i have no problems with free agents but didnt expect half of signings to be them

  • bw positive

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #15

    For me personally, I still would like to see Ameobi, Luque, Carr, Baba, Ramage, Dyer, Solano SOLD ! These lot will never cut the mustard for us. And as we get better and standards improve, it will only make their situation worse. Get shot of the lot of em. If we go for the above mentioned players, we wont need backup either, so surely it would benefit us. Cant tell me we would get buyers for Ameobi and Ramage. Bet Sunlun would want Ramage. Ameobi, perhaps Fulham or Westham (nufc official dumping ground)

  • Adrian S/Leone

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #16

    I think BSA has bought well this summer and i do not think we need an extra body in at right back as we have players who can feel that hole without doubt.

    i think when all is fit and rearing to go then our starting line up should look like this:


    Taylor /Carr Rozenhal/Ramage Cacapa/Edgar Enrique/Babayaro

    Milner/Smith Geremi/Butt Barton/Emre Duff/Nzogbia

    Owen/Viduka Martins/Ameobi

  • TOON1

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #17

    Best site bar none ed ,quality info and good chat.Hope faye signs today ,sound promising as he has been letf out of bolton squad for tonights game.Belleti would be quality signing ,not too sure about yepes ,he seems to be dragging his feet to do big sams medical [wonder why].If dyer and nobby go ,we need riquelme!!.Keep up the good work ed!

  • Bosck

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #18

    BW Positive – Its not the £80m debt that Ashley didnt no about as Mort has already stated last week they did the due dilligence. However they were not able to look at how the debt was structured etc, and the intricacies of the debt which you will never see until you actually own the business.

    As for what MA supposedly said:

    ” MA stated he intends to win the league within 3 seasons, and the champs league with 5. To bring in a worldclass player for this season also”

    I am pretty sure MA has never been directly quoted as saying any of those things, it was just the usual press speculation when he first took over.

    IF these signings were to go through we will have spent £30m which is a good amount, and all that is necessary considering we are not in Europe this season.

    To bring in a superstar (which i am not sure is advisable anyway as it may affect team spirit and balance) would mean a high fee, and more importantly to tempt them away from european football we would have to pay them extortionate wages, and i dont think we need players at this club who would rather be paid high wages than play at the highest level = no ambition, only greed.

    if we achieve european football next season then next summer we can than invest potentially more money to buy players of the next level, who are ambitious and want european football above all else.

    As mort has said the spending is seperate to the debt, but, looking at this purely in business/investment terms, no good business man would buy a business for £133m then pay £80m out to clear the debt therefore leaving them £213m down in total meaning it would take decades to even level out the investment. The sensible way is to increase the turnover within the club by investing in the property development, corporate event, commercial enterprises, structured sponsorship side of things to ensure that the club then clears its own debts whilst Ashleys money can be used to purchase actual assets (ie players) which represent saleable value if necessary.

    i do not think we need to spend massively this year, but need to spend this season building/progressing steadily on the pitch and restructuring/developing off of it.

  • Nobby's dad

    Aug 15, 2007 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #19

    bw positive………..Solano will never cut the mustard!!
    Nobby Solano is WITHOUT doubt the most naturally gifted footballer we have in our squad IMO. The best 2.5 million ever spent and for this all Toon fans should be grateful to Daglish for signing him (OK he signed some dross as well – but signed Speed and the great Seamus Given).

    I’ve watched the lads for almost 40 years and Solano is up there with the best.

  • Gav

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #20

    Adrian – no offense but i think Ramage & Edgar wouldn’t be good enough when playing against Man-Ure, Liverpool, Chelsea & Arsenal. Bear in mind they have quality strikers. My personal opinion – Babayaro & Carr have to go. It’s time to overhaul the whole back 4. For once our midfielders looking sharp and good not to mention our strike force. It’s been too much talking about Owen ( sometimes i think he is overated ) but at least now i am sure, very sure Martin can do what Owen can or maybe even better. The Toon Army are looking good for this season.

  • Adam

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #21

    I think we’ll just get a couple out of those 4 potential signings…I don’t think Sam is intending to buy them all. We want strength in depth but not overload!

    I’d rather we bought 2 defenders and 2 mf players anyway, with at least one young-ish player amongst them.

  • bw positive

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #22

    Good post Bosck. This season has to be one where we show profit come season finale. Develop a good enough squad to bring back European football. Season after perhaps then we can heavily invest. But as you stated, 30m isnt exactly a small investment, but coupled with outgoing players, neither is it outstanding especially considering the new owners. Dilligence aside, I think the team would have known enough. Personally I think its an excuse. Simply because they do not see Allardyce as the long term solution. I see a very familar pattern here with respect to Shepperd and Roeder. Cautious spending, not neccessarily relative to club finances. Sam son, you have one season to prove your the answer.

  • Aussie geordie

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #23

    This is the best NUFC site and Sam has done a good job. He is buying players who he believes feel they are undervalued and who have the passion to prove themselves. A lot of players are here for their final contract (Viduka, Capaca, Smith), some are having their first crack at the english league and are young and aggressive and at the top of their game. Players fighting for places and wanting to prove themselves are the ones that come out like a bullet and set the tone and pace for the game.

    Belleti and Yepes sound like positive signings especially as we need a natural right back and one more in the middle can help. With no Dyer and no solano a creative, skills based, tricky signing is needed. Basically a young solano would be nice.

  • Bosck

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #24

    talking of young solano’s doubt we’d get him but i rate that Valencia at wigan pretty highly. anyone else got any opinions on him?

  • Geordiepie

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #25

    bw positive – what are you on? Why should MA stump up £80M to pay off debt that he didn’t accrue? As a businessman he will be looking for a sustainable way to pay off the debt using income from the club. And what’s that about Nobby Solano never cutting the mustard at NUFC? You need to have a think before you type cos you’re on the wrong track with both of these points my fiend!

  • bw positive

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #26

    Youth is no good unless they have blistering pace and sharp as a thread needle. They tend to be bossed during important matches. We need old experience, as we are at the BEGINNING of something new. It is too early to develop for the future as we do not have the foundations in place for that, unlike Arsenal. They have already brought about a fantastic reputation, and regardless of where they finish, will always attract. We need that element back. Alot of sams signings, unfortunately have been 2rd, 3rd choices. That is not the recipe for a serious side. Howay Sam, get Thuram, Cordoba, Ayala. Those lads fit the bill perfectly. Experience to Taylor and Roz, Sam gets the better out of aged players, they will raise the profile and put fear into opposing teams and of course, they would only need to be for short term. Giving us enough time to stabilise the club and get us back into Europe.

  • Geordiepie

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #27

    My God you’re at it again – you bang on about being positive then slag off the new owners. They have FAR more business acumen that FFS ever had – you can’t continue to spend ridiculous amounts on players when revenues are down with us not being in Europe – wise up man!

  • iain

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #28

    all good signings mentioned if not great ones but they would all be better than the likes of carr/babayaro. also i think sam probably feels huntington/edgar need a bit longer to develop b4 beig thrown into pl games, esp ones we are expected to win. also we would have depth in the sqaud even if carr/baba is sold and the kids sent out on loan to develop.

    were still crying out for creativity at least one creative mf player should be brought in imo, even more so if dyer/solano leave.

    sven has shown how much one creative player can impact on your team as Elano imo was the key to city beating west ham (benayoun on form in his 1st season was also imo the reason whu stayed and could play good football) . Elano showed that not every south american (as we know with nobby) is a lightweight luxury. alright elano has been toughened up by playing in the ukraine and probably thinks a move to england is a chance to go somewhere warm. so i would suggest we look to eastern clubs from the likes of russia for a creative talent that is used to playing in colder climates. there is a really top brazilian – daniel carvalho da silva who plays in moscow for CSKA who imo could be the answer to adding creativity to our mf if we could land him.
    sam missed out big time on tuncay who signed for boro one a free as he would added that creativity+extra mf goals to our team.

  • Raffles

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #29

    My nan is signing for Newcastle United on a two year contract. She’s working in hospitality. She’s got a sweet left foot though and if she gets her chance due to injuries then an England call up is a mere formality. Providing that new plastic hip holds up okay.

  • bw positive

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #30

    Iain, I was recently saying the exact same. Elano v Westham illustrated perfectly the role of a quality playmaker. Using him as an example, do we have one. I still believe Barton is too aggressive to be that clever, whilst Emre has the potential. The closest we have is certainly Emre. Which brings me onto a good point. EVERY PLAYER so far has been discussed heavily, from Butt, Luque, Baba, Carr etc to the more key players. Emre has hardly had a mention and for me, he has been one of our best players when he puts on a show. He literally runs the game, both winning the ball and running past several opponents when bump starting a faultering Newcastle attack. It is Emre we need to fassion into a playmaker. Not to buy another. This chap for me can be a real star.

  • bw positive

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #31

    Raffles, do you have a point ? Perhaps your nan can show you a thing or two then.

  • Lull, Malaysia

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #32

    Thanks Ed 🙂 Agree with you, bw positive. Josh, i think you already became a deadwood amongst Newcastle fan! Perhaps, you should find other club to cheer for.

  • iain

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #33

    bw – emre imo will certainly be more comfortable in a 433 system than a 442 and if he stays i think we will see his best games in that system.

    but there all still big questions over his fitness, ability to perform in a 442 and even more key i think is whether he can be the 1 in the hole in 4411 formation, he doesnt quite have the pace/dribbling skill (or at least he hasnt shown it for us) and i dont know if he could play that role dyer did so well when playing with oba. all dyers best games imo are when hes in that position as english teams have a massive problem picking up and dealing with that sort of player, its why scholes is so good, why mourinho plays 433 with a holding mf all the time, why benitez signed benayoun, why england never beat teams like brazil/argies/spain/italy/portugal etc in key games, why fergie signed hargeaves.

  • Tez

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #34

    bw positive – Exactly what i was thinking, Emre is a real talent and if you give him that freedom he will create chances for us.

  • Andreas

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #35

    @Bosck, good post mate. I’m also convinced it wasn’t the debt in itself that surprised MA/CM but rather the structure of it. And as you said, that fact could first be observed when they had access to the total financial information (and a due dilligence won’t give you access to everything).

    In my opinion BSA have invested wisely and brought in quality, and with a new rb and possibly someone to make up the numbers if/when Dyer/Solano leaves gives us a good squad.

    One thing I can’t comprehend is that a lot of ppl seem to be obsessed with how much a player cost and regard it as a failur when we buy cheap/get out of contract players. In my opinion that is a retarded point of view.

    As far as I am concerned I don’t care how little we spend as long as we IMPROVE the squad to give us a realistic chance of get back into Europe – and I do think we have improved the squad quite a bit during the summer and more signings will only improve it further.

    All in all;
    modest and wise spending that strenghten the squad and makes it competetive > lavish (and wise) spending that squad and makes it competetive

    Next year (when we are back in Europe) it might be time to spend bigger, for now it’s all about getting us there.

  • iain

    Aug 15, 2007 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #36

    we would need to spend 10-15m to land a top creative mf player, but thats hardly a lot and would be a great sign of Mike Ashleys intentions for the club, as tbh he still hasnt put his hand in his pocket beyond the new tv deal which i dont have a problem with, but if he is serious about bringing success here, he could advance how long that might take by spending a bit himself to add a talented player that could lift the whole team.

    look at everton and how arteta lifts their whole team performance when he plays he mkaes them tick, play the ball around imo he will be off to a cl club next summer unless of course everton finish in the top4.

  • bw positive

    Aug 15, 2007 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #37

    Iain, I have to disagree. Emre for me is a star in the making, he needs the comfort of support behind him so he can push on. He is industrious as well as clever. Paying out 15m for a playmaker, whom wouldnt come to newcastle at the moment in time anyways, seems a large risk and one that will only have a detrimental effect on the current squad. Emre has adapted. I personally believe Emre to be of a much higher standard than Arteta, Emre had me in awe of him last season. He was by far our best player when we were playing well. He was miles apart from anything on the pitch. He doesnt have pace, but then most playmakers dont, Scholes, Lampard, Elano, Deco etc. Don’t get me wrong, being a gifted playmaker AND having pace is of course nothing but an added bonus, but it is neccessary as the old saying goes you cant run faster than a passed ball. We need someone who can link people together, taking advantage of each individuals skills. The key attribute for a playmaker, is that he MUST know EACH AND EVERY teammate inside, outside, left, right centre. That is the one attritbute that makes playmakers so vital. ALL the best ones have been in the clubs for a while. Emre can be that man, he is clever and intelligent enough to know when and where Milner wishes to run onto the ball, or when Charlie wants to be played in. He knows when Owen drops off the shoulder of an attacker. Dyer was ALWAYS about show. His NUfc cause was always one of proving the Nufc doubters wrong, by impressing the eye, rather than damage the opponent. How many times did you feel good for Dyer last year, yet still felt an empty feeling of “well we didnt really get anything out of it” in the end. He was all about proving he is a good player, catching the eye of England managers. NO INTEREST in the club, for he would not have chucked that black arm band on the ground, or through a toy out of the pram when asked to slot in at rightback.

  • Darren

    Aug 15, 2007 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #38

    I wish people would calm down about this debt. It is rumoured to be £80m repayable over 20 years similar to a mortgage you take out on a house.

    We have a 52000 seater stadium so we don’t need to move grounds or anything. If we were moving/improving the stadium now it would cost roughly £200-300m so we have saved a lot of money by upgrading our ground in the last ten years.

    Other clubs are in a lot worse position than us.

    Man Utd – over £600m in debt
    Arsenal – over £400m in debt
    Liverpool – over £300m in debt AND yet to build a new ground

    For a club of our turnover our debt is not unmanagable. Man Utd for instance pay over £60m a YEAR in interest payments alone, that is almost our entire debt. Granted their turnover is vastly superior to ours but it does make our dent pale into significance.

    PS – figures were taken from an excellent article in the Daily Mail on Saturday.

  • Obafan

    Aug 15, 2007 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #39

    For me this also is the best NUFC site to follow all the news. Ed you’re doing a fantastic job.

  • bw positive

    Aug 15, 2007 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #40

    I agree Darren. What is also worthwhile noting, is the value of the stadium. In todays market, worth well in excess of 300m. We paid a fraction of that to develop it over time, and a large percentage of the 80m was indeed for the new millenium recon work on the ground. The land the stadium emcompasses is directly in the hub of the city also. Owen isnt exactly losing value either. We have already had 2 further bids since MAs take over. It will not be a problem.


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