There’s news in the Newcastle Journal today that Kevin Keegan has a balancing act to play, as the club tries to reduce the wage bill at the club.
Kevin Keegan – wary of wage bill for squad
It’s too big, that’s for sure as last season it was around 70% of all Newcastle’s costs and said to be around Â£70M out of total costs of Â£90M.
Big Sam brought in 9 players last summer and the wage bill from the season before is said to have increased by Â£10M.
Mike Ashley quite rightly wants to run Newcastle as a good business, and he has every right to reduce the wage bill. Mike has reduced Newcastle’s debt to zero, and the next step is to get the operational costs in line.
The Deloitte & Touche figures are out for the previous season – 2006-2007, and while Newcastle finished in 13th place with 43 points, we had the 5th highest wage bill of all Premier League teams.
Bear in mind the wage bill increased last season by another Â£10M.
But Newcastle have already let Carr, Ramage, Diatta and Troisi leave the club, and Rozehnal and Ameobi will also depart before August comes around again.
We are said to want at least 4 new players to augment the squad, and we have to believe the club will be relying on some of our top youngsters like Edgar, Tozer, LuaLua, Carroll and Kadar to fill out the first team squad in case of injuries next season.
The very fact we will lose 6 players on very good wages will help decrease the wage bill a little, but we may also have to move out some of our top wage earners who are fringe players such as Alan Smith and Damien Duff.
We think Smith is the obvious player to move out, since he’s a striker and didn’t score a single competitive goal last year, and hardly looks like he will force his way back into the first team anytime soon.
And the Â£6M we would get for him would be welcomed into the transfer coffers.
We still think Duff should be kept, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised if Sunderland manager Roy Keane tries to take him to the Stadium of Light in the summer.
But one thing we have to be careful of is the size of our squad, which was too small last season, and should be increased this season, even if it’s with promising youngsters.
However, if we can get those 4 top players in the squad, while still small, will look a lot better than last season’s squad, that’s for sure.
Whether it will be good enough to get to 5th place will depend a lot on just who those 4 players are.
What do you think?