It Will Be Tough For Newcastle To Reduce Wage Bill


One thing that has been well publicized about Newcastle this summer, is that their wage bill is just too high.

damien-duff-76.jpg

Damien Duff – high wage earner at the club


For the season 2006-2007 Deloitee & Touche reports we had the 5th highest wage bill, only behind the top 4 clubs, Chelsea, Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal , but yet we finished in a miserable 13th position with our worst ever 43 points.

Last season we were said to have increased the wage bill by £10M, so we think last season the total wage will was around £72.5M, and we finished 12th with 43 points.

One thing we are doing to correct this is to move out some of our under-performing players on high wages.

We expect these players with their estimated weekly and yearly salaries top be moved out this summer. Some have already gone and these are merely estimates – some will be too big and some too low and some we will not even estimate just to get a ball-park figure.

Player     Weekly  Yearly  Yearly
             £K      £M    Savings £M

Emre         55     2.86    2.86
Carr         40     2.08    2.08
Ramage       10     0.5     0.5
Duff         55     2.86    2.86
Smith        55     2.86    2.86
Rozehnal     40     2.08    2.08
Ameobi       30     1.56    1.56
Diatta
Troisi
            285    12.72   12.72

What does this mean?

By moving these players out we’ll save over a quarter of a million pounds a week, and around £12.72M annually on the wage bill.

But then of course we will need to pay the incoming players decent wages, but presumably less than what Emre, Smith, Carr and Duff were getting.

We suppose the club is also trying to reduce Michael Owen’s wages by £2M/year from £6M to £4M, and of course Steven Taylor will be getting some kind of increase in his compensation.

But when you look at the figures it seems to us it would be very difficult to reduce the wage bill by more than say £5M/year, at least in one summer.

Remember also, that we are aiming for 5th place next year – so Kevin needs more talent at the club – and yes, you’re right – that costs money.

Comments welcome.



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76 comments so far

  • cooldj

    Jun 2, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #1

    wall virginity 😉

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  • cooldj

    Jun 2, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #2

    haha ok im only joking. even if the wage bill don’t go down at least we’ll be getting better players for the money spent. if we replace smith, duff and emre with first team regulars we’ll be getting more for our money and could finish higher in the league. certainly the deadweight has to go.

    i think we should avoid signing players from the big 4, like bridge or riise because this has been a problem in the past. we need hungry, up and coming players with a point to prove and who are looking to win some medals. if we sign them from ‘smaller’ teams then their wage might not be so high either.

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  • Hammy

    Jun 2, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #3

    £30K a week for Ameobi….no wonder he wants to stay put.

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  • Lasse

    Jun 2, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #4

    At the moment we do not look like a club that is aiming for the 5th place. Selling players from a already paper thin squad and not replacing them with better players is not the way to go….And regarding the wage bill. How much is Dennise Wise paid? And I bet that KK have more a year than Big Sam. So I guess this is why we need to cut player wages….

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  • Graeme

    Jun 2, 2008 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #5

    Ed, when was the last time a premier league player accepted a reduction in his salary and stayed at the club he was at??? I have never known it happen.

    Do you honestly believe that Owen is going to accept a pay cut? He might get a new contract on the same as he’s on now, but a reduction!! I just dont believe it for a minute.

    The only thing that motivates 98.9% of them is MONEY – nothing else. Our players are no different, believe it.

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  • NorthAtlanticMagfan

    Jun 2, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #6

    Im considering if NUFC to lack ambitions. What about expanding the squad for a couple of years and adding some quality players that really are ambitious. If we climb the premiership table will mean more money, fans, sponsors, etc…..

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  • cooldj

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #7

    btw read this. anyone know about him. probably BS but whats he like anyways cos i aint heard of him!!??!!

    Newcastle and Sunderland might be interested in a former Arsenal trialist. Bulgarian Nicolay Dimitrov had a one-week trial at Ashburton Grove in December but was not signed.

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  • azza jones

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #8

    Damm I think we are in trouble. If you were looking at NUFC why come? We cant compete with the big city of London, the wages and our stadium were the only attractions to come and play for Newcastle. Im a die hard supporter but I think Fulham have a better chance of snaring talent at the moment!

    We are all living in fairy land of 12 years ago!

    Its soooo hard to think we were so close! The only way is too splash the cash and unfortunately MA is not willing to do that.

    This business of bringing in younger talent, we will become a feeder club to Man U, Chelski’s, Arsenals & Liverpools of this world and maybe we might get some shite player on loan in return.

    Lets face it Everton and Villa smashed us this year overall and Villa is in the same boat with there captain marvel Barry about to be pinched from them by f*cken scouser c*nts…..

    If we developed the next ronaldo he would be off as soon as the top 4 came knocking….

    Mike ashley needs to give KK 100 mil and offer riduculous wages for the glory days to return!

    Im depressed writing this………but its true

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  • John

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #9

    azza jones relax…Ahsley tried to sign Modric….Come on the 16 million bucks….

    Were going down the correct route . Better than paying players 100grand a week t fight relegation battle’s

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  • aqmin

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #10

    Ed, could you please make a list of all of our player’s wages? i just can’t believe all of them cost around 70 m a year! ok, owen is 6m, Martins perhaps 4m, taylor around 3m, faye 3m geremi 3m enrique 2m barton 3m milner 2m n’zoggy 3m vids 3m smitty 3m duffy 3m emre 3m ameobi ramage 2m given say 4m harper 2m and who else man? it hardly reaches 50m, i think there’s some mistake either it’s my head or the report, just that it can’t be that 70m high!!!!

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  • Ian

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #11

    I think it will be impossible to reduce the wage bill overall as we had a small squad which if anything needs to be bigger if we seriously want to take fifth place, maybe our target has changed and we are going to take it in steps 7-8th then spend more and increase the wage bill, then up to 5th and decide if they are going to make the big spend needed to be top, who knows?

    However they can easily reduce individual wages to performance, if Duff had 6-8 premiership goals he would be worth every penny, the same with Emre and Smith, but they do not and dont look like acheiving it.
    Owen’s wage should be reduced but bonuses built in for goals to take him over his existing wage if he scores a lot of goals, ie over 16 premiership goals, that way he may understand and evryone would be happy.

    Changing a club’s whole team and philosophy in one transfer window, attract talented players and also try to move up the premiership isnt going to be easy and if they are not careful good players may have a choice of three equal clubs but if Newcastle looks like it has internal problems and it isnt clear if Owen and Martins are definately staying the other two may look more attractive, when in fact it may not have any problems.
    Keegan is the club’s PR trump card, players across the World know his name, this isnt the time for the club to be giving the impression that he is in the background and not fully happy and in control of the team or that they arent going to push that little harder to get the quality they need.

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  • craig chisholm

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #12

    i cant see how our wages have gone up ten million last year and thats the truth. we sold dyer, solano, bowyer, parker plus that 10 million donkey on the left wing – he was so shite i even forget his name. Plus we off-loaded loads of others too in the bracket of chopra etc. Owen and martins were already at the club. how have our wages gone up so much?

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  • Vladimir Romanov

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #13

    You left Steven Carr off that list

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  • Ian

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #14

    Is Ashley’s wage included in the bill???

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  • Ian

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #15

    Also I wonder about where transfer fees are placed in the accounts?

    Are transfer fees and wages clumped together, or seperate?

    While I personally think we paid too much for Owen in the first place, transfer and wages, now we have him and £16m doesnt buy a player of his quality anymore (at the age he was when we took him) so while I begrudge his high wages to performance surely we do not have to pay a transfer fee so his high wages without a fee actually dont look that expensive anymore??

    Say for instance we bought Gomis for £13m and paid him £55k per week on a three year contract. He costs us £7.19m per year. If Owen signs up with us on £110,000 per week that costs us £5.72m per year.

    Or have i got that wrong?

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  • John

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #16

    How does everyone even know what ashley is doing? Its all SPECULATION from the f’ing daily Mail….

    Noone even knows if there is going to be a wage cap….

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  • Marat18

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #17

    check the arithmetics, Ed.
    it’s about 12-13 mill/annum in total.

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  • Ian

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #18

    If nothing is happening why doesnt the club speak up and put an end to speculation, they surely dont want rubbish spouted like this while tryng to attract players????

    Why is no-one saying anything about the club??? It is an odd silence at the moment not healthy.

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  • Steve

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #19

    You didn’t include Carr on that list…

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  • Reformed_Mumbler

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #20

    How many miserable types can one comment board have? Answer, see this blog as often as possible. It can be up to 50, sometimes more.

    FFS, “depressed” and wanting Ashley to stump up £100 million which will magically convince christ knows who to sign for us, in spite of everything else that is currently against us in the transfer market.

    Wake up. Ashley saved our club and spent hundreds of millions in doing so. Be grateful we still have a team to support that is now in good financial shape. You bumders.

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  • bailey

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #21

    Would it be beyond original thought to have a wage cap but add bonuses for example : minimum finishing in top six,then pro rata for any position above that. Same kind of incentives if any cups won.

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  • Leo

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #22

    i think we will do a bit of the old clear out massive wages initially, then put in place an ethos of not paying over the odds for players but not straight away- GRADUALLY

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  • John

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #23

    Ian the fat Freddy Era is over now..Thats why there is silence…

    Is’nt always a bad thing

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  • Bill F

    Jun 2, 2008 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #24

    What we need to do is to go back to post war years when players were on £20 a week and clubs (pre Eastham) could buy and sell players in a form of slave market. I’ll bet Fat Freddie and others like him look back with nostalgia to that golden period.

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  • Martins

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #25

    GSfan: What does this article say?

    Newcastle’dan 12 milyon euro
    Emre BelözoÄŸlu’nu Fenerbahçe’ye satan Newcastle United, uzun süredir ilgilendiÄŸi Arda Turan için Galatasaray’a resmi teklifini iletti. 21 yaşındaki yıldız futbolcuyu mutlaka kadrosuna katmak niyetinde olan Ä°ngiliz ekibi, Arda için 12 milyon euro bonservis bedeli ödemeyi önerdi ve fiyatın artmaması için 2008 Avrupa Futbol Åžampiyonası baÅŸlamadan bu transferin bitmesini istedi. Her ne kadar Galatasaray BaÅŸkanı Adnan Polat hafta içinde yaptığı açıklamada, “Gelecek sezon için derinlikli bir kadro kurmayı planlıyoruz. Bu nedenle hiçbir oyuncumuzu satmayacağız” dese de, Newcastle United’ın teklifi, sarı-kırmızılı yönetimin aklını çelmiÅŸ durumda.

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  • liamtoonbirchy

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #26

    i think doing this is a great idea and will stop us being held at ransom

    if we add duff,smith,cacapa,ameobi and rozenhal to the player we are selling then we will be able to strengthen our squad well with 5-7 players

    collocini
    torosodis
    huddlestone
    steven davis or emana
    turan
    swp
    crouch/ashton

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  • Shearer

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #27

    Dear ed, with all due respect, where do you get the wage figures from?
    And what makes you think Lazio and Stoke will take up the option to buy Rozzy and Ameobi? What makes you think that we will find a buyer for Smith? On the other hand, you missed out the obvious like wage savings from Carr’s departure.

    Once again, with due respect, your blog isn’t what it used to be anymore. These days you are simply churning out unfounded speculation (correct me on this if i am wrong – i will love to be proved wrong) and regurgitating rumours and stale news. Your analysis used to be insightful and accurate – now it’s the exact opposite.

    Don’t get me wrong, i appreciate you putting in the effort to set up this blog and all, but please buck up! Or readers like me will no longer take you seriously.

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  • Eric

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #28

    It worries me that we can let the likes of Emre go for just 3m and keep shite like Smith. I hope this is not an indicator for the future. Why do we have to retain Viduka? His time with NUFC has been mainly lie back and think of Australia?

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  • John

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #29

    jesus shearer .,..This is a blog to discuss all the latest News which includes speculations so we all can give an opinion on it ..Whether we think its crap or not…

    “Or readers like me will no longer take you seriously.”

    You don’t speak for me in the last comment…

    Good work Ed….Really glad you keep this blog going…A lot off news actualy does break on this site first through readers and you.

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  • sas

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #30

    Surely Parker, Dyer (80 grand a week), Nobby and everyone else who left last summer would be included in those figures for 2006-2007

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #31

    Ed – Duff is on 75-80 and Smith is on 62k a week!

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  • faustino

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #32

    Every player that left last year was replaced almost like for like with someone on equal or higher wages or at the very least it balanced out if not increased the wage bill; there’s no way it was lowered. Nobby, Dyer, Parker, Bowyer, Luque etc. were replaced with Barton, Smith, Viduka, Geremi, Beye, Enrique and Feye.

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  • sas

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #33

    True

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  • Geordie Gerrard

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #34

    how u know that tom-toon?

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  • faustino

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #35

    Shearer – IMO theres nothing wrong with dicussing conjecture and rumour when there is nothing factual to talk about. If we were insisitng on following the specualtion in a sea of fact then fair enough. In the absence of reason discuss bollocks as far as I’m concerned – there aint much difference.

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  • Ian

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #36

    shearer you mean it isnt the same as it was during the season?? Let me think for all of a tenth of a second why that may be……

    It is all speculation until the club speaks up, we are all waiting for something to happen.

    really though it just shows why a club should keep in touch with the fans so speculation doesnt get out of hand.

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  • t-g-w

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #37

    I think this whole trimming the wage bill has been misinterpreted. I think Ashley wants to trim the wage bill of players that don’t perform and replace them with players who will perform. So the wage bill is going to stay the same (pay the players coming in as much as the players going out) but we should also move higher up the table. Well done Ashley.

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  • The Entertainers

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #38

    I too endorse the comments of JOHN:

    This blog is a great way to share, voice and vent your opinions on the general subject we all share and love Newcastle United.

    I dont always agree with everyones comments or even the mighty Ed’s. But its fun to comment on them.

    Lets face it we all know we have to take the press stories with a pinch of salt, but if Ed did’nt put them on hear i dont think there would be much to talk about.

    I for one love the site and try to check in when i can, keep up the good work Ed.

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  • Geordie Gerrard

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #39

    let me post ed

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  • Punk Skunk

    Jun 2, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #40

    I agree with John…’Silence is Golden!’..
    …It makes a nice, professional change from the previous chairplebs pathetic hype, that never came to fruition anyway!..

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