The Times has issued a good article today, and it has contacted an insider, who has told them how the new Newcastle will be managed, and what type of players the club will be after.
Mike Ashley – no debts at Newcastle and he’ll get more involved
It’s a very good article, as usual, by the excellent George Caulkin, who is one of the best writers on Newcastle.
However, there’s not too much new news there for Newcastle fans, that we haven’t worked out already.
Mike inherited almost Â£100M of debt, which he was not fully aware of, when he bought the club last summer.
He had Chairman Chris Mort pay that off last year, but the wage bill has increased by over 30% in the last two years to around Â£72M. It increased by Â£9M when we recruited our new players last summer.
Yet the team were still hopeless overall, and finished with their worst points total ever in the Premier league – 43 points – so something isn’t right.
Newcastle will now be run far more like a real business by Ashley’s executive team, and Mike will take a more hands-on approach, especially in the transfer market.
There will also be a huge emphasis on youth, which Chris Mort set up over the last year.
Mike Ashley is also keen to get value from the wages he pays his players, which he hardly saw in his first season at the club, due to both injuries and poor form.
Many players on huge wages last season were hardly available because of injuries, and these included Emre, Carr and Viduka.
It’s interesting that Viduka is the only player still at the club for next season.
The Times has been talking to an insider, who made this comment to them:
â€œThe determination is to build a team, rather than simply buy big names,â€
â€œThe desire is for a young, hungry squad which will stay together for the good of Newcastle for years to come, rather than for just a season or two.â€
The change in approach has been easy to see with Newcastle focused on multiple teenagers and also on the younger, not always fully established stars, like 22 year-old Luka Modric, 21 year-old left sided midfielder Arda Turan and 22 year old French striker Bafe Gomis.
That seems to be the age range Newcastle are targeting specifically, but we will still need one or two experienced players brought in during the summer, who are already at their full potential, if we are to be able to compete for 5th place next season, which is our stated target.
Dennis Wise is the executive responsible for recruitment, and that is a key job that carries with it a huge salary, but also a big responsibility to recruit top players.
If he is not able to do that, we don’t think Dennis will last too long in the job, it’s that important to the club.
Wise has brought in five excellent teenagers, but many of them were already being tracked by the club, before Dennis arrived in January.
15 year-old whiz kid Aaron Spear from Plymouth Argyle, could be out next capture at the teenager level, and he is still very willing to join Newcastle, even though Arsenal are now interested in the youngster.
One of our sources claims to be friends with the youngster in Plymouth, and has told us that Aaron does not want to join Arsenal, and is only too happy to come to Tyneside.
We’ll see if that’s true – very shortly.
The key to Keegan and Wise working together is to ensure that Keegan is continually kept informed on everything happening in the recruitment area.
And Keegan has the final decision on which players can leave and which are acquired by the club.
He is helped big time in that area by Dennis Wise, who is looking around full-time for other players and youngsters that Kevin will not know about.
Kevin’s job is to manage the side and train and coach them to success, and doesn’t have to go and search out players.
We assume Kevin has already bought into the young player recruitment process.
Mike Ashley, as we reported earlier in the week is now ready to be more involved at the club, and will work closely with Derek Llambias, our new Managing Director at the club, which we assume is a CEO type role.
We think this strategy is a viable approach for the club – and at least it’s a plan, which we never had under the haphazard structure that Freddy Shepherd presided over.
The team will be a young side, but if we bring in the right youngsters and a little added experience, we can soon be one of the top clubs again.
We are still confident of that – that’s our view – and we should give the new team, and the new management structure, a chance.