If Newcastle Are Relegated – All First Team Squad Up For Sale

The Newcastle Journal is reporting today that Newcastle United will put every single player up for sale if their Premier League survival bid at Aston Villa on Sunday fails.


Michael Owen – biggest disappointment this year – and he’s our captain

  As we have indicated many times on this blog, relegation will be a financial nightmare for the Newcastle club, because we will no longer have the Premier League TV revenue – which is huge, and of course the gates will be a lot smaller at St. James’ Park.

As we had suspected Newcastle have already planned for the worst (and are hoping for the best)  and the Journal is saying that not one of the first- team squad will be safe from the chop, as they all will be put up for transfer in what will amount to a fire sale.

The revenues we know about are that the wages are around £74M and the total revenue (turnover) at the club is a little over £100M, so having wages more than 70% of revenue is not good, and it’s just too high.

The fact that the Newcastle squad is the 3rd or 4th highest paid squad in the Premier League and still managed to take Newcastle down unless some miracle happens on Sunday, means we have no superstars at the club – that’s for sure – just an overpaid set of gutless players.

We’re sorry to have to put it like that – but it’s true – and we will not pull punches with the players who will  take us down, because at the end of the day it’s their responsibility how the team performs on the field.

And not just the players will be up for sale, because Ashley will need to reduce the internal staff at the club, which is probably way too large in  any case, with remnants left over from the Sam Allardyce era, however short that was.

Having all the players up for sale at once of course will not do Newcastle much good either in terms of the fees they can get for some of their players, as it will basically turn into a huge fire sale, where Newcastle’s main purpose is to unload high wage eraners – to get it off the books.

We can just see the Premier League managers perusing the Newcastle squad next Monday morning. How the mighty have fallen indeed.

Are we the only ones who think this looks like Leeds United all over again.

Getting Michael Owen and Mark Viduka out of the club when their contracts run out in June, would save around £175K a week, and we’ve also identified players like Martins, Barton, Smith and others who are on around £60K/week. Claudio Cacapa will not have his contract renewed either and Ciscoi will be sent packing as he’s 8th striker at the club – and we paid £5.7M for this player?   Well done Dennis Wise.

And we can expect Fabricio Coloccini and Jonás Gutiérrez to leave after just a mediocre season on Tyneside. They started well but both have declined this year, and they must each be on at least £40K/week.

The Journal is saying that Ashley needs to save around £600K/week in wages – which is around £31M over the year.   That would make the wage bill around £43M for next season. That’s about a 42% decrease in the wage bill and brings it in line with revenues, which will drop at least as much as that – 42%.

Alan Shearer will want to keep some of the better players, assuming Alan will stay on if we get relegated, but his influence could get one or two of our better players to stay.

We would expect he wants to keep Harper, Steven and Ryan Taylor, Nolan, Butt, Guthrie, Duff, Beye, Lovenkrands, Edgar and of course all of our great youngsters including Andy Carroll.

Oh, and of course he will want to keep young Sebastien Bassong, and after clearing out some of our losers, as far as the wage goes, that will allow Newcastle to give Seb a bumper contract – which he thoroughly deserves.

And it looks like Alan has already formed an excellent working relationship with the young Frenchman, which is good, and we think Alan could even have a shot at persuading the youngster to stay with him – and form the basis of his defense in the new Alan Shearer era.

But it would be a long shot, and it could be that the youngster would be better off joining Arsenal, where he would be great.

One more thing that will be embarrassing for our club, is that currently we are one of the five English Premier League representatives to UEFA, along with the top four clubs, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal – so we’d lose that honor too – because we wouldn’t be in the Premier League.

That will be really embarrassing to say the least, and we’d look to Everton or Aston Villa to replace us – two very well run clubs, unlike Newcastle.

We didn’t know whether we’d hear much about what needs to happen about relegation this week, except on this web site, but we think this is an excellent message that will be sent to the players before Sunday’s game.

And of course in reality Newcastle will not put every player up for sale, because this is a message more to the players than anything else. Perhaps scaring the living daylights out of them may even produce a good performance on Sunday. We’ve tried everything else to no avail.

With Sunderland losing last night a win on Sunday will almost certainly save us now.

But if we do get relegated we’ll etch the names of the players who have taken us down into our long memories, especially those we then sell this summer.

They should be ashamed of their performances this year, and would you believe captain Michael Owen is already trying to attract news clubs, by saying he will take a cut of 50% on his Newcastle wages to stay in the top flight.

How’s that for loyalty and thinking only of yourself?   That’s a disgrace Michael Owen, and of course we  expect to hear he’s out injured for the vital Sunday game – it all seems so appropriate somehow.

So if the team cannot win against Aston Villa, we are in danger of being a club with highly paid flops, who had the audacity to take Newcastle down.

And the most culpable one right at the top of the list is ironically our captain Michael Owen, who has cost the club £1.3M per goal in his four seasons – we think he should even apologize to the fans for his woeful displays this year – but yes we’re taking it a little too far.

We’d like every player to read this – because that’s what’s on the line when they play Ason Villa on Sunday. Only the brave sholuld be wearing black and white on Sunday.

Fail at Aston Villa on Sunday, and we should sell the lot of them!

45 comments so far

  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #1

    I am perpetually embarrassed by fans – Ed included – putting down all and sundry. Folks expect instant heros, instant success, the criticism v Collo and Jonas is astounding – Sell them people cry – they arent good enough. Every other team accepts it takes time to settle in the PL – but Newcastle fans always need a saviour – pathetic.

    We have a dispicible set of “fans” with less backbone than a jellyfish on prozac.

  • Toon Graeme

    May 19, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #2

    Ed – its pains me to see us in this position and for you to close the blog on a bad note.

    Are the players that blind and deaf? Can they not see how crap they are – can they not hear by the crowd reaction?

    Then again – £60K a week would help them sleep at night.

  • Prince Bassong

    May 19, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #3

    Selling every member is quite short-sighted really.

    Anyone who is worth keeping long term but maybe needs first team football with the world cup around the corner or to get them off the wage bill for a bit could be sent out on loan.

    For instance, Jonas could return to Spain, perhaps Mallorca in lieu of some of monies owed, and recapture his old form with the aim being he’ll return a year later to a team back in the Premiership and geared far more to his kind of game.

    If we don’t want/need or are able to have him back then at least he’ll be showing what he’s capable off and bump up any potential transfer fee.

    Now does anyone at the club have that kind of foresight?

  • Widowmaker

    May 19, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #4

    Well, I am sure Stardust, you are here for arguments. Ed was simply saying the club will need to sell them if we are relegated. Are you expecting 2 Argentinian international to play in the Championship? Not a chance.

  • adsmac

    May 19, 2009 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #5

    I’m sorry to say this but i think we’ve got about as much chance of keeping hold of Seb as we have of finishing mid-table this season.

    I think the Championship squad outlined above is certainly a possibilty, but only if Shearer stays. I think that squad with some of the better young players would be a force, in what is lets not forget, a tough league to get of!

  • Widowmaker

    May 19, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #6

    Stardust, got to agree on what you have said on another forum and I would be willing to contribute if that’s what it will need to be done.

  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #7

    I am having a live demo of the system for my business activity this Friday Widowmaker – I will report back.

  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #8

    Stardust – couldn’t disagree with you more if I tried, dispicable fans lacking backbone? Not sure where that comes from, if we go down we will have the largest average attendance for any team relegated from the top flight in the entire history of English professional football! We sell out our away allocation, every game. The backing the team have had lately has been first class, and more than the performances could rightly deserve. You comment is both untrue and offensive. Can you explain and back up those comments please?

  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #9

    Plain and Simple Kev – a significant group of our “fans” forgot to support the club and sided with one man in the absence of real evidence.

    Instead they went on a campaign of hate.

  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #10

    By the way – our fans are no different on the players not good enough comments – in fact we signed, for a lot of money, the player most Bolton fans loved to hate, Nolan, desperately unpopular with their fans, they laughed their heads off that we signed him!!!! That’s what gets our backs up! We sign no-hopers and are expected to be patient while they show no sign of improvement. The 2 Argentinians are not really good enough….how can you back Jonas after his season long performances of delivering….NOTHING! We have only turned on him lately, and the end of a season that he has been mostly supported…..we have lost patience with the fact he has neither supplied a goal, or barely an assist after over 30 games! Colocini – are you saying that he has been good enough? Really? How about Bassong, Beye, Guthrie, Carroll, Martins, Lovenkrands????? HAve we turned on them? NO….why? They have shown commitment, or promise, or ability…something for us to have hope from! No different to any other set of fans….as for messiahs or saviours…..after 4 seasons of gradual decline under Souness, Roeder and Allerdyce – no wonder we were crying our for a change…..Keegan didn’t work out….are you saying we should have stuck with Kinnear? Really? Of course not! So then we turn to Shearer….why? Because he was appointed by the club! So we back him…full of hope as ever!

  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #11

    We turned on Ashley because under his tenure we have fallen lower than we were prior to the sale of the club….and the club was on the decline then!! We sold good players, replaced them with worse….we cut of transfer budgets from that of the previous regime, we employed Wise and his cronies into a strange, ambiguous structure that made little sense to anyone, that regime undermined Keegan on the subject of players coming in and out of the club all summer, at a time the team desperately needed strengthening, and it was plain to see the end result of that would be a relegation battle, no surprise that is what happened! We could see it, plain as the nose on our faces!!! Unfortunately Ashley could not, we ended up with a weak lopsided team managed by Joe Kinnear!!!! How can that be justified? Keegan did not have a energy (bottle, heart?) or desire to continue being undermined and presiding over a relegation battle….he may carry some blame, but the situation was Ashleys creation…..and he took until 8 games left to make any kind of decisive decision to try and rectify it (missing another transfer window in the process!).

  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #12

    Kev – I am not a kneejerker – I see things quite clearly and am able to rationalise.

    When short sighted thought and passion become intertwined – you are left with the stereotypical Newcastle supporter.

  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #13

    So tell me in your passive, rational way what your take on events is then? How come we are in such a mess that we have had 4 managers this season? How come we have such a lopsided squad lacking in quality and cover in key positions? How come we needed, but now don’t need a Director of Football (Wise)? How come our business in the transfer market has been ineffective since Ashley’s regime took over? Oh……and how are the above football related matters which are the responsibility of the club the fault of the fans?

  • Rodzilla

    May 19, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #14



    Aston Villa v Newcastle
    3.00pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1 & HD1

    Hull v Manchester United
    4.00pm, Sun, Sky Sports 3 & HD3

    Sunderland v Chelsea
    4.00pm, Sun, Sky Sports 3
    (via the red button)

  • stevep

    May 19, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #15

    I’m not sure the Leeds connatation is correct – Leeds were massively in debt due to expectant Champions league football which never happened, they not only had to sell thier high earners but also any promising youngsters, they had an avg fanbase of 20k in the championship where I would expect us to avg at least 30k
    We are not in debt yet
    we only need a two or three players to up thier game which would grow confidence and invigorate the rest of the players – look at Fletcher at Man U, he would look awful at the toon whereas Collo and Jonas would probably look great at Man U.
    Shearer needs to get his selection and tactics right and ensure everyone knows what they are meant to be doing

    This season has been woeful to say the least but it is possible we could yet stay up with a draw.

    We need to play to the teams strengths and given that we have no creativity in midfield means packing defence and midfield with defensive minded players rather than trying to ask them to suddenly pick out the pass from heaven

  • Whumpie

    May 19, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #16

    Stardust, I see what you’re saying, but I only partially agree. It is way too one-sided.

    We do have fickle, whining ‘fans’ who jump on everything and call for heads to roll based on nothing. It is embarrassing at times.

    But if you take a step back, look at where we are, and what we’re spending to be there (as Ed has here) and these fans have a point right now.

    I also think many people don’t appreciate what disruption, upheaval and general bad blood does to a team of players. Some equate a high salary to a better natural ability to ignore those things, which is just daft and based on envy.

    HOWEVER, you do have to also acknowledge that the players have failed to get on with the job in hand sufficiently well, even in these awful circumstances. We have a top-six wage bill and a top-half squad. Given what’s happened this year I’d have forgiven them a bottom-half finish: but relegation??

    The buck stops with Ashley, because it has to. You either blame 20-odd people for having a collective breakdown by some massive coincidence, or you acknowledge that there has to be a common cause of those individual breakdowns. You have to look above them and it has to end with Ashley and his catalogue of awful decisions and the arrogance he has in making them. A board and managers with no premiership experience? Why are we surprised at where we find ourselves today??

    So – to end the waffle and summarise: Ashley to blame for creating the unworkable situation, and players to blame for not dealing with it all well enough.

  • Thump

    May 19, 2009 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #17

    Ah, Stardust. I’m so glad you’re back to troll us one last time.

  • stevep

    May 19, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #18

    @stardust – surely fans should have some expectations albeit realistic ones – at the start of this season we were hoping for a europa league spot, surely with Newcastles spending and the “name” players we had that wasn’t expecting to much
    Expectations were sorely hit with KK’s runaway and sufferred even more with the appointment of JK when most people just expected mid table mediocrity, this sufferred a further blow when Ashley yet again put Houghton and co in charge and delayed naming a manager when it had been plainly obvious during his first stint that he wasn’t up to the task. Shearer is then given the job with 8 games to go we’re in the proverbial and expectations (actually we only had hope by then) are that we may stay up and thats where we are today.
    No matter what happens on Sunday we’ll have expectations for next season – prob to hang around midtable in prem with maybe a push for europa or if in championship we’ll expect to come straight back up.
    Thats what you get when you have a large fan base mate

  • Spitfire

    May 19, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #19

    Back with your measured illogicality

    I bet you blame the customers for the fact Woolworths went bust.

  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #20

    Whumpie – unlike a few on here I am not some degenerate who can not see all sides of the argument – your post was reasoned yet:

    The points I make are weighted at those who criticise Mike Ashley but did not stand up to their side of the bargain and support they club through thick and thin.

    The second they chose to hate and campaign against the club instead of supporting it, while Ashley was trying to the best of his ability to do the right thing, they relinquished the right to be heard and mores0 – to an opinion at all.

    To suggest that those who didnt support but demo’d deserved to be heard, who are now and always firing arrows at Ashley who is at least trying to do the right thing, is grossly hypocritical.

  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #21


    JKs appointment was as a result of the fans demo’s – never ever forget that – I campaigned at the time – Actions have consequence. well now you’ve seen it.

  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #22

    The fans demo’s were at the treatment of Keegan, the disgrace that was the summer transfer window, and the general running of the club – there is no link between that and the appointment of JK, in fact if I were a club under fire from it’s fans, I would take special care to get the next managerial appointment 100% spot on right, not appoint someone of JK’s stature in the game. This is not a personal attack on JK who stood up and did his best, it is an attack on that decision, and on Stardusts ascertation that is is the fans who got JK appointed by demo’ing against the club after the Keegan affair

  • lesh

    May 19, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #23

    Well well look who’s back…. no less than our old friend Stardust!

    I am disappointed as I’d assumed that haveing spent his 40 days in the wilderness (if you’ll pardon the analogy) (s)he’d return to us a wiser person. Always one to disappoint eh Stardust?

    Denial still prevails and of course it was the fans that were on the bridge and steering the good ship Newastlle United onto the rocks.

    History is history Stardust, just face the reality that Newcastle United is in one hell of a mess and it’s a sad time for all who support the club.

    Grow up and spit the bile out of your system.. try to understand everyone’s frustration and I include MA in that – he like us all, must be well peed off.

    Try putting some constructive comments in Stardust, you surely can’t live your life in abject denial of the realities of life…. please

  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #24


    KK walked as a result of a disagreement, we dont know what it is yet, we do know that Ashley lost most of his wealth in between buying the club and the summer transfer window.

    When he walked if the fans had said “Thats KK for you” we would have got a first class manager – the Mob however ensured we got JK.

    Deal with it – everything else is as a result of that action.

  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #25

    stardust – that is nonsense mate – utter nonsense, nobody with a business sense or any desire to succeed in their ventures would deliberately sabotage that venture to make a childish point, as you suggest Ashley has done over the Keegan/JK issue – and even worse if you are correct you have only succeeded in agreeing with all of us saying that Ashley is a fool who is unfit to run our club!!!!

  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #26

    Lesh – I see reality with greater depth and clarity than most.

    Cause and effect existed everywhere here and on all sides. I am simply sick of “fans” with deluded views of their own contribution this year – lambasting a man doing his best in hideous circumstances – when they abandoned their posts and turned from supporters to haters at the worst – hissyfitters at best.

    Feel free to see things differently.

  • kevheslop

    May 19, 2009 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #27

    Stardust – fans don’t have any say in transfer policy, only have say in managerial appointments when the board is weak minded and emotional, do not pick the team, cannot win games for a team that is not good enough, cannot do anything except put up with their lot, turn up and try to be supportive, and when required can vent their dissatisfaction to let the powers that be know that we are not happy….other options include not turning up or blindly following and saying nowt when it is clear as can be that the club we love is being ran into the ground – supporting and loving your club requires different measures at different times….you expect too much of people, or care far less than others if you think it is reasonable to say nowt Stardust!!!!

  • Ericles

    May 19, 2009 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #28

    Not likely. Some will stay because they want to – Steven Taylor, hopefully Bassong, and of course Amoebi. Owen has been going for an entire season let’s face it. Anyway, who wants to buy our shite – if they cannot do it, or do not want to do it, for us why should another club want them? Our players need to stand up and be counted at Villa not just when they are walking out of the door into other jobs with grins on their faces. The treachery makes us want to knock seven colours of shite out of some of our dressing room tossers. Aye – I am angry.

  • Mag 48

    May 19, 2009 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #29

    I can’t believe you can blame the fans they only react to decisions made.As for the players I think you will find most of them will be successful at there new clubs.We have had such a hotch potch of managers coaches even chairmen that no plan was ever developed for the first team.I’d bet Owen would fit right in with Villa or Everton Bassong with Arsenal etc etc..
    The blame game will last a long time.

  • Gunners

    May 19, 2009 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #30

    Stardust, are you gay? What’s with the “I got brains, I am unique and special, I am loyal to the club, you are not” attitude.

  • Brutooon

    May 19, 2009 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #31

    Bassong as a fan i would prefer him to join other big premiership clubs….next season is important because its the season before world cup.

    The players i can see staying are:
    Harper, S and R Taylor,Beye and Butt(both too old to find a club), Caroll and the youngsters. maybe viduka would fancy to stay


  • Whumpie

    May 19, 2009 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #32

    Stardust – not sure if you’re still on here:

    Ashley “doing things to the best of his ability” is EXACTLY the problem. The rest of us would have the pragmatism and humility to recognise when our best was not going to be good enough. For Ashley to even try was a stupid, arrogant and irresponsible decision. THAT is why we’re angry at him.

    And now I will confuse you by saying that I hope Ashley stays, because I think he may just have learned exactly that lesson.


    May 19, 2009 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #33

    Stardust // May 19, 2009 at 2:03 PM

    Lesh – I see reality with greater depth and clarity than most.

    well slap my thigh and tickle me pink, i’ve heard it all now.

    stardust, i have generally been undertsanding of your views, but when you portray this “holier than tho” mumbo jumbo your not worthy of anyone giving any credit to your statements.

    only an average man tells others how great he is.

    humility is clearly something you don’t possess

  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #34

    Whumpie – I understand mistakes have been made – always advocated communication was terrible at best – but I would rather have a good man with good intentions than the leech that was here before him.

    Gunners – sounded like a chat up line that fella – if it is you’re on the wrong site. Good luck hunting.

  • ian

    May 19, 2009 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #35

    If that is true then it looks as if they arent planning to get back up in a hurry, all of the reserves become the first team, no doubt Ashley will know best in that League too, if he sinks low enough he will eventually find his level.

  • Stardust

    May 19, 2009 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #36

    “DJM TOON // May 19, 2009 at 3:18 PM

    Stardust // May 19, 2009 at 2:03 PM

    Lesh – I see reality with greater depth and clarity than most.

    well slap my thigh and tickle me pink, i’ve heard it all now.

    stardust, i have generally been undertsanding of your views, but when you portray this “holier than tho” mumbo jumbo your not worthy of anyone giving any credit to your statements.

    only an average man tells others how great he is.

    humility is clearly something you don’t possess”

    On the contrary DJM – I state that factually and honestly. No more or less. I have no need to boast – unfortunately blogs only allow a snippet of a conversation and what is stated as fact can be misinterpreted.

    I dont have the time to keep PC checking everything I type.

  • nufcc

    May 19, 2009 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #37

    ed you write about all the junk there is in newspapers and turn it against michael owen. I recently read a report saying he was willing to take huge paycut to play for shearer. Even though it might not be tru. It would be nice if you report both sides of the story.

  • chuck

    May 19, 2009 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #38

    Unfortunately the club is a disaster, taking it`s lead from Ashley.
    From day one he has hired the wrong people,
    which is really what it`s all about.
    Face it the club is a f*****g joke, with hiring and firing buying an selling, each decision worse than the previous.
    A dsgruntled backroom and players with little or no confidence, most who cant wait to get out the door, unless they are amoung those being well paid.
    It`s a sad state of affairs, for one of the worlds top 20 teams, a testament to bad management
    horrible public relations.
    We the fans have watched the destruction of a top six side under Sir Bobby reduced to a shamefull resemblance of Leeds.
    Blame who you may, but the buck stop`s at Ashley, his decisions in who he hired is the cause for the clubs demise .

  • tripp

    May 19, 2009 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #39

    Chuck, I think that’s why relegation could actually be our salvation. The club need to get sorted… desperately. Part of that is getting the wage bill under control. The players, most of them, simply don’t want to be at NUFC, or only want (and you can’t honestly blame them) their, uh, robust wages. We need a management team, and perhaps it’s Wor Alan, to come in and create a vision for the first team and then implement it. Playing in the Championship will do our young players a world of good and they will need the experience. Only then can we really hope to compete in the PL. We can’t outspend the competition, so we’re going to have to do it properly… by developing talent and scouting out value (aka Bassong).

    I really hope that Habib stays. He’s a top man and should be our captain next season… regardless of which league we find ourselves in.

  • HarryWorth

    May 19, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #40

    Shouldn’t this be Stary or Britney or whatever other name you used to masquerade under you pompous twit? 😀


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