Job One For New Owner Is To Reduce Newcastle Wage Bill

The identity of  all four groups who are in the process of due diligence on Newcastle’s books, and the two who have submitted bids to brokers Seymour Pierce continues to remain a closely-guarded secret.


Keith Harris – deal for Newcastle done within a week?

And no decent leaks even as to who the four may be, and we hear one is form America, but we have to say Keith Harris and Seymour Pierce Bank is keeping a lid on the  identities of the consortia, to their credit.  But it would be nice to have at least one or two decent leaks. 😀

And today we are again being told that the American group is furthest ahead in the due diligence process.

But it appears that some of  the consortia have expressed real concerns to Ashley about the wage bill at the club, which is now £74M, and will be cut to around £61M with the departure of Owen, Viduka, Cacapa and Edgar next Tuesday, when their contracts run out.

Ashley has been asked to quicken up some of the departures, and that’s the job of agents First Artists, but they have had no success at all up to this point, and the only real deal we hear about is Michael Owen, or should we say a lack of a deal.

But he’s a free agent, and as far as we are concerned he’s gone, so we haven’t paid too much attention to him, after his four failed seasons at Newcastle.

When 25,000 fans came to greet him at St. James’ Park in September, 2005, who would have thought Newcastle would be relegated in his final season on Tyneside?

Not too many but that’s how much Newcastle sank to last season, and that’s one reason it will be hard to sell some of our players – there’s now a stigma attached to many of them – including Owen

The nine players who have been identified as the highest priority to transfer out, are those we must see some action on soon.

It looks like they will all report back to Newcastle a week on Wednesday, and that will be more than a little embarrassing, although if Alan is in charge, he’ll handle it well – and keep the attitude and spirits high in training camp.

Ashley is reported to be desperate for some progress on the selling front, and First Artists will be told to increase their focus on the sale of  Newcastle’s foreign players to overseas clubs.

It would be good to have at least one player sold before pre-season training begins, because otherwise question will be asked what has been done at the club for the last 5 weeks?

Answer – not much.

Comments welcome.

25 comments so far

  • Ericles

    Jun 22, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #1

    One way to start a clear out is to get Shearer in asap. If the consortia, whoever they may be, all supposedly want Shearer then what is the problem Ashley? Is MA plain daft or is he plain malicious?

  • Toon Graeme

    Jun 22, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #2

    Being honest their isnt much movement in the xfer window so things may pick up after July the 1st.

  • NUFCNeal

    Jun 22, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #3

    Check this out – our real player costs, and how much we still owe for them.

  • shrews mag

    Jun 22, 2009 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #4

    The idea that all 4 potential bidders wanting Shearer must be just press talk … for the appointment not to have been made, there must be 1 (or more) who have their own manager lined up … surely …?!

    The only other option is that MA is having the last laugh and making as big a mess of the club as he possibly can before he goes (but he cannot be that petty??).

  • batty

    Jun 22, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #5

    if we are all honest with ourselfs none of us know what is going on because no 1 is saying owt

  • harry861

    Jun 22, 2009 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #6

    I can understand any new owner wanting to pay structure reducing.
    The legal side who was in charge at the time of overseeing these contract should be shot. Then being relegated & given this huge bonus beggars belief.
    In my belief contract is contract & is legally binding & I can’t see no way out of this unless the players & their agents agree to a reduction. Can you see that happening. It might be cheaper buying out their contracts.
    Ed I do hope that this can be all resolved & get the new owner & make Shearer the manager.

  • UTD111

    Jun 22, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #7

    I think the view that anybody can “just go ahead and appoint Sir Alan” is a bit simplistic.
    Somebody would have to negotiate his contract. Somebody would have to decide what rewards and bonuses would be offered. Somebody would need to be able to answer his questions on what transfer fund he would receive etc etc
    Ashley isn’t interested in doing this – he just wants his wad and he’s off.
    The Consortia won’t be in a position to do this until they have established the true financial position of the club, how that affects their own financial proposals, and of course which of them is actually to take over.
    They won’t all have the same views on any of the above…….

  • shrews mag

    Jun 22, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #8

    UTD111 … fair comment … nothing is every straight forward, and when things do not follow a simple path the conspiracy theories come out … !!


    Jun 22, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #9

    ed, silly article me thinks my friend…. why would any of the consortia want MA to reduce the wage bill… would that not imply that any money made by the sales of players go to MA and not the new owners??? where is the business sense in that?

    UTD111 your right with the manager issue too.

    i think ed was just bored and needed to do some typing…. i have a business plan that needs writing up if your interested ed?? :o)

    i really don’t think its wise to speculate, we push ourselves into that geordie trap of convincing ourselves of the best possible outcome only to be disappointed and then convince ourselves that in fact this is the best outcome… i see it every year with players etc. when ryan taylor and nolan were bought for example, how anyone could think they were worthwhile additions to the toon is beyond me, but i recall artciles on here praising them.

    let these muppets sort the stuff out at the topand lets see what filters down to us

  • Whumpie

    Jun 22, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #10

    I have two concerns on this:
    1. New owners will want the price reduced to offset the liability of all these over-paid players, and Ashley may refuse to budge. But it’s largely his fault that these stupid contracts don’t have relegation clauses in them, and he has to take the hit.

    2. That the players themselves – especially those nearing the ends of their careers – would rather sit tight, take the money and play in the reserves (which is what Al will probably make them do) rather than take a huge pay cut to go elsewhere.

    As for Owen, Ed – take some solace in the idea that he has totally screwed the pooch for his own career and finances by not signing the contract back in January. He’ll be lucky to get 10% of what he could have had. Not much sypathy from me given his shamefully silent exit.

  • ian

    Jun 22, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #11

    shrewsmag, I agree Shearer shouldnt be appointed owners need to be sure it is theirs first, anyhow what happens if one of the owners wants Keegan not Shearer?

    Give me Keegan any day, he has already got the club up before and has had us at the top of the premiership.

    Or we may get owners who want to spend on players but not on big ego/name managers, we have had disasters inb the past with Gullit who went on to be a brilliant manager but was crap when he was new with us, and Souness and Daglish were superb players but Newcastle went to their head, drugged on the media attention, anyone who knows this from the past may not throw in a local legend player in case it all goes wrong.

    It should be their choice they may even have a better manager lined up than any of us though of who they have friendship/connections with.

    Even if it was Shearer what is the point of paying him to sit on his hands, until an owner arrives??

  • Whumpie

    Jun 22, 2009 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #12

    I doubt if Shearer is sitting idle – that’s just a simplistic image the press find works best for selling papers.

    I would hope that he’s on the phone lining up players and staff. After all, what’s to lose? If he doesn’t get the job, it’s just time that’s gone. If he does, and he’s not got his ducks in a row, he’s in trouble. He’s not daft, so I believe he’s effectively working for us right now. That is also the only explanation for his silence – it’s got “deal with the club” written all over it.

  • ian

    Jun 22, 2009 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #13

    Whumpie your concerns are quite correct but they were Ashley’s money saving contracts with his ‘business head’ on, more like sheep’s head, he cost himself more.

    You are right about Owen though, he could have left with a fat wad and worked somewhere on the cheap to build his reputation up!!

    Hull have offered him the contract that he should have had with us, I wonder if he thinks that is a step up? I bet though that he blames Newcastle for his misfortune, not his own lack of pride and integrity to at least try and keep the club he is at up?
    I always said if he went and worked at a club we were in a relegation battle with I would never trust him as a player again. He completely switched off in that relegation battle, Viduka and Martins shone through as professionals.

  • batty

    Jun 22, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #14

    ian keegan has won promotion in his 1st season for every club he has played for and managed did u know that m8

  • batty

    Jun 22, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #15

    ian cant see keegan going southamton can u


    Jun 22, 2009 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #16

    The clubs financial year end is 30th June-it would seem sensible to get it sold by then.
    The transfers out will start in July-Owen, Viduka,Cacapa and Edgar have effectively left.
    There is clearly interest in Bassong and Nolan.
    I am pretty sure the agents of Coloccini and Guti are working very hard.

  • ginkoh

    Jun 22, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #17

    Answer – not much.

    I think the right answer is – Nothing

  • chuck

    Jun 22, 2009 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #18

    Are you people all delusional, those of you who havent allready read the attachment to post no. 3, check it out.

  • Whumpie

    Jun 22, 2009 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #19

    I think people like Colo will see the sense in taking the financial hit to get out, as in the long term it will pay back for them. Hope so, anyway.

    Ian makes a good point: I’d always thought that at least Ashley did ok on the business front – but now that’s been proved wrong too. His player dealings were moronic at every level.

    BUT – here’s the irony of all of this for me: in a week or so, all going well, here’s what Mike may have done for the club:

    1. Caused – albeit by the worst route – the much needed ground-up rebuild we have needed since 2005. How else could you weed out all the money-grabbing hangers-on in one fell swoop?

    2. Effectively donated £150m to the club and then walked away, making NUFC one of the only clubs in the top 3 tiers not weighed down by debt. (Although for the next 2 years we’ll probably accumulate some new debt due to the relegation.)

    Personally, as long as the new owners aren’t total balloon-knots like Ashley and FFS before him, I think we’ll actually be starting out in better shape than before he arrived. In the wrong division, admittedly – but that is a lot easier to put right than the stuff I’ve listed above.

  • Whumpie

    Jun 22, 2009 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #20

    BTW – that’s not to defend Ashley, who is indefensible – it’s not like he intended either of those things to happen. It’s just the irony of it all that tickles me a bit.

  • Rangerman

    Jun 22, 2009 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #21

    1. New owners will want the price reduced to offset the liability of all these over-paid players, and Ashley may refuse to budge. But it’s largely his fault that these stupid contracts don’t have relegation clauses in them, and he has to take the hit.


    The price should already reflect that other investment will have to be made and a quick look at the accounts will show Ashley has been subsidising the running costs since he got here..

  • ian

    Jun 22, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #22

    Batty, maybe Keegan has got the bug to manage again so he may be considering the post, but why is he holding off?? Maybe that is the question we should be asking.

    No I didnt know the facts you gave about Keegan but he is an absolute winner, if he cant at least improve something then he doesnt think he has earned the right to stay, how many professionals can you say that about?? Most of them think they are owed something because once they did something great.

  • batty

    Jun 22, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #23

    ian // Jun 22, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Batty, maybe Keegan has got the bug to manage again so he may be considering the post, but why is he holding off?? Maybe that is the question we should be asking.
    <<<< already thought of that when i was reading his autobiography again last night m8

  • Rangerman

    Jun 22, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #24

    He’s not holding off, Le Tissier’s group just hasn’t taken over yet.

  • ian

    Jun 22, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #25

    Good point Rangerman, but keegan himself hasnt said he is interested has he?


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