As we expected the second player to leave Newcastle in as many days is Senegal International Habib Beye, who has signed for Aston Villa for a fee of around £3M.
Habib Beye – experienced player signs for Aston Villa
The versatile full-back has been a transfer target for several clubs this summer, and after becoming fed up with the antics of owner Mike Ashley a couple of weeks back, he is the 3rd player to leave the club in a week, joining Oba Martins (Wolfsburg) and Seb Bassong (Spurs) out of the door.
While we would have liked to have kept Bassong and Beye, the Newcastle club is in no position right now to pick and choose who they can keep as the boards are being cleared of players who can be sold quickly, in an effort to make the club more attractive to potential buyers.
Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill has been looking for experienced defensive reinforcement this summer, and he has a good player and a good leader in Habib, who was the Newcastle player of the season from 2007-2008. Sam Allardyce signed him from French club Marseilles for £2M in the summer of 2007, where he was club captain.
23 year-old Seb Bassong was last season’s player of the season at the Newcastle club.
Hull City had a bid accepted by Newcastle yesterday for Beye, but it now looks as though Villa have won the race for the player, with Hull City manager Phil Brown left disappointed in the transfer market once again this summer.
With the 3 players having left Newcastle in the last week, the club has received around £20M in transfer fees, and has wiped around £140K/week off the wage bill, which is just over £7M for the year. The wage bill now stands at around £55M by our estimate, from a high of £74M at the end of last season. The club can afford around £35M/year in wages given its reduced revenues in the Championship.
Whether any new players will be brought into the club in the next 3 weeks is an open question, and seems rather doubtful unless the club is sold quickly, or else Ashley appoints a permanent manager.
The club had been without a manager since the end of last season, when the club was relegated on May 24th and Alan Shearer’s contract ran out.
How’s that for planning for the new season?
The Newcastle football club is in dire straights at the moment, due in large part to the neglect and complete incompetence of Mike Ashley, the owner, who is currently on vacation in Hawaii.