Newcastle’s New Transfer Policy Makes Sense

The News Of The World today is reporting that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has introduced new rules in Newcastle’s transfer policy.

Mike Ashley – new wage cap

Ashley will only allow players to be bought if they are under 26 years of age, have some resale value and accept a wage limit of £15K a week, which is around £750K/year.

And apparently the reason Jermaine Beckford and Matthew Kilgallon didn’t arrive on Tyneside was because of the limit on the wages they were offered.

We’re not sure that’s accurate for Beckford, as the reason we didn’t get him seemed to be that we didn’t bid high enough.

Jermaine Beckford stayed put at  Leeds United, and of course Kilgallon made a monumental career mistake by signing with Sunderland, poor lad. 😀

The new rules have not stopped Newcastle from signing four seemingly good players in Wayne Routledge, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson and Leon Best.

Newcastle also took QPR’s Fitz Hall on a season long loan and Chelsea’s Patrick van Aanholt for a month’s loan, which we understand may be extended soon.

Most Newcastle fans were happy with those signings, even if we haven’t been too happy with the last two performances and results, dropping 5 points in our last two games and conceding 4 goals.

A source close to Newcastle is quoted as saying:

“The club is being run completely differently now.”

“The days of throwing money away are over.”

“There was a budget limit and there was an age limit. Mike wants players who will have a saleable value.”

Our first reaction to this is that the new rules are smart and a wage cap is a good thing at a club, and it will stop us getting a yearly wage bill of £74M, for a team that then gets relegated.

Wages of £110K a week for players like Michael owen, are gone – and so they should be.

However the wage cap of £750K/year is fine for the Championship, but we’d assume that it will be higher for the Premier league – if indeed we can get promoted this year.

Not sure what the limit should be in the Premier league, but the top wage should probably be around £40K/week, so a few of our players will still be above that.

With clubs like Crystal Palace, Cardiff City, Portsmouth and even Manchester United’s money problems show that it’s a good thing that Newcastle will build on a firm financial footing.

There’s no reason at all with a good youth policy and some smart signings that we cannot build s team that can hold their own in the Premier League next season – if we are strong enough to gain promotion.

What do you think about this?

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • wickywoowoo

    Feb 14, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #1

    The first part of this policy is logical, I suppose, although I’d hope the wage limit is higher if we get promoted.

    Its the second part I am worried about. The fact he is making these indicates he is going nowhere anytime soon and the fact he is so keen on “resale value” tells me that we will forever have to be a “sell before buy” club.

    For example, we get a Man Utd situation and all our defenders are injured for long term and we NEED to buy during a transfer window. Our policy would mean, regardless as to whether they are a vital player for the team, our best and most important player would have to go to fund the sale.

    If that is not the case, then “resale value” would be a moot point. It defeats the purpose of building a youth squad of any talent if you’re just going to sell them on the moment you look like you can make a big of money. He’s messing up AGAIN.

  • Eaststander

    Feb 14, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #2

    We do not want any new transfer policy from him. We just want him out of our club.
    I know we have got to stick with him until we are promoted but thats as far as it goes for me.
    If he keeps us next season in the premier leauge I wont be using my season ticket and I wont be watching as we will be absolutly destroyed and again will be the laughing stock of football.

  • Charlietoon

    Feb 14, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #3

    I agree that 40k a week is more realistic as a premier league club but they should have to earn that and we have a good squad at the moment on low wages who, when it comes time to renegotiate, will be able to get a decent increase if deserved and if not they wont be expensive flops.

    I also think we are getting a lot of players very cheaply or on the free and therefore should not be afraid to put some of the money that would have been spent there into a wages if it gets them to sign. After all Ashley and relegation has somewhat sullied the fine name and reputation that would have other wise got some quality players to sign on a cheaper wage.

  • NewcastleMole

    Feb 14, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #4

    All i’m going to say is you get what you pay for.

    If true its an indication of his “long term” strategy 🙁

  • GeordieMeerkat

    Feb 14, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #5

    It’s not a bad plan at all but there are issues still needing to be addressed.

    Is Colo worth £80k a week?

    Are we giving our youngsters the best platform from which to come through to the first team?

    Does Hughton have the ability to get this team performing against better opponents every week? And with these constraints?

    All in all I’d have to say we’d need a Coppell, Hughes, Terim or Sousa who could come in and build upon the foundations Hughton has laid and get a well-budgeted side at least trying to punch above it’s weight and not throwing in the towl early.

  • jimiley

    Feb 14, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #6

    The transfer policy is bollocks.
    We are investing in Champioship players for the premiership. We are losing better players like Beckford and Moses because the owner is aa tight as a mouse’s eardrum. Where is the long term policy of preparing for the Prem? Buying Man Us fifth choice right back? Buying williamson who is now dropped from the team. With the exception of Routledge we have bought peripheral squad players. And remember we got relegated last season. How are they going to compete in the Prem? Ashlee stinks the place out.

  • psb

    Feb 14, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #7

    Ok Mr Iley, exactly who do you think we should have been buying this season, in the championship ? Premiership players will not move to the Championship, end of. Moses didn’t join Forest or WBA did he ? He went to a relegation batle with Wigan. None of the teams who have recently gone up have been able to have Premiership players in the Championship, it is just not possible these days.
    With that in mind we are damn lucky to have players like S Taylor, Harper, Smith, Nolan, Coloccini, Enrique and Guttierez playing for us. That is why we are top of the league.

  • jimiley

    Feb 14, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #8

    The only reason we are “lucky” enough to have these players playing for us is that nobody would pay Smith and Nolan 60K a week and we could not get rid of them.
    I accept that we cannot buy quality premiership players but we should be looking to buy better quality than squad players as per January. We have no debt but the owner is unwilling to pay a few millions more (not tens of millions) in order to make promotion more likely and be better prepared for the Prem. It is short sighted to plan on a year by year basis. But there again, Ashlee’s plan is to invest as little as possible eg 3 million in Jan, sell for an extra 100 mil in July and leave the new owner with little or no time to strengthen a hopelessly underprepared squad for the Prem. Ashlee is taking us to the cleaners and will laugh all the way to the bank.

  • The Entertainers

    Feb 14, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #9

    Football generally should have a wage cap, i may be wrong but i believe the top German teams have introduced this already.

    The wage, structure and even the transfer budget should be based on the clubs incomes. This would stop clubs like Man Citeh and Chelski buying players and making huge losses season after season and allowing all clubs to have a fairer playing field.

    While i’m at it i would have clubs having a squad of a max’ 35 players and app’ 10 must be from the youth set-up.

    Football generally is in a mess, particularly in the UK.
    Man Yoo
    West Ham
    are all in trouble to varying extents in the top flight and many others are no longer buying ‘superstar’ signings.

    Its even worse else where with Palace, Luton, Chester not even knowing if they will be here in the coming years!

    Ashley certainly pulled us out the red (for me a little too fugile still with his penny’s). Maybe thats his long term plan, allow every other club to go out of business and win the European Cup by default!

  • psb

    Feb 14, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #10

    ok, if we had sold Smith and Nolan (incidentally, had Shearer stayed on I don’t think he’d have sold either of them, he would have based his team around them) who would you have replaced them with ? Any player with serious Premiership qualities would have either a) not wanted to drop a division or b) demanded similar wages. Who would we have turned to ? Journeymen no doubt, or kids. Neither of which would have met with your approval, no doubt.

    I assume you would prefer we didn’t have Smith, Nolan, S Taylor and the hispanics. If that was the case, we’d be down there with Coventry and Derby.

  • psb

    Feb 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #11

    Mr Iley, how the hell do you know what Mike Ashley’s plan is ? I bet he doesn’t even know himself as yet.

  • jackdnufc

    Feb 14, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #12

    psb- could not agree more with all you have said. We are still on course for promotion and we will be able to afford players in the summer… as long as Ashley is willing to up the wage budget some to attract better quality players. Come on lads, its not all doom and gloom on top of the table surely!!


  • psb

    Feb 14, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #13

    Ashley actually has provided money to meet the wage bills of the experienced players previously mentioned, as opposed to selling them and buying someone else. As it stands right now, that decision (voluntary or not) sees us at the top of the table with 60 points. we could have shipped them all out and started again with more economical players but that would have seen us like Boro, “consolidating”. Which would you prefer ?

  • hitman

    Feb 14, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #14

    wasnt all the first team up for sale,but no one wanted to buy our players or pay there massive wages,so we got lumberd.

  • psb

    Feb 14, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #15

    Lumbered or not, he’s still shelling out for their wages and cannot, therefore, buy anyone else of any huge value.

  • stuart no9

    Feb 14, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #16

    no its not all doom and at the top even though a drubbing at lowly derby then outplayed at swansea suggests to me what i have thought all season ,we wont go up in the top 2,west brom and forrest are better footballing teams,we also have a manager whose tactics are more negative than big sams, say no more, then we can only buy players with good resale value, so when they improve, and big clubs come in for them, offer them more than the £15,000 they are on here they’l jump at the chance, fat b”……d doubles his money, everyones a winner , everyone apart from the fans , who can now only look forward to seeing all their best players leaving for teams with ambition, and who can blame them, ambition is something nufc has been stripped of since our tacky, cheap , sports wear owner arrived, what chance will we have? we are about to become a selling club again,to clubs like , spurs man u, chelsea, the future is bleak, the future is nufc

  • psb

    Feb 14, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #17

    Forest have just to Derby, Coventry and Doncaster

  • Ketsbaia

    Feb 14, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #18

    Ashley spent 3m on transfers in the Jan transfer window. That was 10% of the 30m total spent by all of the clubs in the football league. How can we keep complaining that he is not spending money? The reality in football is that the ridiculous money that was being spent is no longer available for anyone other than Man City and Chelsea. The likes of Man U, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Cardiff and Crystal Palace are all teetering on the brink of financial ruin. We should be pleased that Ashley is providing some money to spend – we spent more than any other Championship club – and that we are buying players that should be able to take us up and if they can’t cut it in the Premiership can be easily sold back to a Championship club without us losing money…

  • stuart no9

    Feb 14, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #19

    seling them back to the champion ship and getting something back sounds all well and good, but by then we are hovering around the bottom of the league,we have to sell them and buy new in the transfer window,would ash be prepared to spend real money on players who could keep us up ???? if we are going in the prem we have to build for the prem, and looking at our signings and his new transfer policy it dosnt make good reading

  • Ketsbaia

    Feb 14, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    Comment #20

    Stuart No9,
    Agree that we certainly need to make some purchases in the summer – central midfield being the most obvious problem and I think that we will see at that time whether or not Ashley is willing to make the right signings. My point was simply that while we were rightly angry about what has occured in previous transfer windows, we should be relatively pleased about this one.

    From what I have read, this “new transfer policy” was actually the policy put in place for the last window and I think made sense at the time. Obviously as our circumstances change, the policy will have to be adapted to meet our new circumstances. For example, if we didn’t get promoted there is no way we could afford to keep Colo, Nolan, Smith and co on their wages for another season in the Championship. Likewise if we are promoted, we will have to make sure we have a squad able to ensure that we are able to compete in the Premiership.

    I know many were disappointed in our Jan signings as they felt we should be building for the Prem but realistically we can’t attract Premiership-level players until we get there. I felt that the signings we made were probably as good as we could really get and low risk in that we could sell them without losing much money if they don’t make the grade in the Premiership

  • Sav

    Feb 15, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    Comment #21

    Presumably that means we will be putting Smith and Nolan up for sale in May and Coloccini after the World Cup, hoping to get our money back?

    Ironically, Ashley is the only owner to put in significant amounts of his own cash and we should now be in a very healthy state with promotion in May. A wage cap is sensible and the best bit about it is it almost certainly means Ashley is lining up to be an attractive purchase. Lets hope its not to another greedy businessman like Ashley, the Glazers, Hicks and Gillette and a host of others.

  • chuck

    Feb 15, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #22

    If Mike Ashley thinks he can create a new revolutionary trend in the PL by creating a salary cap and coupling it with an age limit.
    He`s out of his mind.
    Had there been an age limit we would never have had such stalwarts as Keegan, Speed, Beardsley, Robert , Nobby, and many more, dumb, dumb , dumb.
    Just shows you where his head is at, thinks he knows it, gonna be the new Arsenal etc.
    What kind of player would be attracted by a fifteen thousand quid and lower salary, let me tell you , a second tier player, certainly no one of substance would play for that kind of money.
    Especially when the earnings of PL clubs begin with fifty million apiece and thats before endorsements and gate money.
    Just another pipe dream from an egotistical know it all, who in fact knows feck all, well about football anyway
    Now had he introduced a salary cap that contained bonuses for wins and silverware, thats a different story.
    Players need incentives in order to produce and more dosh is what it`s about, no one does extra without incentives, think about it .

  • chuck

    Feb 16, 2010 at 4:52 AM

    Comment #23

    If NUFC were Man. U. or L`Pool i would be concerned in regards to the club being over leveraged or taking on more debt.
    But in the case of NUFC, with an owner who is one of the country`s richest men , a billionaire, who`s business is doing just fine, even in the present recession, why all of a sudden are people voicing a program of austerity.
    Hey in case you did`nt realize it theres a state of the art stadium in place, that attracts more fans than most PL teams and the payments are manageable.
    Also we have just cut a deal with Northern Rock, plus a new deal with Puma and to top it all there`s a fifty million package from tv being awarded to each PL team in the approaching season.
    At present we have possibly a half dozen players of PL quality and are looking at promotion.
    That`s fine but once promoted and in the big money, the idea is to stay.
    That` s something that`s not gonna happen unless we spend a chunk of dosh and going on recent history where because of a few hundred thousand we missed out on first choice players.
    With that kind of attitude we will be lucky to survive one season in the PL .
    As for the salary cap, who are we going to attract at salaries below fifteen thousand a week, when clubs are paying in many cases over a hundred thousand and these are the teams we have to compete with.
    As for not buying anyone over twenty six, had we done that previously, we would never have signed, Keegan, Ginola , Robert, Beardsly, Speed, hey I could go on but i`m sure you get the point.
    The guy`s made more mistakes during his tenure as owner and about to compound them with this ridicules nonsense.
    Lets hope he get`s a decent price and feck`s off never to be heard of again and take` s that other football genius with him ,Llambias .
    As for you Ed. surprised by your attitude supporting this nonsense.


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