Are Newcastle Still The Big Draw They Once Were?

Alex Black is the experienced football agent for Alan Smith, and he has talked today to the Newcastle Journal about the new Newcastle United.

Chris Hughton – Magpies’ rookie manager

Black has talked today about whether Newcastle will be as big a draw to players with their new wage policy, where the top wages will be cropped at some level, although we’re not sure of the exact amount – maybe £30K/week.

Alex Black talked about Newcastle United this morning and he seems to make really good sense:

“Newcastle are still a big draw – it is a fantastic football club with superb facilities and it is a good place for good players to go and play football,”

“But part of the reason players might have been attracted to Newcastle in the past was that they were one of the biggest payers in the Premier League – certainly outside the top four and maybe even bigger than some of the top four.”

“Now I am not privy to Mike Ashley’s thinking this summer but if the reports are correct then the kind of contracts they will be offering this summer will be vastly different, and that will undoubtedly put some off.”

“You have to question whether those kind of players were going to be going there for the right reasons in the first place. If they can’t see the bigger picture then do Newcastle really want them?”

“I think Newcastle fans have been surprised that some of the guys that were on big contracts were willing to stay and fight this season in the Championship, but it has created a tremendous spirit that I’m sure Chris Hughton will not want to disrupt.”

The point to be made here is a lot of our players in the past, who arrived at Newcastle, didn’t arrive because they would necessarily be proud to wear the famous black and white striped shirt of Newcastle, but came for the money, and you can mention several players over the last 5 years who seem to have done just that.

But the good news is we now have players who want to be on Tyneside, and the spirit and fight in the team is the highest it’s been since Bobby Robson ran the club – so that’s very good.

But we also have to pay top players the going rate, and when that is higher than Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is willing to pay, we will miss out and the question this summer becomes whether that will be a problem.

Alex continued:

“Newcastle fans might not want to hear this but they will probably be competing with the likes of Birmingham and Stoke City, who have been very ambitious recently, for players this summer,”

“The Premier League has moved on a lot in the year that Newcastle have been away. But there is a still a tremendous amount of appeal and if a player is offered the same package by Birmingham, Stoke and Newcastle – they are going to go to Newcastle nine times out of ten.”

Obviously what Alex is saying is that Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and maybe a couple other teams  (Manchester City, Tottenham)  are in for a player forget it, Newcastle will not win because we aren’t the draw (yet) of those sides.

But we are guardedly positive about the summer transfer window, and think with the good publicity the club has received since Christmas, the Tyneside club can still be a big draw for some very good players.

Whether that means we can attract some excellent players this summer remains to be seen.

But we have to hope so in any case, for the good of the club.

Comments welcome.

18 comments so far

  • Ericles

    Apr 8, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #1

    A fair assessment. We need quality players who want to PLAY for NUFC. In other words we are talking about a different mental attitude to those sort of players who just see it all in terms of money. It used to be a fair days pay for a fair days work. We want players who love playing for us, want to play for us, and thus win things with us. In other words a fair days pay for a fair days play! Have done with the creamers and lets get in the players who are as loyal, honest and ambitious as the fans who help pay their wages. Those are the sort of players who win FA cups and titles and bring the glory back to Tyneside.

  • Captain Beefheart

    Apr 8, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #2

    In the end what is the difference between a £10m+ player, and a £1m player? In many cases just a good run of form in a settled team. Problem is in the past we have trusted the price tag more than our instinct which has led us into perilous financial waters.

    A top notch pro-active scouting system is what we need to spot talent. If we have to rely on agents peddling their wares door-to-door we are lost to start with.

  • Aza9

    Apr 8, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #3

    I think we should try and renegotiate contracts for some of the senior players. The likes of Smith (60k), Barton (70k), Nolan (50k), Colo (70k) maybe half their wages but increase the contract lengths by a few more years. Those wages are just not going to be manageable and will probably upset some players like Guthrie who is on something like 5k.

  • catchy in norway

    Apr 8, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #4

    ok not that i think we are going to win the league,, but in the past i think man u have won the league with a weak team, outstaning indervisuals in there, but weak overall,, but what they had was team spirit, and sir alex,,,

    so il be happy to pick up some fringe players from the bigger teams,,

    as long as we have the right guy to motivate them 🙂

  • NewcastleMole

    Apr 8, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #5

    @Captain Beefheart

    Under Ashley’s model if we sign some talent we’re only going to sell it when a big offer comes in. The team will be a revolving door of talent we will never have a settled team.


    Reducing the wages offered to them players opens a clause allowing to leave on a free. Guthrie is on £30k – £35k AFAIK

  • Ericles

    Apr 8, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #6

    We have, unfortunately, to face the scenario of Ashley until we are finally rid of him. Sadly this means we have to go with what we have got as long as we have got it. There are so many more players than fat salary positions available. I wish we could get away from this market and media driven obsession of equating quality and talent with inflated price tag. We need to think more about a players tackles than his tackle to be honest!

  • Thump

    Apr 8, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #7

    Hang on a second. An agent talking sense?

    What’s the world coming to?

  • Captain Beefheart

    Apr 8, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #8

    ..apart from anything else this Alan Black would say this, wouldn’t he? As an agent he has a vested interest in keeping wages & transfer fees high.

    In the end it relies on supply and demand. There must be hundreds of kids able to make the grade out of the several thousands who are serious contenders. Whereas agents try and make out there is a limited supply, and the clubs play ball for some reason.

    A higher standard of coaching within a professional academy system (that also included academic & vocational education) would surely increase the flow of pro-quality players. Sir Bobby knew this, but we need to expand the youth program significantly for it to work. However, the investment needed to put together a viable sports academy is a mere fraction of what we paid Mr Owen for his 31 goals….

    Short term Catchy is right, unless the manager calls the tune on purchases we will never be successful. It is his team & his strategy. The right player in the right position is the key, not a bargain buy at 4.45pm on the last day of the transfer window.

  • Ericles

    Apr 8, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #9

    I agree with Beefheart’s last paragraph. This is where it stops and starts. The immediate challenge is Coca Cola silverware. We are back in the Premiership and a policy of picking up divas, jack the lads, or off the peg panic buys will be disastrous. Lets go forward as a disciplined club – players, coaching staff, and fans – and let the media pundits and agents go hang.

  • Aza9

    Apr 8, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #10


    How would offering lesser terms open such a clause? When we had Owen at 105k there was talk of offering him a lesser deal at 80k.

    And when Guthrie was in court recently he had to announce his salary which i think was something silly like 4k.

  • Ericles

    Apr 8, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #11

    A good winning side can be created with good players and the right coaching. With the right approach great things can be achieved. What about Sir Bobby Robson with what he did at Ipswich? The quality and the right professional attitudes are out there – we only have to find them. I think we are getting the professionalism to challenge the so-called big “boys” sooner than we are giving credit for.

  • MacToon

    Apr 8, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #12

    Well Smith will have to be twice the player on half the wages IMO.

  • Widowmaker

    Apr 8, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #13


    Nice idea, but don’t think it will work and it can disrupt the team spirit to an extent.

    I wouldn’t be happy with my boss if he is to half my pay after a year of hardworks even if I was really crap at the job 2 years ago.

  • derekm

    Apr 8, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #14

    If you look at the savings that had to be made when we suffered relegation, and the numbers talked about as lost revenue, reverse these and add even more to the mix with the new deal agreed this month on euro TV rights, and THEN add the increased attendances expected next year then how in hell’s name can we not compete with most of the other clubs outside the top five? I’m no accountant but if the likes of Fulham can succeed on what they pull in then we’d have to be completely useless again to struggle.

  • Charlietoon

    Apr 8, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #15

    Aza 9 so half the wages twice the contract….??

    How can you go into negotiations and say for example your on 60gs for 2 years but well pay you 30gs for 4….. I’d stay for two and hope the best after that

  • xfer

    Apr 8, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #16

    Fair comments from him.

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 8, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #17

    How can the poor lambs survive on £30k a week !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Apr 8, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #18

    NewcastleMole love to know were you get ya info cause u are wrong, guthrie is on 5000 grand a week it was declared to a british court about 2 months ago.@Aza9 if you had a contract at work would you take a pay cut shut up mate,when you sign a contract you honor,when you offer a contract you honor it.


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