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.
“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.