Hughton Silence Suggests Surprise At No Transfer Funds

We had suggested that after the release of the Newcastle statement yesterday,  it would be good to get an interview with manager Chris Hughton to help explain things.

Chris Hughton – not talking to press?

But the Newcastle Journal this morning is reporting they have tried to get Chris to talk, and would obviously ask about that statement that there is “no plan for new capital outlay on players” , but Chris has not made himself available.

If this continues, and we obviously hope it doesn’t,  it has the perception that even Chris himself was taken unawares by the statement that no transfer money would be made available to him.

And we all know from our consulting training that perception is reality.

But the Journal yesterday also reported it was their understanding that Chris and his coaching staff were told by owner Mike Ashley there would be no transfer funds available, following the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup on Friday night, April 16th.

Now that we’ve written this, Chris will probably come out and give a lengthy interview to the Evening Chronicle today,  but we really hope he does that, because the last thing we want is for Chris to have been blind-sided by Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias.

That wouldn’t be good, and we have to hope if has not happened.

Comments very welcome.

15 comments so far

  • Davies

    May 11, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #1

    Perception isn’t reality, it’s perception. Maybe Hughton is just unavailable. It happens.

  • BeeGuy

    May 11, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #2

    People hear what they see. Perception is reality. The tricky part is how many people really know what “capital investment” means? From our Watergate days we learned “Follow the money”. So a good reporter, his editor and maybe some blogging sites, should get with an accounting pro and learn just what “capital investment” means, or how many meanings does it have?

    I don’t think CH is willing to set himself up for failure & MA cannot afford to go back to the Championship. So, whatever “CI” means to NUFC, it does not mean “suicide”.

  • Hidiba

    May 11, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #3

    Where on earth does it say we have no transfer funds?????

    Capital outlay can be defined as payments made in cash or cash equivalents over a period of greater than one year generally on a depriciating asset.

    I read into that statement as we’ll not be buying hugely expensive players and paying for them over the length of their contract, i.e Boumsong et al, and be gambling on sucess to finance further players, rather we’ll be living within our means each season and use the money available to buy the most suitable players!

    Optimistic or deluded????

  • Newutd

    May 11, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #4

    The problem is that MA may feel we have a good enough squad already. I mean, look how easily we won the Championship. We may have a good enough squad to stay up, but it’s thin and we sure can’t be certain. This is risky business from MA.

  • toongloom

    May 11, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #5

    Im sick and tired of reading articles based on no facts and truth. Before this statement came out this blog was linking us with anyone and everyone and now its banging on about no transfer kitty.

    Jst wait and see wat happens, its out of our control anyway. The season starts mid august and if we start badly then MA will know we need to buy a few players. Then there is the january transfer window.

    For now lets worry about who can go and bring in some money for potential transfer. I say we shud get rid of:

    Best, xisco and ameobi. That shud bring in hopefully 4m and spend tht on someone like gudjohnson or beattie. Possibly pick up 2 players on free and couple on loans. Lets be positive eh

  • Toon Sweden77

    May 11, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #6

    Must read the statement again..

  • Holmes182

    May 11, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #7

    When has Chris ever spoke about how much money he has. The statement is incredibly clear on the clubs plans and the manner they will conduct them selves in. They will buy players with in their working capital (money received from deals, tv rights and sponsorships etc etc) What they wont do is have Ashely continuously throw another £20 million into transfers every year and they even explained why they wont do it. The club were brilliant in January, not talking about targets and securing 5 very good deals and Best…. without little fuss and relatively cheap prices. Lets put it another way, small purchases on players like Mike Williamson and Routledge reported only £2-3 for the pair or £18 million for Luque and Boumsong….. I rest my case.

  • DoctorZelig

    May 11, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #8

    At the moment the team feels like winners and that can carry them a long way. People should not forget that a lot of our players at some point have won a national champion or a cup. All the others have now experienced how it is to win and keep winning. They have felt the pressure of being chased for almost an entire season. They have felt the pressure of the surrounding media, fans and board to get a result first time round and they’ve succeeded.

    I am sure that a lot of teams will be shocked by how different this Newcastle team is compared to the one that went down. This team does not quit, this team can steal a victory in the last minute or in overtime. This team is harmonious and everybody fights to the last drop of blood.

    I would hope for a couple of signings but I feel that this Newcastle team will fare a lot better in the EPL then most people think.

    If you look at the chains from goalkeeper to forwards all have Premiership quality. Some single players might not have a lot of Premiership experience, but that is how it is with young players, they must learn. I am not saying they are all top class individually but together with sound tactics and team spirit they will surprise people. I only see Chelsea, Man U., Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Man City as having way better players then us. That leaves out the top 6 but all the other places are possible with the current team.

  • noir9

    May 11, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #9

    Holmes182 @ 182
    I tend to agree with you, the club have told us that we will have to live within our means & currently money is very tight. Our income has increased with our return to the prem etc but we have lost nearly £70 mil in the last couple of seasons & it has to be re-paid. I still think we will get players in, its just that they will not be big buys.

  • WLtoon

    May 11, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #10

    It is possible that CH could of been blind sided by these two like you said,after all it wont of been the first time they have done it. KK springs to mind immediately. IF we have to sell to buy,who would bring in enough cash to sign the quality we need in the prem,unless we cud attract a couple of good free transfers,then its the wages scenario again. i hope CH does,nt have to sell ANY of our best players. i cant believe im even writing this,only last week most of us were reasonably optimistic about next season,even tho we did,nt expect much cash to be made available to CH. Ashley certainly knows how to throw a bucket of water over something good. I said last wk that i did,nt trust Cashley and that he had something else to throw at us,it does,nt take a genius to think that, hey presto. IMO i think we will do well to stay up now,there is,nt much optimism about anymore. thanks MH. By the way fatboy, the 230M u offered to buy out the company(not nufc) has been knocked back. your limo awaits you.

  • noir9

    May 11, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #11

    So chris knew he had no money to spend 2 weeks ago or he only found out at the weekend when the statement was released? Well guys which is it? The fact that the journal & chronical keep contradicting themselves serves as proof that they as much in the dark as the rest of us.

  • estechco

    May 11, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #12

    Can any of you financial whizz kids out there clarify something for me?

    When the club says they have gone from a loss of £37.7m to (08/09) to £32.5m (09/10) does that equate to…

    a) A total loss of £70.2m
    b) A total loss of £32.5m (as we recovered £5.2m during 09/10)

    My initial reading was b), but others seem to have assumed it to mean a) ?!?


    May 11, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #13

    George Caulkin

    In a parallel universe, a parallel Newcastle United released a parallel statement on their parallel official website yesterday evening. This is how it read…

    Dear Newcastle United supporters,

    First things first: thank you. Thank you on behalf of everyone connected with the club, from the players, from the managerial staff and from the boardroom, for your continued backing. Thank you for bearing with us over the past few, difficult seasons and thank you for persevering as we attempt to put things right.

    Thank you for continuing to buy your season tickets, your replica shirts, your pies and programmes and thank you for trooping through the turnstiles to shout yourselves hoarse week upon week. We know that you have a choice, that you didn’t have to do what you did and we appreciate the sacrifices some of you made at a time when the economy is in turmoil and finances are tight. In a very real and meaningful way, we simply couldn’t have done it without you.

    For a club that haven’t won a domestic trophy since 1955 to record an average attendance of 43,387 in the Coca-Cola Championship was stunning and humbling. Once again: thank you.

    Without wishing to open old sores, we recognise that we’ve made some pretty big mistakes. Hopefully, by acknowledging that and accepting it, the process of healing those wounds can gather pace. What’s been so productive about the campaign just ended is that it felt like we were all in it together; team, coaches, fans. In testing circumstances, the club began to renew itself and long may that continue.

    In the spirt of that bond, we feel that we have a duty to be open and frank. Just as this is a different Newcastle from the club that were relegated a year ago, it also a very different environment. Money has coalesced at the top of the Barclays Premier League and it is all too easy for clubs to overreach themselves chasing an illusory pot of gold. There were some great times at St James’ Park under Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson and we’d love to repeat them, but we all have to accept that, for the foreseeable future anyway, things have changed.

    We’re not trying to apportion blame here – and, in any case, we would deserve a slice of it – but, for whatever reason, the club got into a situation where they were paying exorbitant transfer fees, wages and agent fees, often at the expense of team-building. That can’t and won’t happen again. Successful clubs build and grow and we want to protect the team spirit that has been so evident in the Championship. We want to protect the football club as a whole.

    It is our judgement – and that of Chris Hughton, our manager – that we have the basis of a squad that can compete in the Premier League next season. If you look at clubs like Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers and, more recently, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City, you can see that it’s possible to stabilise following promotion and that’s the route that Newcastle are going down. We’ll be relying on loans, free transfers and a bit of imagination. We’re not saying it’ll be easy and we’re taking nothing for granted, least of all you.

    Put simply, the pot is empty. In our last season in the Premier League, we made a loss of £37.7m and we’re due to record another loss of £32.5m this season. That’s just not sustainable. Our overdraft – all clubs have them – stands at £20m and it’s already been allocated. Yes, our income from television money will shoot back up again, but the owner has already invested around £300m of his own money into Newcastle and, as far as he’s concerned, that’s enough. As our last accounts stated, there is an outstanding loan of £111m from Mike Ashley that is “repayable on demand,” and, ideally, he’d like some of it back.

    That’s reasonable, isn’t it? He’s kept things ticking over this season and we’ve slashed costs, but it’s a matter of record that Mike has twice attempted to sell the club and he just isn’t willing to leave himself further out of pocket. You may not want to hear that, but we hope you appreciate the honesty. To borrow an old phrase, we are where we are.

    In the meantime, we want to build a new Newcastle, if you will. We want this to be a Newcastle you can be proud of. A big part of that, as always, will be determined by what happens on the pitch and all players will be reminded of their responsibilities to you, but it also means focusing resources on our Academy structure.

    For far too long, this region has allowed its better players to leave and we have to put a stop to that drain of talent. We tip our hats to the work done by our neighbours Middlesbrough and Sunderland in this regard and we want to do the same. And we mean it this time. We’re going to let the experts get on with the job of building scouting networks and providing opportunities and, with a bit of luck, in a few years’ time, you’ll be cheering on a team peppered with skilful Geordies. How good would that be?

    We should also say a few words about the media and our relationship with them. It hasn’t always been easy. We happen to think that this club and their supporters has not always been well served by newspapers, television and radio and that we’re sometimes subjected to crude stereotyping, but we also accept that because of decisions taken by this regime and its predecessors, we’ve made ourselves easy targets. In retrospect, there was probably an opportunity to reshape the debate when Mr Ashley bought the club, but he was never very comfortable about assuming a public role and that moment has sadly dissipated.

    We have to hold our hands up, too. When we have spoken out, we haven’t consistently managed to get our message across in the way we wanted to, so we’ve taken the decision to let our football and our football people do the talking for us. If you see anything in the papers from now on where Newcastle “sources” or “insiders” are quoted, rest assured that it hasn’t come from us. We don’t want to get in the way of Chris’s work because he’s got a tough enough job without any unnecessary interference from us.

    Hope this clears things up.

    Thanks again and Howay the Lads,

    Newcastle United

  • Robby Bobson

    May 11, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #14

    I’m assuming the lack of transfer money is because Ashley wants his money back and seeing as he saved us from doing a pompey, if he can find the right balance between player investment and repaying himself then OK…but no money for tranfers is really risking it.

    I think im going to try and detatch myself from reading articles until the summer and just judge what gets put out on the pitch.

  • Holmes182

    May 11, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #15


    “The financial report shows that there was an operating loss of £37.7 million for that year and an estimated loss for 2009/2010 of £32.5 million”

    They are operating losses which means the difference between the net revenue and the net expenditure. So it is A im afraid, we have lost £70 million over the past 2 seasons. One small positive to take out of that is that we have reduced the operating loss by £5million, even with the huge loss of revenue experienced after dropping out of the premier league.

    Also the club have just announced another statement to clarify that Ashely isnt looking to take money out of the club nor does he expect any money to be repaid on his loan.


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