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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Howay The Lads!!



Only £5M Spent But Newcastle Significantly Strengthen Squad

11:38 am, Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 50 Comments

It seems that most Newcastle fans are pleased with this summer’s transfer window at Newcastle, with 5 good players having been recruited for a total transfer fee of only £5M to Newcastle.

James Perch – rapid improvement at Newcastle?

We were told in that very strange statement released by the club at the end of May,  that there would be no new capital outlay on players coming in.

What that seems to have meant, in retrospect, is that the club would not invest a capital outlay in players, meaning they would not pay the fee over multiple years.  So the £5M we have invested in James Perch and Cheick Tiote,  has been paid upfront by the Tyneside club.

One thing owner Mike Ashley seems determined to do is to put the club’s finances on a  more solid financial footing, and since lots of clubs are having finanical difficulties these days that seems OK, as long as we continue to do bargain deals in the transfer market.

One thing that we have been impressed with the Newcastle club in the last two transfer windows, is their ability to get a good deal completed.

Few Newcastle fans will doubt that Wayne Routledge and Mike Williamson were great buys in January, and both have started the Premier league in excellent form, and this summer the club picked up Dan Gosling and Sol Campbell on free transfers.

Add to the what could turn out to be an excellent signing for the Newcastle club in 24 year-old utility player James Perch, who seems to be improving rapidly at the Newcastle club.

And, apart form his first game at Old Trafford, James has hardly looked out of place in the Premier League so far this season.

And of course the young whiz kid Ben Arfa, who has expressed how determined he was to come to Newcastle, and said yesterday that nothing else mattered to him over the last few weeks, and he’s another potential tremendous acquisition for the Tyneside club.

So, all in all, the last two transfer windows have significantly  strengthened the Newcastle squad, while keeping the financial situation well under control at the club.

And the likelihood is that Newcastle will further strengthen the squad in January, to either help us in our relegation fight, or to push on and finish just as high as we can in the Premier League next May.

For the record these are the players who came in and those who left – with approximate transfer fees.

Players in:

James Perch (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed – estimate £1.5M)
Dan Gosling (Everton, free)
Sol Campbell (Arsenal, free)
Cheik Tiote (FC Twente, undisclosed – estimate £3.5M)
Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseilles, loan)

Players out:

Nicky Butt (released)
Fabrice Pancrate (released)
Fraser Forster (Celtic, loan)
Kazenga LuaLua (Brighton, loan).

After this transfer window and the first three games of the season, we’ll keep our feet firmly on the ground,  but we’ve been surprised - on the up-side - by the Newcastle performances so far this season.

Long may it continue.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.



Tags: Dan Gosling · Hatem Ben Arfa · James Perch · Loan Moves · Mike Williamson · Newcastle News · Transfer News and Rumours · Wayne Routledge



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50 responses so far ↓

  • 1 SGToona // Sep 1, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    1st??

  • 2 coxonfamily // Sep 1, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    I still have to stick by my word and say Perch, scares the living hell out of me, he’s running away from the attacker and then lunging in without a care in the world. I hope he can prove me wrong and he has plenty of time…well for now ;) to prove me wrong. But at present I’d play R.Taylor and i’d even have Simpsons over Perch if he was fit. I used to say Simpson was overrated but at least he doesnt lunge in and give away silly free-kicks.

  • 3 Stardust // Sep 1, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    Think they paid over 1mn to loan Arfa for this season too.

  • 4 Phil K // Sep 1, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    I wouldn’t have Simpson over Perch.
    Perch will improve.
    Danny Simpson won’t.

  • 5 batty // Sep 1, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    aye ya right stardust

  • 6 SGToona // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    Considering the big hoo haa during may june period with the “no capital outlay”, I am absolutely delighted with our dealings this time around.

    1) No deadline day rush to purchase players.

    2) All dealings were done quite subtly without the hassle by the press.

    3) 5m for 5 players, 3 ex and current internationals + 2 young prospects, whom would significantly strengthen our pace, creativity and defensive options.

    Theres one thing that worries me though – the usual expectations from our fans for them to perform IMMEDIATELY.

    Hopefully we will give all of them time, some more than the others, to get acquainted to our style of play and the EPL and not slagging them after a few down games. This is especially true for ben arfa and tiote.

    We have done reasonably well for our first few games, hence no reason to throw them in all at once. IMO, we should bed these new players in, through substitutions, getting time here and there to get used to the tempo, physicality and also our team tactics.

    Nonetheless, I have not felt so positive in quite a while, keep up the good work! HWTL …

  • 7 geordielad880 // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    i dont rate simpson or perch, but simpson is a better defender than perch, perch is better going forward, and has better pace

  • 8 coxonfamily // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Aye thats a good point geordielad880 (no.7)

    I always say Perch is a poor man’s Glen Johnson, they are both good goind forward but when your job title is defender I would prefer defensive skills over attacking. :)

  • 9 dave 1961 // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    now that the windows finally shut it has given me time to think of what we have achieved in the last twelve months, what I feel about Mike Ashley, Chris and his team, ant to assess from the coca cola, and where I feel we are in the premier league, firstly Mike Ashley, yes his mistakes did get our team relegated, but he did not hide and feel sorry for himself, he excepted that the mistakes were his and he rectified them, he has took a hit in his pocket and bank rolled the club, & we have got some good players at good prices. now to address Chris & his team, the season in the coca cola we don’t know what part the team played , the management, or just too good of a squad for the coca cola, but if we look at the first half of last season we played poor, and seemed to ride our luck well, but without question the second half of the season we played much better, this would suggest that it was the management team learning as they went, the way they used targets was good, and in January mike Ashley backed the team with just the right amount of signings in the right positions. this seasons recruits are a good, and at a good price too, all business conducted out of site from most, and professionally concluded, & again bank rolled by mike Ashley, he has a responsibility and he has lived up to it. and Chris and his team look more solid apart from man u they have looked good, and even the much maligned perch is not as bad as most claim he needs time, I now have more confidence in the whole set up, we will soon be debt free, when the new rules come thru we will be the only club that is debt free as mike Ashley buys his players cash, all other teams buy their players by instalments, even arsenal owe for transfers and owe 100′s of millions for their stadium. I feel confident for the first time our owner will deliver our first silverware, it’s not to make money for him it’s the challenge to deliver, one day he will be so popular we will think back to how it all began. and the fans are coming back too we are down to 7,200 season tickets left, that’s 7,800 sold since the villa game, and the club’s ticket office are really busy, so I hope Mike Ashley’s now looking to January to move us to the next level, slowly does it so no one notices where we are heading. let’s get Chris and his team on 12 month rolling success driven contracts lets reward them for success, the wife will get the kids a full three new kits for Christmas to help finance the club. well done all keep up the good work.

  • 10 neil // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Lets not get carried away with Perch – rapid improvement????
    He grappled with Nani and was a bit lucky to only see yellow. He gets booked again against Villa then should’ve given away a stone wall penalty against Wolves that we were lucky the ref didn’t see….and still got booked in this game. I think we are quite weak at RB but am eager to see Ben Arfa in action. Not too disappointed with the window as the club did dampen our expectations more of less as soon as the window opened with their fecklass statement!!

  • 11 neil // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Forgot to say a massive well done to SGToona – We can all sleep better tonight knowing that you got 1st post – WOW

  • 12 moonraker // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Did anyone see Harry Redknapp’s interview as he left the Spurs training ground last night? Seemingly they were after Ryan Babel but didnt get him, so Harry’s on his way home when the chairman says he can get Van de Vaart from Real Madrid for £8m! Harry says “give it a go”, so they try to buy him at the last minute.

    Dont know about you but it sounds a bit like anyone will do as long as he’s got quality regardless of tactics! It’s no wonder Harry normally leaves a club bankrupt or deep in debt, and that they’ve got more players than they know what to do with!!

  • 13 Captain Beefheart // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Dave ’61 @9:

    Fans really cannot allow themselves to be hoodwinked by Ashley. Currently ‘what’s best for the club’ happens to coincide with ‘what’s best for Ashley’, but as we saw in 2008/9 he let us go managerless for a whole season practically and so slide inexorably into relegation; convinced a sale was round the corner. And when he finally realised there wasn’t he still refused to appoint a full time manager and we sank like the wreck of the Hesperus into Fizzy football.

    He won’t change his spots, and I can see a point where he decides to sell again and let’s us drift confident we’ll be OK. He’ll need three SOLID seasons of building before I’d warm to him.

  • 14 Matt // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    Would have liked to hang on to Pancrate really.

    When’s Simpson due back?

  • 15 moonraker // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Captain @ 12

    I agree he’s got a lot to answer for but I’m prepared to give him credit for recent developments and hope it carries on.

    By the way can you tell me a previous NUFC chairman/owner that you have warmed to, cos I cant think of any!!

  • 16 geordielad880 // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    matt you would have liked to have hung onto pancrate, he is one of the worst players i have ever seen playing in a toon shirt, he bring “headless chicken” to a whole new level!!

  • 17 MacToon // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    moonraker @ 11, good point.Can’t say I’m a fan of Harry “the dodgy car salesman” Redknapp. The way he jumped clubs down on the south coast and the way he took players to Pompey and then back with him to Spurs etc.

    So so happy he never came up here with his worry of not being able to walk his dog anywhere because of our lack of quality beaches!

  • 18 MacToon // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Captain Beefheart, Ashley has been so lucky having CH fall into his lap. Costs him very little money, not very demanding (on the owner) and is becoming a quality manager ;)

  • 19 moonraker // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    MacToon the offer of a beach front house at Whitley Bay didn’t appeal to ‘arry :-)

  • 20 geordielad880 // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    I still cant believe ashley hasnt offered hughton an improved deal, he will probably wait till Jan and see how things are, i think we will go after a striker in jan, i think hughton will wait and see how our current strikers do first before signing someone

  • 21 MacToon // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    moonraker, lol, yeah we have to be thankful for some things.

  • 22 Captain Beefheart // Sep 1, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    Moonraker@14:

    ‘By the way can you tell me a previous NUFC chairman/owner that you have warmed to, cos I cant think of any!!’

    Me neither, and I started attending games in the 60s (Lord Westwood era), and had all the scurrilous tales told to me of previous chairmen & directors going back to the 20s.

    It’s not that I hate Ashley like I hated Dougie Hall or FFS who were both simply intoxicated with making big money signings and sod the football and the fans who had to pick up the tab, but he is so hard to warm to as he makes so many stupid, stupid decisions (or non-decisions usually).

    I accept – and have many times admitted – the huge debt we owe to MA after the FFS financial fiasco he (perhaps unwittingly) rescued us from. But that is not enough. What the Ashley era has done is cause fans to lift their eyes to the boardroom and realise this is the main reason we have been so impotent in the trophy department. No strategy, no long term planning, no youth policy etc. The long line of sacked managers have simply been scapegoats (including Sir Bobby).

    I will give Ashley a chance, he deserves it on balance, but once that balance shows signs of swinging back my support will not be unconditional!

  • 23 MacToon // Sep 1, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    I will give Ashley a chance, he deserves it on balance, but once that balance shows signs of swinging back my support will not be unconditional!

    Agreed but I still think it’s down to CH and the way he’s got the players all pulling in the same direction and seems to have built a team/squad out of the remnants of our demoted team. Long may it continue.

  • 24 Captain Beefheart // Sep 1, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    ‘I still think it’s down to CH’ MacToon@22

    Amen to that, Mac, but Hoots is not a miracle worker, nor should we judge him harshly for failing to achieve the impossible all the time. He can only work with what he has got, and that is down to the Chairman giving him the proper backing at the right time. My worry is Hoots is too much of a good thing for Ashley, I wish he were a little spikier at times and not so bloody accomodating.

  • 25 geoff777 // Sep 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    50,000 attendences … media rights … shop and corporate sales = megabucks

    Spend £5m … he’ll get that back from 3 home games … someones having a laugh … and we’re so happy because “Lamearse” released a press release say no capital expenditure … cheers Mike.

    We should be ashamed to field “loan” players.
    What sort of a club are we?

  • 26 NUFC_Richyg01 // Sep 1, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    @ geoff777 // Sep 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    The sort of club we are is one that is trying to clear outstanding debts from the previous owner, where we are still paying for players from the last however many seasons.

    I think we are looking in good shape and I agree 100% with the cash buying of players rather than taking out loans with soaring interest rates.

    I think that M Ashley is now seeing the rewards for those months of pain he put us through, relegation was a blessing in disguise, we cleared a lot of deadwood out, got rid of the financial leeches and now have a squad of players who are here to play football – as it should be.

    Ashley has ploughed his own money into the club, and last season, he probably kept us afloat with his cash. I think we now need to be thanking the man for the work he is doing.

    We have got 5 decent players through the door.
    2 of which are paid for already, 2 were free and 1 will be paid for after 25 games. – All good news in my eyes.

    I know there are MA haters out there, but look at the bigger picture for gods sake!

  • 27 geoff777 // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:06 PM

    Look at the bigger picture …?

    Do you want to watch a team backed by a billionaire owner who gives the manager a budget in relation to the clubs income plus a decent personal chunk every transfer window who are top 1-6 and in Europe?

    Or do you want to watch a side under-funded owned by a billionaire who runs the club like a bargain basement clothes shop. Playing their hearts out for a good manager who just isn’t realistically being backed in percentage terms to match the fan-base and income of the club?

  • 28 TidilieToon // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    WE can still get free agents can we not? there is hundreds of free agents this summer, and we only manager to get 2. i’m over the moon with ben arfa, tiote and gosling. but would have loved to have seen a couple more, which we still may be able to get on a free?

  • 29 StevieNUFC // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    @ NUFC_Richyg01 // Sep 1, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    I totally agree with you mate, i think the stability is the way forward and i have to say MA is doing the atm and i hope it continues.

    Dont get me wrong though, i dont like MA, but is he really any worse than Fat Fred?

    @ geoff777 // Sep 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    Why be ashamed of loan signings? everybody loans players and signing Ben Afra on loan is a brilliant signing IMO, far less risk and he is a flop he can go back to Marseille.

    As for what type of club are we, we are a club who needs to be realistic, we have just been promoted and it will take a lot of hard work to stay up.

    Like everyone else i loved the times a CL football, but that was in the past, we now need to realise that the days of big money signings are over (for now) and that until we can establish ourselves as a prem team again we have to except the way MA is running the club

  • 30 NUFC_Richyg01 // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    @ geoff777 // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:06 PM

    I would rather watch a team like us who PLAYS for where we get to in the league than watch a team like Man City who PAYS to get where they are.

    I dont want a Billionaire owner, I dont want our manager spending millions every transfer window, and I certainly dont want to go back to how we were.

  • 31 moonraker // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    geoff777:

    The truth is the owner did spend a load of money after being badly advised eg; Xisco, Cacapa, Geremi and many others who’s names I can’t think of at the moment.

    Then he realised what a lottery it is without proper planning and management etc. so presumably he’s taking a more measured approach and, I for one welcome it cos we’ve been a holiday camp for years including the latter stage of Bobby’s tenure; (remember Viana and Luque?) What a waste of money :-(

  • 32 toonarmy1986 // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Give Ashley credit where he is due as he has kept this club a float with his own personal money. I can see now why Ashley was forced to make all them sacrifices a few years back after the mess he inherited which then cost us our place in the premiership and he got the blame but the blame really should go back to Shepherd and Sir John Hall who spent money that never existed leaving us with a mountain of debt which we are now only getting under control.

  • 33 geoff777 // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    I’m afraid billionaire owners are a fact of life.
    All the way down the the millionaire scrap-metal dealer chairmen and blokes with loads of car salerooms.
    It’s been about chairmen’s cash and ambition for years.

    It is a choice and I can see your point of view I like the fight the team have.
    I just think £5 million is peanuts in return for the promotion and amount of cash coming into the club.

  • 34 NUFC_Richyg01 // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    I think Ed should run a Poll to see who agrees with the way the club is being run.

    I for one do!

  • 35 NUFC_Richyg01 // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    @ geoff777 // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    Sure £5m is not much, and the other revenues you talk of were probably already spoken for, probably still paying off some of the £15m paid for Big Al.

    Did you see the article about the new FIFA rulings, saying that, from next season, clubs can only spend what they can afford, and that is the route that MA is taking now.

  • 36 NUFC_Richyg01 // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    @ geoff777 // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    If you missed it:

    http://www.nufcblog.com/2010/08/30/new-uefa-rules-end-total-anarchy-in-football-transfers-good/

  • 37 moonraker // Sep 1, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    I’m hopeful that as the revenues increase and our situation is more stable MA will spend in relation to that.

    I see this as a consolidation period with better times ahead and better players, but at the moment I’m happy :-)

  • 38 moonraker // Sep 1, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Spurs have signed van der Vaart!!

  • 39 moonraker // Sep 1, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Does that mean Robbie Keane can go on loan?

  • 40 NUFC_Richyg01 // Sep 1, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    @ moonraker // Sep 1, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Maybe, BUT why did he stall on a move here in transfer window???

  • 41 newcastle29 // Sep 1, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    moonraker and nufc-richyg01.

    he can’t go to another prem team now until january. no loans for us till january!

  • 42 newcastle29 // Sep 1, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    top ten transfers this summer, geuss who’s number one. it’s laughable.

    Hahahahaha.

    http://msn.football365.com/story/0,17033,8750_6351943,00.html

  • 43 newcastle29 // Sep 1, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    moonraker and nufc-richyg01.

    if we only named say 22 players, then you are allowed to sign free agents.

    I.E. everton have only named a 19 man squad.

  • 44 cupiddstunt // Sep 1, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    Geoff777 @ # 27 you are obviously one of those fans that expect to be in the top four and in Europe every year just because we are NUFC, get a grip you pillock.

    The club has been operating in the red for years, and this is the first time in a long long time that we have been made to operate within our means as well as clearing up the huge debt we had so I say thanks to big Mike for that.

    He bought the club and almost immediately discovered a 70 mill debt that he was not told about, which he covered, he has covered the shortfalls resulting from the fall into the fizzy and because of the managements actions we are back into the EPL and in a far better position than a lot of clubs along side us. This transfer window is down by 25% money wise compared to last year and is the lowest it’s been for 4 years so we are not the only ones working the bargain basement.

    Had Mike done the due diligence and spotted the 70 mill black hole he may have just backed out of the buy and we would probably be sitting alongside pompey in the insolvency club. Until the debt is taken care of and the books balanced I think you should forget the “cash coming in” that you are whinging about, as a general estimate Ashley is due around 170 million back into his own pocket before the “cash coming in” is actually cash that can be considered as genuinely development cash.

    So I just wish that the like of you, capn bee fart and the rest of you whingers would just head off down the road to mackem land and leave this emerging new club to get on with its progress. :-)

  • 45 MacToon // Sep 1, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    8 – Martin Petrov – Free from Manchester City to Bolton

    would be my pick of the bunch newcastle29, the number 1 is a joke? ;)

  • 46 baro // Sep 1, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    I think Chris Hughton did an astonishing job with the limited amount of money he got. Gosling a bright future star, Hatem Ben Arfa just wait and see!!, Campbell his experience is brilliant for the youngsters and I think he can still do his lovely slide tackles. Perch is not bad at all, I think Cheik Tiote is our new Michael Essien. Can’t wait for the Blackpool game.

  • 47 Brutooon // Sep 2, 2010 at 1:07 AM

    the is our BEST transfer window ever

    Perch or Simpson – who cares? healthy competition = good for the team

    Perch – he will improve (take in account there are big gaps between CC and Premierleague). This happen also to Routledge

    Campbell- don’t agreed at first, but he will perform well for us. The good thing is he can teach valuable experience to the youngsters (simpson,kadar,etc)

    Tiote-from what i heard a hardworking and tackling midfielder. would expect him to replace Smith immediately.

    Ben Arfa- one of my fav players since he play in lyon. would replace routledge on the right winger (can switch with jonas). might be the missing link between midfield and attack for us

  • 48 Lynxie // Sep 2, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    Geoff777:
    “Do you want to watch a team backed by a billionaire owner who gives the manager a budget in relation to the clubs income”?
    Well, yes. How would you like to arrive home one evening to find that the wife had purchased a brand new Bugatti Veyron for you out of her bingo winnings. Not because you can possibly afford it, but because the neighbours will be really jeolous, and you will feell great for a week or two? the fact that your house will be repossessed not entering yyour thoughts yet? MA is probably the reason that we all still have somewhere to spend our saturdays, and every waking hour worrying /strategising. If he had pulled the pin, SJP would be a Tesco now.
    Idiot.

  • 49 Lynxie // Sep 2, 2010 at 10:14 AM

    Cupidstunt:
    this emergingclub. Absolutely spot on mate.
    I love that, just love it.
    Newcastle UNITED will never be defeated.

  • 50 Wright // Sep 2, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    i would of liked to of seen another striker but CH has bought well all perch tiote ben arfa gosling can all improve at the club and also barton looks like a different player for us this year




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