It’s clear that older players getting near the end of their contracts on Tyneside, may become extremely vulnerable.
Mike Ashley – tight financial controls at Newcastle
Newcastle are signing young players on long term deals, and when you look at the financial situation in football, that makes a lot of sense.
But extending that same concept to older players like Fabricio Coloccini, Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Jonas Gutierrez, then Newcastle will always have a decision to make on whether to extend their contracts, or try to sell them.
It seems that in both the cases of Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton, they wanted longer extensions than Newcastle were willing to offer them, and Kevin decided to take a five year deal at West Ham, for a massive £55K/week.
That was rather than accept a one year extension at Newcastle, which would have kept him at Newcastle until the summer of 2014, but he was also given less wages than West Ham offered him.
But remember Kevin could always have stayed on Tyneside for another two years at his current deal of around £50K/week.
And Joey was offered a two year extension on his deal which runs out next summer, which would have kept him at Newcastle until the summer of 2014, but Joey again wanted a longer term deal and didn’t get it.
We fully expect Joey to be shipped out this summer, even if it happens on the very last day of this summer’s transfer window – and that’s even though Joey wants to stay at the club.
It seems that the owner is very aware of the awful financial situation he inherited at Newcastle from former Chairman Freddy Shepherd, where established players were hardly worth the huge wages Newcastle were paying them.
It seems to us that Mike is adamant that situation will not happen again, and remember Newcastle had the sixth largest wage bill in the Premier League, when they were relegated two years ago.
And whether you like Mike Ashley or you hate Mike Ashley, the owner has every right to feel that his players let the club down two years ago – certainly most fans think that’s what happened.
Fortunately or unfortunately, this is the way world football is run these days, and at least Newcastle are getting their financial house in order early, and other clubs will soon be forced to do just that, by the new Financial Fair Play Rules UEFA will introduce starting next season.
Whether Newcastle’s new way of operation can also lead to a much improved side next season we don’t know – but we’ll be hoping that’s exactly what happens.
Comments very welcome.