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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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Is This Any Way To Run A Football Club?

11:32 pm, Saturday, May 17th, 2014 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 8 Comments

We had reported earlier today that Italian club Roma were interested in Newcastle’s Italian International left-back Davide Santon.

davide santon girlfrined and babay

This is why Davide Santon doesn’t want to leave Newcastle

Newcastle are asking £10M for the Italian, even though he has said a number of times that he is happy on Tyneside and wants to stay.

But with Mike Ashley’s Newcastle it’s all (or should we say only) about the money, and as soon as any club comes in with £10M for the 23  year-old Italian he’s gone, and it doesn’t even matter what Alan Pardew thinks.

Ashley putting a price on every single player’s head was first seen back in late August of 2008, when Kevin Keegan had to try to explain to the press why James Milner had suddenly been sold to Aston Villa for £12M.

Kevin said that he didn’t want to sell James, but that every player has his price – which sounded very odd coming from Kevin.

Of course Kevin left Newcastle within days of Milner leaving, when Dennis Wise brought in two players Kevin hadn’t even heard of – Xisco and on-loan midfielder Ignacio Gonzalez, but Wise gave him some YouTube videos, so at least he would know who they were and how they played.

Xisco was a flop and played 11 times for Newcastle over his five year contract – which was said to be worth £50K/week – so those 11 appearances and one goal cost Newcastle around £12.5M in wages alone, and the fee was £5.7M from Deportivo.

And Gonzalez made only two substitute appearances, and was injured most of that season, which turned out to be our relegation season.

So it seems in this summer’s transfer window we are again dependent on other bugger clubs, as to which players we will keep this summer.

Davide Santon will not be at Newcastle come September,  if any club comes in with the £10M fee, and we’ll have to replace him if he is sold.

This is no way to run a football club – not a successful one in any case.

Football is more than just about money, it’s about building up a top squad who can win, and you cannot do that if you keep selling your players.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



Tags: Davide Santon · Newcastle News · Transfer News and Rumours



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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Shot Bru // May 17, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    $10million for Santon is good money…don’t know what all the fuss is about Santon…he can’t defend like the rest of our lot

  • 2 boltonmagpie // May 17, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    I’d rather keep players who WANT to play rather than some of the mercenaries we’ve had.

  • 3 Mister Tuff // May 18, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    jesper – seeing that there is nothing much to discuss on the football front, I might as well address your grammatical query, previously discussed.
    You are correct in that in respect of calling Ashley a Fat Cockney bast**d – the correct usage of grammar would be “the fat Cockney bast**d. Therefore the use of a definite article -“the” is grammatically correct. Not including any article is grammatically incorrect.
    Take no grammar lessons or buck from Ian Toon. I spotted a recent error of his two threads back namely Mad Dogs and EnglishMen. This is grammatically incorrect -Englishmen is a complete word and therefore should not contain a capitalised M (Men).
    (Mad Dogs and Englishmen is the title of a Noel Coward song from the thirties).

  • 4 Thump // May 18, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    No, but it is a fantastic way to ruin a football club.

  • 5 Thump // May 18, 2014 at 12:11 AM

    @Mister Tuff: In all fairness, he is a fat cockney bar steward but he definitely is the fat cockney bar steward.

  • 6 Dingo†® // May 18, 2014 at 1:29 AM

    Listen closely on match day at St James’ Park and you can hear it. Beneath the clamour for Alan Pardew’s removal, the chanting against Mike Ashley’s tainted stewardship, you can hear it. Beneath the swells of noise which still pummel Newcastle United’s stadium, when you can close your eyes and conjure those warm, aching memories of Shearer and Sir Bobby, Keegan and beyond, you can hear it. Tick, tick, tick. The sound of a football club ticking over.

    Look across the country and you will see teams in peril, indebted to the eyeballs, haemorrhaging money. You will find anguish and despair, the newly-relegated wrestling with reduced status and job-losses. Throughout the divisions, you will stumble upon fractured dreams and sharp disappointment, concerns that careerist managers or stellar players will move on. But you will not see anywhere less life-affirming than Newcastle.

    Read through the minutes of the club’s latest Fans Forum and experience a moment of cold, grey clarity; Ashley and Lee Charnley, his managing director, are not custodians of a proud sporting institution, they are caretakers. There is no straining for glory, pushing for excellence, or speculating to accumulate, they are keeping the place tidy and double-checking that the lights still work. Tick, tick, ticking over.

    There was no fresh discovery – the heavily-trailed confirmation that Pardew “will remain the club’s manager,” barely counts – and yet with each repetition of these bland and misery words, bereft of any feeling or colour, we understand more about Newcastle’s standing. My favourite sentence was probably the “commitment to an open and consistent communications process.” Co-writer: David Brent.

    The humourless, corporate language is not a coincidence; it has been one of the few consistencies of the Ashley era, where programme notes, statements and press releases are passed from desk to desk and stripped of love, until they read like the most turgid of annual reports. Don’t let them Geordies get too keen, whatever you do. Don’t get their hopes up. Play down, minimise, obfuscate, offend.

    In the case of cup competitions, their attitude is now entrenched. “The board reiterated that the Premier League will remain the club’s priority,” they said and, in itself, there is nothing unremarkable here. Whoever you are, the league is always the priority, the bread and butter, the paying of bills, the bedrock of any season and more so, perhaps, when the consequences of relegation can be counted in the tens of millions.

    It is impossible to actively prioritise a tournament which, by its very nature, is unpredictable; all it takes is one blast from the referee’s whistle, an own-goal, a bad decision, a wondrous intervention from an opponent to make planning worthless. By the same token, you can be set up to have a go, you can pick your best team, motivate your players, instil in the club the desire and ambition to win something, the emotional importance of ending that journey.

    Yohan Cabaye (“injured” although fit enough to play the matches immediately before and afterwards) and Loic Remy did not start against Cardiff City in the FA Cup third round on January 4 and Newcastle duly lost. Those who say the XI picked by Pardew was strong enough have a point, but the atmosphere was flat and beaten from the beginning and did not waver. They have not progressed beyond the fourth round of either domestic cup under Ashley.

    The Fans Forum again. “The board outlined research into Premier League clubs in relation to domestic cup competitions in the last five years, with Swansea City the only club outside the traditional top six to win a domestic cup and not be relegated in the same season (Birmingham and Wigan Athletic were both relegated).” Research over the last five years is a contradiction in terms. It is a five-minute click-fest on Wikipedia.

    How about this season, when Sunderland’s fortunes were resuscitated and then inspired by their run in the Capital One Cup? How about Hull City, who have definitely not been relegated and are in Saturday’s FA Cup final? What about Portsmouth (not, admittedly, the best model of financial probity), who won it six years ago and finished eighth? Since 2000, Leicester City, Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough have all lifted a trophy and stayed up, outside the top-six.

    This is not prioritising, this is close to saying that cups are unwelcome (which, in retrospect, is pretty much how Newcastle’s season in the Europa League has been portrayed). Here is the next passage: “Independent research into the cost of relegation over the past ten years showed there is a 50 per cent chance of not gaining promotion back to the top flight and a 30 per cent chance of being relegated to League One or further. In addition, if clubs do return to the Premier League, it takes four years on average.”

    What if Newcastle could finish higher in the table than their most recent 10th? “At this moment in time, the club’s priority is the Premier League.” The choice being offered is stark: stay in the Premier League or go for a cup and be relegated. It is also patronising nonsense.

    Newcastle are averse to opportunity. When they finished fifth in 2012 and had momentum behind them, their only senior signing was Vurnon Anita, whose midfield position was not a priority. By the time January came along and a small squad was stretched and struggling, they were obliged to splurge. Then came Joe Kinnear and a wasteland spell of Director of Football, which brought two transfer windows without a permanent addition.

    They were sixth on Boxing Day, with a chance to kick on. Instead, Cabaye was sold – for less than Ashley wanted – and promise dissipated into dreadful form and growing animosity. Contrary to the statement which accompanied Charnley’s recent promotion, when he said Newcastle’s intention is to sign “one or two players per year to strengthen the squad,” they will be far more active this summer, but this is less a demonstration of ambition as simple necessity.

    Without Cabaye, Newcastle are barren creatively, particularly with Pardew unwilling to accommodate Hatem Ben Arfa. Without Loic Remy, whose loan from Queens Park Rangers is now complete, they have no regular source of goals, and without Shola Ameobi and Luuk de Jong they have no back-up, no matter how pale. Replacing them will be costly, although with the money they have saved and the riches banked from television revenue, they can afford it.

    Newcastle have become self-sufficient, but no boundaries are being pushed. At the Fans Forum, it was said that “the owner is not actively trying to sell the football club,” and while this is true – no bank or broker has been engaged – there is a sensation of limbo, stability as an end in itself rather than a side-effect of sound and structured leadership, tick, tick, ticking over, waiting for the right offer, loveless and lacking soul. They are a football club where football is no longer a “priority”.

  • 7 Dingo†® // May 18, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    from George Caulkin – The Times

  • 8 toonluvva // May 18, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    If Mr Ashley ran Sports Direct the same way as he runs NUFC, they would be trading from a barrow somewhere.




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