Former Newcastle left back Olivier Bernard is the Chairman of Durham City FC, as he tries to build up some local talent in the region, that can eventually end up at Newcastle United, and like a lot of the rest of the Newcastle fan base, Olivier is just a little concerned that Newcastle may fail to get their targets to Tyneside this summer – basically because the club refuses to pay the going rate for their targets.
Oliver Bernard - former Newcastle left back
Chairman of Durham City FC
There’s no doubt that Mike Ashley has done an excellent job in getting the Newcastle finances in order, and we are very profitable these days – but now’s the time for Mike to start spending some of that money, so we can start to build a top side on the pitch, and reward the Newcastle fans with some excellent players.
Newcastle are linked with a lot of (very) good players this summer, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and it’s of little use being after top players if we cannot get them to the club, because we will not pay the going rate for them.
If we don’t get most of our targets this summer because we are again acting like misers – Newcastle are becoming the Scrooge of the football world.
And it seems like this summer is a watershed transfer window for Newcastle United.
Clement Grenier is one the France’s best young play-makers, and there was news yesterday that we had finally gone after the 23 year-old, who plays like Yohan Cabaye, and he is a skilled and creative player.
This is what Olivier had to say today in the Chronicle about Clement:
“For the money that’s been spoken about, it’s never going to happen.¨ “I think if he goes, it’ll be for £20M. It could even be a Champions League team. For me it will be a surprise if he goes to Newcastle. Sadly it could be a 90% no for Grenier to Newcastle.”
“The problem at Newcastle has been that when the club did well and finished fifth they didn’t invest. Now it’s a whole lot harder for them to attract players. We have not done well enough to attract some of the ambitious players. They want to see a club playing in the Champions League or even the Europa League.¨
“And Newcastle aren’t close to that at the moment. I really think the Grenier deal is unlikely.” “The Cabella deal is more likely. But I don’t know if the €8M that has been talked about is going to be enough.¨ “He’s a Hatem Ben Arfa type of player. Cabella is a big talent but that money might not be near enough, double that maybe.”
Olivier is a very sensible guy, and he knows the French football scene and their players inside out, and what he says comes from having great experience and knowledge about French football.
But we would also be very surprised if we can get Clement Grenier to Newcastle this summer, because once a top Champions League club like Arsenal becomes really interested in any one of our targets, we stand literally no chance of signing them.
And that’s especially true when we go in with these insultingly low bids for our top targets.
If we can get both Grenier and Cabella at the club this summer, which should be the goal – it would be absolutely great – but there seems very little chance of that actually happening.
Getting one of them in would be better than nothing of course.
But Mike Ashley has to take a good hard look at what he now wants to do with Newcastle United – given our finances are now in excellent shape.
Does he really want to just have a middle of the table club – or does he now want to spend some of the big money the club is making – and get us into the top six in England – which certainly isn’t impossible.
We really hope it’s the latter.