It was a shock when Newcastle did a deal with Inter-Milan to send Davide Santon out on loan in late January, and a permanent deal for the Italian International has now been agreed, and will be signed on July 1st, but it was still a problem to Newcastle that Davide was allowed to leave.
Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley
Davide had been fit to play for about a month, but hadn’t made it to the first team apart from the FA Cup ties at Leicester – which we managed to lose 1-0 as John Carver played a very weak side.
At the time Davide left, we were short of defenders, but we seemed to be OK at left back with both Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara vying for the left back slot.
But then Paul picked up an injury in early February to his knee, and hasn’t played since, and is out for the rest of the season.
And Massadio Haidara picked up an injury against Aston Villa, and finally had surgery on it last week in France, and is also out for the rest of the season.
In January we had only two recognized center-backs available in Williamson and Coloccini, after Steven Taylor ruptured his Achilles on New Years Day, but Dummett had proved earlier in the season he could play well at center-back.
So with Dummett and Haidara out for the rest of the season, we are really short at center-back with only Williamson currently available, after Colo got himself suspended for three games.
And of course we have no recognized left back available, and the situation brings into focus how reckless and naive Newcastle’s upper management can be in their quest to make money.
The fee quoted for Santon is little more than half of what we paid Inter for him in the summer of 2011, and Davide has been playing well for Inter he has been called into the full Italian squad again.
Lee Charnley explained at the last Fan Forum meeting that the deal was made, because it wouldn’t be available in the summer.
Notice he never mentioned it also weakened Newcastle’s squad – but that doesn’t seem to matter these days.
This is just one of many examples of how Newcastle maximize making money at the expense of the strength of the playing squad, and we don’t know of any other Premier league side that weakened their squad in January like Newcastle managed to do.
And we wont even mention that we did the same thing a year ago when we sold Cabaye to PSG and didn’t replace him.
Newcastle are sliding down the league table at the moment (just like last year), because of a lack of players, and we will probably finish in 14th place – but it will certainly not be top ten.
With the financial results being issued this week, there will be the obvious questions of why some of that that money wasn’t used to strengthen the squad in January.
Newcastle are making big money now, but unless Mike Ashley changes his policies on Tyneside, we will never have a successful side on the filed – just good financial results every year.
And while we are told £60M will be available this summer (that tells us the financial results will be released imminently) Newcastle could still break even in the summer transfer market, as they seem to like to do in each transfer window.
That could happen if players like Daryl Janmaat, Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cisse and Rolando Aarons leave the club before September rolls around.
If Mike Ashley retains his current policy of selling our best players when the right bid comes in we will never have good side at Newcastle.
But most fans know that, and that’s why the Geordie fans are so down at the moment.
Dan Jones is a Partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, and he was quoted last week when announcing that the 20 PL clubs made £190M in profit – the best ever.
These are the words of wisdom and truth from Dan about the purpose of a football club:
“The primary aim of a football club is, and always should be, on-pitch success for the fans.”
“However, we do welcome these results, which show that the Premier League clubs are starting to convert their impressive revenue growth into a more sustainable net result.”
It’s the other way around for Newcastle – money first and trophies never – and that’s why we haven’t got a successful side under Ashley – and never will have unless the owner changes his polices – and quickly too.
Finally Sir Bobby Robson knew exactly what a football club is all about:
“What is a club in any case?” “Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. ” It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.”
“It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city.” “It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”
Note: Mark Hammell is an avid reader of the blog and he has signed up for 7 endurance events totaling over 600 miles, after he has just recovered from a serious ACL injury.
Mark is doing this to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Here is Mark’s Justgiving page – see if you can help him out and help Bobby’s Foundation.
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