It May Be Difficult For Club To Meet These Rafa Requirements


There was a hint of this yesterday in the  Chronicle, that Rafa Benitez would like to keep the majority of the current squad if he decides to manage the club next season in the Championship.

And there may be some financial problems with being able to do that, since our revenues will be much lower next season in the Championship then they have been over the previous three seasons in the Premier League.

Generally wages have to be cut and non-playing staff laid off in order to trim the day-to-day costs of the club – that’s business plain and simple.

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Rafa Benitez at the end of the game yesterday

Rafa was asked by the Chronicle if top players like Moussa Sissoko, Gini Wijnaldum and Daryl Janmaat would be sold in the summer.

This is how the former Liverpool manager answered that:

“At the moment I can say nothing because we are still talking. But the idea is that the majority of the players they would stay. It depends.”

“Maybe we will receive a massive offer for a player we have to consider,  but the players know at the moment they have to stay. Then the club will decide little by little on each individual.”

“When I decided to come it was because of the talent of the players and the potential of the club.”

“Since I have come to the club there are a lot of people helping me to do the job. The staff and the players and everybody at every level has tried.”

“The players have trained and worked really hard. I have seen the potential and I can confirm what I thought was true, the potential and possibilities of the club are here.”

“That is why I am considering staying even in the Championship,  because everything seems quite positive.”  “We have to improve for sure and have to cut out the mistakes but potential is there.”

“We have to be realistic. The main thing will be to have a strong team for next season, but we have to keep an eye on everything.”

“We have to try to organize things and guarantee you can grow every year.” “The competition in the Premier League is massive because of the TV money.”

“People also know that in the Championship clubs will spend money to get up as soon as possible. “Everything has to be in place and done in the right way to improve.”

With the players signed this season, the wage bill has also increased dramatically.

For example Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend are said to be on close to £80K/week – about £4M a year each in wages.

The financial controls in the Championship are more strict than in the Premier League so we cannot go into huge losses next season.

Without knowing exactly what Newcastle’s financial position is and what the total expected revenues are for next season, it’s hard to say how difficult this would be for Newcastle – to keep  a lot of our highly paid players at the club.

One advantage is the strong financial position Newcastle have been in over the last the last few years with us being the 17th richest club in the world for the last financial year through June 30th last year, with revenues of around £129M.

The wage bill can be reduced quite a bit by getting these fringe players off the wage bill somehow:

  • Sylvain Marveaux and Gabby Obertan have already left the club
  • Steven Taylor and Sammy Ameobi have contracts that will not be renewed
  • Fabricio Coloccini, Emmanuel Riviere and Yoan Gouffran could be sent out on loan or sold
  • Seydou Doumbia will return to Roma after his failed loan spell
  • Remy Cabella will join Marseille for around £6.3M (€8M)
  • Florian Thauvin and Henri Saivet could be sold and wouldn’t be missed

There’s 11 players we could lose and save on their wages and they wouldn’t be missed too much.

So because Newcastle have so much dead wood,  maybe the wage bill can be cut quite a bit by getting rid of a lot of the fringe players that Rafa simply hasn’t used and is unlikely to need next season.

It could be possible, but it needs whoever the financial brains are at Newcastle to get busy with those green shades.

We see what Rafa is trying to do – he has already had a huge impact on most of our players and he wants to keep most of them.

He has Moussa Sissoko playing great – also Andros Townsend playing near his very best form – and he wants to keep this team together as much as possible for next season, assuming it’s only one season down below.

The other problem  he may have is whether some of our top  Internationals – like those who think they should be playing for a club in the Champions League every season – will want to play in England’s second division and put their International careers at risk?

Some will not – and we should not forget that one of the very best things we did seven years ago was to let those players leave who didn’t want to stay and fight.

By that means we only had players in the squad committed to getting Newcastle straight back up – and that’s what happened.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



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