Rafa Benitez always does his homework and last summer he looked at how many clubs get automatically promoted the next season (finish in the top two in the Championship) after being relegated from the Premier League the season before.
It’s interesting that when we were relegated seven years ago that used to happen a lot more than it does now.
Rafa looked at the last five years to be more up to date and accurate, since the TV rights money has exploded in that time – and he found out that only Burnley had managed automatic promotion in the season immediately following relegation,
It’s much more difficult these days because there are much stronger teams down below who are completely motivated to move from getting £7M per season from the Championship to an average of £140M per season from the Premier League.
Who wouldn’t be?
Two Newcastle men in the spotlight this summer during the transfer window
Managing Director Lee Charnley and manager Rafa Benitez
Newcastle did very well in last summer’s transfer window as Rafa brought in players hardened in the Championship like Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden, Mo Diame, Grant Hanley and Daryl Murphy.
Rafa brought in 12 players in total and we made over £40M profit according to official records released a couple of weeks ago – we had estimated that as (low as) £31M.
And we bought the league?
Here’s Rafa talking about transfers today, as reported in the Chronicle:
“Every year the transfer window, when it is open, it is quite busy,” “In this case, for a team who are relegated, you also have a problem.”
“The players, they have a short memory of the Premier League. You think you cannot bring players who are not ‘good enough’ for the Premier League.”
“Then you start making the mistake of trying to sign ‘names’, because we are coming from the Premier League.”
“You don’t realise that the Championship is so difficult, that’s why you have to bring in players for the Championship.”
“Then, after, you can get players good enough for the Premier League.” “Normally when you go to a club that has been relegated, it’s because something was wrong, quite wrong.”
“Then you have to work even harder.”
“Look at the other teams. Why over the last five years teams who were relegated they don’t promote in the first season?”
“Because maybe it’s not the right approach, so you have to be sure that in a division like this one with 46 games and it is so difficult, you have to be ready.”
“Then afterwards, you can think about the future.” “But the present is the priority.”
“When you have to bring new players in, they have to be right.” “You also have to sell your players at the best price possible.”
“Then, sometimes you make mistakes.” “Always I say 70% success in the signings is really, really good.”
“If you can get 80%, it’s massive.” “When you have a couple of mistakes, it’s normal because you are signing lots of players.”
“But also the main thing is to sell well and I think we did a great job in the summer.” “It was a great job because we had profit and new faces.”
“If you asked the fans which players they didn’t want, then maybe they will say: ‘Listen, he’s done a great job this season.’”
“The majority of fans will agree with this player, this player, another one.” “We made profit and we bought players.”
“Some of the players we brought in are starters and are doing really well.” “In fact, some of the signings are actually the best players of this season.”
“It means we have done something right.” “Still we know we have made mistakes, we are not stupid.
“But you have to put everything in context and after you can analyse.”
It’s interesting Rafa thinks 70% hit rate on transfers is really really good.
Two players brought in from the continent last summer – Jesus Gamez and Achraf Lazaar have not been successful buys.
It will be interesting to see if these two players are included in the massive clear-out Rafa and Lee Charnley will be conducting this summer.
That will clear away some deadwood and lower the wage bill for six top new players to come in.
Howay The Lads!!