This Is What Is Quickly Becoming The Big Problem For Rafa At Newcastle

From reading the reports in the Mirror and other outlets over the weekend about Rafa’s frustrations at Newcastle, we thought the real bottom line was the high transfer prices and wages being asked.

But it seems according to another excellent article in the Northern Echo today the problem is that Newcastle still has some very high wage earners on the books who are still available for transfer.

The players are the likes of Tim Krul, Henri Saivet, Manu Riviere and Sadio Haidara.

Riviere and Haidara have already turned down moves to French clubs because the wages they’re being offered there are less than what they are getting at the Magpies.

Rafa indicates how much transfer money he’s been given this summer

This is what Rafa had to say after the excellent 2-0 win against Hellas Verona yesterday as reported in the Northern Echo:

“When I decided to stay I was expecting another thing. Now we are where we are.”

“I decided to stay because of a lot of positive things I could see starting with the fans,” 

“Now I will try to do my best to be sure that the team we have will be good enough to compete and stay as high as we can in the Premier League.”

“We are trying to move players out to bring players in.”  “We know where we are and what we need.”

“We are looking at different options. If we can’t get one, we have to look at others.”

“We know what we need and will try to do this until the end of the transfer window.”

“We are trying to go in different directions at the same time.”

Newcastle have spent around £32M gross on five players we have brought in so far and on a net basis, it stands at around £18M by our reckoning.

Christian Atsu£6.2MChelsea
Florian Lejeune£8.8MEibar
Jacob Murphy£10MNorwich
Javier Manquillo£4.5MAtletico Madrid
Mikel MerinoLoan - seasonBorussia Dortmund
Joselu£5.0MStoke City
Transfer Fees In£34.5M
Vurnon AnitaReleasedAston Villa
Sammy AmeobiReleasedBolton
Haris VuckicReleasedFC Twente
Lubo SatkaReleasedFC DAC 1904
Florian Thauvin£10.0MMarseille
Kevin Mbabu£1.0MYoung Boys
Matz SelsLoan - seasonAnderlecht
Yoan GouffranReleasedGoztepe
Adam ArmstrongLoan - seasonBolton
Lewis Gibson£1.0M initiallyEverton
Daryl Murphy£2.0MNottingham Forest
Ivan ToneyLoan - seasonWigan Athletic
Emmanuel Riviere£1.0MMetz
Siem de Jong£4.0MAjax
Grant Hanley£3.5MNorwich City
Tim KrulLoan - seasonBrighton
Achraf LazaarLoan - seasonBenevento
Transfer Fees Out£22.5M
Net Spend£12.0M

There seems to be some confusion as to the exact amount Rafa was expecting to be handed in transfer funds this summer, but it appears he is being given less than expected.

But the Northern Echo is reporting that owner Mike Ashley is also increasingly concerned about the massive wages still being paid out to players who have no future at Newcastle.

As the transfer window winds down and we cannot sell those players then we expect them to be sent out on loan if at all possible.

However, it would be extremely difficult if we are left with a number of them still on the wage bill for the coming season in September.

Rafa is now paying for the ineptitude shown by Newcastle in previous transfer dealings but the 57-year-old manager seems willing to be patient during these difficult times.

We hope Rafa is willing to be patient during these turbulent times.


Rafa is the main man at Newcastle United who gives us great hope for the future.

We cannot lose Rafa.

Comments welcome.

135 comments so far

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #1

    Jail…Lascelles haven’t been fit in this pre-season and I am not sure his fitness is there yet…so I’ll assume Lejuene and Clarke will start!

    …but who knows later on!

    That’s always the dreaded part about captaincy – in the old days you couldn’t be dropped if you were captain…but lets not get into that discussion again!

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #2

    Morning lads…

    I was reading through the treads this morning and cracked a smile…it seems we have trouble signing players because of the fees and wages being demand, but at the same time we cannot even give our own players away

    …makes you wonder a little bit doesn’t it! It’s definitely worth your while signing the right kind of players to begin with…even thought they might not be the success you hoped for!

  • Bambams

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #3

    I still think Hanley will get a move before the window closes and Krul is supposed to be going to Werder Bremen (or so I heard last week).

    Saivet, Haidara and Riviere will be hard to budge. Other clubs may want us to let them go for well under value to compensate for their wages….but we need cash.

    It’s catch 22 but this is football.

    To be fair can you blame them, none of them will get a better club than ours or better terms. It’s human nature.

    Look at Xisco !

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #4

    What are the rules if a club releases a player under contract and another club picks him up on a free…

    Does the club that released the player still have to out the contract? seeing as the player gets a new signing-on fee on so on!

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #5

    …maybe Lilongwe knows

  • Veltman

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #6

    Munster – of course AP has flaws but we should not get involved in to that debate or mention his name further as one or two peoples eyes in here will be burning like flames.You know who.?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #7

    What was he not expecting, what did Mike tell him after half a dozen lager tops.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #8

    Bambams…no one blames ’em (well maybe a few), but the club should just stop handing out these 5 years deal like it wasn’t a big deal…they are so expensive for us as a club on so many levels

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #9

    I’m pretty sure that a contract would have to be terminated before a player is released making him a free agent.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #10

    He was probably not expecting he couldn’t move players on…or that he wasn’t allow to release ’em if needed!

    …should have had that written in your contract Rafa mate 😉 (you cannot expect Ashley to do the right thing…we don’t)

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #11

    Jail…will the player then both get the contract paid out in full and then the signing-on fees when signing for a new club?

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #12

    …what about the agents? They do like their money!!!

    They’ll advise their client to do what ever fills their pocket the most

  • Lindisfarne

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #13

    Do the contracts that players have immunise them from being sacked?

    Surely not appearing in the first team for two seasons is reason enough to terminate any agreement. There must be a point where the expected value of a player falls below the outstanding wages to be paid on the contract period. For example, £50k a week for a season is £2.6m, are Saviet, Haidara and Riverie worth more?

  • Bambams

    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #14


    Just my opinion but if we only offer a two or three year contract and they become a success other clubs can pick them up for a lot less than they would if they have longer contracts.

    Players can sit on a two year contract knowing they can walk away for nothing.

    The problem is recognising which players are going to improve and warrant a long contract and those you are happy to let walk after a couple of seasons.

    The only contract I am not sure about by Rafa was the Hanley one. But that’s just my opinion.

    We are suffering because if the likes of Saivet Rivi and the like. Even Rafa gets it wrong sometimes Lazaar Sels and Hanley.

  • beermonkey

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #15


    it wasn’t long ago rafa spoke about transfers and overall he has done well but he say he works to a 75%success rate

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #16

    Anyone who knows football knows AP is a sh–e manager. One good season in a 20 year career doesn’t alter that. Enough said. Quite funny if you look at Rafa’s CV and AP’s. Rafa’s list of achiements in the game goes on for 1 and half pages long. Still AP must treasure that single, glorious Johnson Painter’s Trophy moment!

    I think I might have been tempted to fast track Lewis Gibson and Woodman to the first ream squad, but that boat has sailed now. I agree with Ashley to an extent that the deadwood needs to be cleared, before further incoming investment. That’s just standard good business practice. However, I do think Jib needs to check owners involvement and FFP rules though, referencing the Neymar deal being the standout, amongst others.



    …………still all need to exit stage left. Very tall order. That said, I really like the potential quality and age of the new guys coming in. We may not pull up any trees this season, but if Rafa can do what he did most notably at Valencia and keep introducing and developing more of them, like Fernandez for example, then great things could lie ahead.

  • Bambams

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #17


    Aye fella I remember the quote. To make the maths easier we will wait until Rafa has made 100 signings then we can debate if he got 75 right…..

    Oh wouldn’t that be a good thread !

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #18

    Bambams…it would be a 3 years deal with options for another 1-2 years!

    …even without the options for an extension if the first year is a success and the player won’t sign an extension then why would you want to keep the player? If he’s been a success if hardly think we’ll have trouble moving him on…

    I cannot really see any problem to be honest…agents get plaid when ever a player signs a new contract so….win win!

  • beermonkey

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #19


    lets hope he is here that long to get that thread

    at least we know rafa will give the youngsters a go
    not sure our average age but we must have one of the youngest squads in the prem

  • martoon

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #20

    Jesper – As I understand it to terminate a player contract it has to be mutually agreed by both sides. In the case of Rivierre & Haidara they would want a fair amount of their wages paid as a lump before they agreed to it.

  • toontaff2

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #21

    Lazaar has become the forgotten man!
    Don’t think Jack’ll be leaving in this window.
    Krul, Rivierelinho, Saivet – does deadwood float?
    Hanley must be easier to shift.

  • toontaff2

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #22

    Haidara and Krul only have 10 months left on their contracts.
    Haidara, 25k per week= about 1 million.
    Krul 50k =about 2 million.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #23

    martoon…so could a club pay out a players contract and tell the player and the agent that the players cannot sign for another club in the durance of his contract…if he does the money he was paid has to be paid back to the club?

  • Bambams

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #24


    Yeah that’s a fair point, maybe it’s something the club will utilise. I know it’s for financial reasons but I like the idea of a loan with a view to sign after certain amount of games. Gives you a good look at them.


    We have the nucleus of an excellent team, youth is on our side and I can see why Rafa wants someone like Reina to help the youngsters.

    In an ideal world Ash would back Rafa this season so we can finish in top eight, this in itself would encourage other players to come and have a go at top four the following seasons. Surely Ash can see the benefits of CL advertising.

    Keegan did it with backing, I have no doubt Rafa could do similar. I know it’s different times but the blueprint is there.

    Cheers boys

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #25

    Bambams…signing players like Merino on loan with an option/obligation to buy is the right direction in certain deals I agree!

  • Spoof

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #26


    Why would the club want to do that, and why would the player agree to it, staying at the club continuing to train would give them a better chance of getting a new club when their contract ends, stopping them from moving on would just be petty, its not their fault that they are getting paid far to much, its our fault as a club for giving them these contracts

  • santon3

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #27

    In any line of work there are level of frustration, football manager no different.
    it’s more special because the media keep making stories about it even when there is none.
    Rafa maybe frustrated because he can’t buy all the players media has linked us with, he doesn’t have the money to buy neymar, whatever the media trying to sell.
    I think our team is much better, more solid than 2 seasons ago. Based on pre-season our goalies especially Elliot distribute the ball much better, our defense is calmer under pressure, and more pace in the team.
    I’m feeling more optimistic this year, we could finish 6th-8th in the league and good run in the cup even if we didn’t have more new players. Even Leicester can win the league, then there is hope for teams like us.

  • beermonkey

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #28


    would rather we go down the spurs route than lets say everton
    spurs at the moment both ali and dier linked with barca and munich but I cant see either leaving because they want to be there
    a high % of England debutants in the last few years have been from spurs and there is a clear path from academy to first team but it has taken a fair few years
    although I think there manager is scared to bring in a top top player for fear of upsetting wat he has

    everton have wasted a lot cash trying to buy there way up the table they might his top 6 if they keep spending but they wont get into the top4

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #29

    Spoof…some players just don’t want to move on…they will sit tight and counting their money!

    …it’s the carrot and the stick! Sometimes it’s just needed 🙂

    I am not trying to hand out fault and I have said on here many times that the club should stop handing out these lucrative contracts…by if we are being technical then I am sure that the player and his agent are infact demanding these high wages in order to sign. What the buy club is expecting in return is a players that delivers and will always give 100%!

    Sometimes a contract just doesn’t work out for both parties…

    It’s fair a player won’t just take any deal thrown their way and Hairdryer and Rivi are in their rights to decline an offer…but they should be actively trying to find pastures new and if not….then it’s the carrot and the stick 🙂

  • martoon

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #30

    Jesper @23 – You could try but the player would never agree to it and I don’t see why you would. The idea to terminate a contract would have to beneficial for both sides. The player is free to find a new club and for the club we pay a percentage of their wages but not the full amount and get them off the books.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #31

    *by = but

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #32

    martoon…that’s why I asked if the club has to pay out the contract in full mate

  • TyneMouth

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #33

    Contradiction corner…


    “It’s definitely worth your while signing the right kind of players to begin with…even thought they might not be the success you hoped for!”

    What a wonderful contradiction!

    Is that the same as saying; “It’s definitely worth your while deliberately signing the wrong kind of players to begin with… Even though they might turn out to be surprisingly successful”

    That might work! (Not)…

  • martoon

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #34

    Jesper @29 – We’ve offered them a carrot by offering to let them go on a free transfer. But they want their carrot cake and eat it because they want the same wages as well!

  • Jib

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #35

    Welcome to Jesperspeak

  • toontaff2

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #36

    Well, Krul has been a great servant and, at worst 2 million and 10 more months, unless someone else wants him.
    Haidara another 1 million and max 10 months – a player who could well be in our PL squad, but for a thug from Wigan.
    Rivierelinho, Saivet and Lazaar were clearly duff signings, so we’re going to lose a lot on them, but tough.
    Jesus was fine again, yesterday, so one upgraded from the deadwood pool 😮

  • Spoof

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #37


    I’m not suggesting your wrong, for the simple reason your not wrong, but as you say we are where we are but all I was saying is why try to punish the player, it isn’t there fault, as for the sticks, well the way I see it is that it’s the players and their agent’s who are holding the biggest sticks

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #38

    martoon…what I was asking was if you could release a player – pay out the contract. And if you could I asked if another club comes in and sign the player whether the player would be in-tilted to both the pay-out and the new signing-on fee!

    …if we have paid-out the final years of a players contract in full then we have asked the player not to come to work for the remaining of his contract – if he finds a new job then the payment stops! It’s done in my line of work and plenty of other branches…

    The carrot here is the pay-out, but the stick is if the player really wants to play football he’ll have to sign for another club and then the payment stops!

  • toontaff2

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #39

    Penfold must have found a formula to get Krul, Saivet and Rivierelinho oot on loan, last season- maybe some SD freebies were included -surely he can do similar, now .

  • toontaff2

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #40

    Not sure what they’re all earning, but getting Krul, Haidara, Saivet, Rivierelinho and Lazaar out on loan, paying half their wage, whilst the loan clubs pay the rest, would still save a fair amount. Probably 3-4 million.


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