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Newcastle Wage Bill Shouldn’t Be Big Problem

There’s news in the Newcastle Journal today that Kevin Keegan has a balancing act to play, as the club tries to reduce the wage bill at the club.


Kevin Keegan – wary of wage bill for squad

It’s too big, that’s for sure as last season it was around 70% of all Newcastle’s costs and said to be around £70M out of total costs of £90M.

Big Sam brought in 9 players last summer and the wage bill from the season before is said to have increased by £10M.

Mike Ashley quite rightly wants to run Newcastle as a good business, and he has every right to reduce the wage bill. Mike has reduced Newcastle’s debt to zero, and the next step is to get the operational costs in line.

The Deloitte & Touche figures are out for the previous season – 2006-2007, and while Newcastle finished in 13th place with 43 points, we had the 5th highest wage bill of all Premier League teams.

Bear in mind the wage bill increased last season by another £10M.

But Newcastle have already let Carr, Ramage, Diatta and Troisi leave the club, and Rozehnal and Ameobi will also depart before August comes around again.

We are said to want at least 4 new players to augment the squad, and we have to believe the club will be relying on some of our top youngsters like Edgar, Tozer, LuaLua, Carroll and Kadar to fill out the first team squad in case of injuries next season.

The very fact we will lose 6 players on very good wages will help decrease the wage bill a little, but we may also have to move out some of our top wage earners who are fringe players such as Alan Smith and Damien Duff.

We think Smith is the obvious player to move out, since he’s a striker and didn’t score a single competitive goal last year, and hardly looks like he will force his way back into the first team anytime soon.

And the £6M we would get for him would be welcomed into the transfer coffers.

We still think Duff should be kept, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised if Sunderland manager Roy Keane tries to take him to the Stadium of Light in the summer.

But one thing we have to be careful of is the size of our squad, which was too small last season, and should be increased this season, even if it’s with promising youngsters.

However, if we can get those 4 top players in the squad, while still small, will look a lot better than last season’s squad, that’s for sure.

Whether it will be good enough to get to 5th place will depend a lot on just who those 4 players are.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

58 comments so far

  • benn..

    May 29, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #1

    Shorey, Veloso, Arda Turan, Gomis.. And Id Be Happy ..

  • joal

    May 29, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #2

    smith out..duff out…ameobi out..rozehnal stay.. diego/van der vaart..in… bridge/shorey/riise..in.. zigic/crouch ..in..give the yougnsters tto fill the gaps..

  • Davies

    May 29, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #3

    I don’t think we should worry too much about left back as Jose is shaping up nice, and there is cover for him in the reserves, if it’s needed.

    Zigic, Veloso, Turan and Emana perhaps?

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #4

    I really dont understand why people think Gomis is the player we should buy.

    We have a superb striking force however it is prone to injury and needs replacements and at least one reliable player to rotate with.

    Gomis has scored well this and last year only, and is definately a striker of the future, however let us put his scoring and price in perspective, in the same league as Cisse he has scored the same amount of goals and Cisse’s early part of the season was a shocker by his standards, that is all, and is around double the price. He hasnt played in the premiership and may take a season or two to settle in, even though he may one day be one of the best premiership scorers if he arrived here.

    So let us stop and think a moment, do we have one or two seasons to wait for him to settle in to the premiership? By then we may have lost two or three of our other front line up, Gomis cant do it on his own, can we spend an extra £6-7m on a striker when we have identified our main weakness is our midfield and we need extra defenders?

    Why not just buy a strong proven scoring striker to strengthen the front, buy really well, then even if it does cost an extra £10m altogether in the midfield, strengthen the defense THEN move up the table, that brings in extra revenue, automatically attracts the interest of better players and no doubt some of our players will have their heads turned by other clubs and leave, then buy the likes of Gomis when they are already premiership proven and up to the Drogba standard or Torres, the main most expensive players in our team should already be proven when a club such as ours has a small squad.

    Gomis has earned his place in Euro 2008, however 50% of that is due to his age and France looking towards the future, there is an element of gamble.

    I say buy Cisse and look to move up next season, we dont have a couple of years, spend heavily in midfield as we will have to spend over the top to drag people to the NE, the quality midfield will make the difference, Cisse would only ensure we dont slip down due to striker injuries, move up five places then broaden the squad again with youngsters.

    One player will not turn the whole fortune of the club, he will just cost a fortune and it will always be a case of if only he had the supply, we will settle him in the premiership then he will leave and show what he can do with a quality midfield behind him.

    Buy Cisse and spend the additional money saved in midfield, if our strikers remained fit all season and Cisse never played with a good midfield and strengthened defense we would still move up the table a number of places. We will not make one jump to the top in one transfer window, anyone who thinks that is a dreamer.
    That has always been our problem in the past buy one big name and it will all turn out ok, it wont, it just blows the budget in one area and assures we never win anything.
    Blackburn will try to buy Cisse as he is one of the few managers in the premiership with the nouse to be high up the table without following the popular press and spending fortunes on one name, he has a team which is the difference and why we are lower than them.

    We need superb midfielders to move the club forward and if Duff’s wages are as high as broadcast (70K) then we should let him go, we must have good play AND goals from our midfield.


    May 29, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #5

    If this did offload the rubbish it would be great.

    emre, smith, duff, cacapa, roz, ameobi, Viduka

    That would drop the wages alot,

    bring in the youngster like

    Sakho, Ramsey, McGready, Arda turan – and other prospects, likey to be in the toulouse tournament.

    then a couple/few dream signings! – however young again, but the veluso’s, bentleys, diegos etc

  • faustino

    May 29, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #6

    I don’t get how peope keep forgetting that Viduka will be out til Xmas at least, Ameobi is off, Smith is dire and Carrol totally not ready/unable. We need a striker cos if Martins and Owen do the inevitable and get injured we’re screwed.


    May 29, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #7

    Ian, you are contradicting yourself.

    you say when we get big enough buy the likes of torres and drogba
    – Torres is still and was pretty young when he signed for Liverpool and set the league alight – best foreign goalscorer in a first season for ages. – what makes you think gomis wouldnt? and Cisse hardly set the world alight when he arrived in England

    then you say Gomis wouldnt score without any service – what makes you think that Cisse would?
    and he has no resale value, he wouldnt be that cheap, want big wages and would be dead money.
    Gomis – has resale, time on his side – but he is built to go in the Premiership – strong, fast, good in the air, young determined.

  • Gunnar/Iceland

    May 29, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #8

    Bridge/Shorey, Cuellar, Turan/McGeady, Veloso/, Gomis/Mario Gómez, Eren Derdiyok.

    What a squad we would have!

  • Bill F

    May 29, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #9

    Good grief Ian were you up all night writing. 🙂 Without being unkind I think the attention span of the average blogger probably finds to much verbiage an effort, even it it is well written and thought out (which it is). At the risk of offending I would suggest less prose but equal content.

    As to the editorial when did Carr leave, I don’t remember anything to that effect. I think Roz should be asked to try again. And unless we have an Abramospend who uses petty cash to run Chelski the MA approach is the right one to avoid a Leeds. It is up to KK and the backroom boys to turn pigs ears into silk purses.

  • HeronMag

    May 29, 2008 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #10

    I agree with Ian that our main concern is our midfield. Ever since Dyer left we’ve been crying out for a player who could drive up through the centre of the park.

    But I don’t see this as a reason not to sign Gomis. If we can clear out some of the dead wood at this club he could be awesome leading our front line.

    We need the centre of the park strengthened right the way through – centre back, central midfield and centre forward. We could have Rozenhal, Smith, Ameobi (possibly Zog or Duff) all leaving soon. We already have Ramage and Carr gone. Why not invest?

  • Micky Toon

    May 29, 2008 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #11

    Hopefully the unwashed down the road will buy Duff. Which means we are another down in midfield to go with Barton fink “leaving”.
    Apparently we are interested in signing Wolves keeper. He is a teriffic goalie, but we already have two excellent ‘keepers in Harper and Given and Krul to back them up.

  • sas

    May 29, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #12

    HeronMag, I’d say our bigger problem was when Nobby left and we had nobody who could create chances further up the pitch (though Barton did chip in with a few cracking passes, overall his passing was poor for most of the season).

    Actually, Emre does have that sort of vision and touch, but he never plays.

  • Leo

    May 29, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #13

    thats right bill all i saw of ians marathon of an essay was lines upon line. only joking.

    i think ian is right we have got to get out of the mould of buying one star player, when teams can find a pro who can show great ability straight away, i think cisse has a good/great record in england considering what happened to him.


  • Nick Dryden

    May 29, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #14

    Ed you seem obsessed with Duff. The guy has just never done it and at 29 is just getting older .
    The pace (his only asset) went years ago. It’s hardly going to come back now. 70K = 3M a year. Get rid asap.

  • HeronMag

    May 29, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #15

    Agreed about Emre. We just don’t have anyone who runs at people from the centre.

    On his day Emre can be as good as Beckham with his shooting and delivery, but he can just go missing sometimes.

    I trust KK will get him back to his best though!

  • natedawg

    May 29, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #16

    if we get celluar gomez (so much better than gomis)
    turan and veloso i would be exstatic . hopefully ashley knows good players learn quicker and improve when surrounded by natural talent there seems to be a bit of a gap when i look at the squad. old and exsperienced i.e viduka beye butt gerimi only a few getting into there prime i.e martins zog taylor to me its only owen, barton who are right in there prime. not saying there the best .

  • Rich

    May 29, 2008 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #17

    I agree with the comments regarding Cisse, i would rther spend 8million on a striker and more in midfiled than 15 million on a front man

  • iain

    May 29, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #18

    im guessing that MA is demanding some level of retrun on our overly expensive sqaud players.

    its not really the top earning 1st teamer that are the problem like oba etc. its the sqaud players

    duff/emre/smith cost about 15m earn around 200k pw in wages and have contributed how much in goals and assists each season the very job there paid to do, emre if he was fit wouldnt be in there but he isnt so he is if you see what i mean. compare that to everton who paid 15m for lescott/jagielka and Van Der Meyde ( threw in a crock to balance it up) and who from what i can gather earn about 100kpw between them. ffs lescott has more goals than our 3 put together and hes been playing lb most of the season.

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #19

    NUFC fan, I dont contradict myself, I do not think at this moment we need a striker to set the world alight which is why I say buy Cisse, we already, excluding Carroll, have an excellent striker line up, as good as anyone in the premiership.

    If Gomis came in and IF he was as good as Rooney straight out of the blocks, it would only net us another three goals in the season (in the premiership goals) and that is if Martins had another poor year without Sam and the ANC. That alone isnt going to take us up to fifth place, in fact if he equalled Adebayor it wouldnt take us to fifth and really we couldnt expect that much from any player in one season never mind their first.

    Yet our existing strikers under Keegan will probably net around 12-14 each in the premiership only,(Cisse can do the same if he was playing all season) but three quality new midfielders who can score would produce at least another 12 goals than our current line up, plus of we can get a big defender who can head the ball their may be another few from the back.

    That will make the difference not one striker.

    we only need a striker who is proven because ours are injury prone and we dont have enough of them.

  • bessi

    May 29, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #20

    1.arshavin (turan), 2.bridge (shorey), 3.cuellar (dunne) & 4.gomis (gomez)

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #21

    agree with iain


    May 29, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #22

    Ian – i agree with the fact that we need midfielders – we have been shouting out for that for a while. been so long since we have had goal threats from midfield, let alone class.

    and as for a defender still dont know how we havent sorted that problem out in ten years if ever.

    However i think missing out on Gomis would be a big. I thing we would add an extra dimension to the Attack. Viduka can only hold it up where Gomis can do that an so much more and as Viduka is out till december i think its a great player to bed in and then you can give him a break and bring the duke back in if you wanted.

    See what you say with Cisse in terms of saving a small amount of cash but i feel he’s peaked an its not a forward step.

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #23

    NUFC fan I see your point of view, you think we should still step up at the front.

    I think that our strikers are as good a line up as we could ever hope for, all experienced, all skilfull and all cool headed, Cisse would be an equal but in my view would compliment Martins and Owen very well – but that is just an opinion.

    Our midfield is terrible, no goals from the top players to speak of and that costs us premiership places more than goals at the front, yet a large wage bill, we could gamble a little in this area with young superstars and pay over the top for them, if we dont there will be no change, Gomis or no Gomis.

    Under Keegan our strikers will be fine.

  • Bill F

    May 29, 2008 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #24

    I like Cisse as well, I reckon he would do a good job for us. I think he was unlucky at Liverpool and is only now starting to get back to his best. Good time to buy!! I don’t think Viduka will figure next year especially as he will be laid up for most of the off-season and he is constantly fighting to keep his fitness levels although it would be nice for him to prove me wrong.

  • Jim

    May 29, 2008 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #25

    Kris Boyd from Rangers would be a shrewd signing with Cuellar in for Smith and £££’s. He’s a goal scorer that’s been overlooked ’cause he plays in Scotland. Averages 1 in 2 and is a Scotland starter.

    With his age, he’s an ideal addition to our squad and would push Carrol for a starting spot. His wage demands and transfer fee would allow us to invest more heavily in midfied, where we could use a star name to rival Ronaldo, Lampard, Fabregas and Gerrard.

    Another Scottish player, Aiden McGeady, would strengthen our attacking midfield options but can anyone come up with our star signing. In my opinion this one is as crucial as that of Shearer and Owen.


    P.S. Retire Viduka for a transfer fee. That would reduce the wages!


    May 29, 2008 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #26

    Ian ideally give me your perfect toon midfield with signings – realsitic not the KAKAs of this world!

  • RyanTeh

    May 29, 2008 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #27

    Hmm, I just wonder whether you guys see how Cisse perform when he’s in Liverpool or not. From few matches that he played previously was shite. That’s why he’s a sub to liverpool. He was completely blocked and can’t scored when he’s in france right now. I doubt Ian, you maybe right about his scoring record. But did you really see how he performed under Liverpool?

  • iain

    May 29, 2008 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #28

    ed you might want to read this and copy some into your article…


  • Jim

    May 29, 2008 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #29

    I agree with Ryan. Cisse’s not the man for Newcastle. Kris Boyd, however has all the experience of the British game and is a grafter. You’d have to be to make the Scotland team turn around.

    Why do we always have to get carried away with foreign imports, some of whom have never played in the Premiership and even worse, others that came and went without particular notice. In my opinion, that’s Cisse.

  • autibo

    May 29, 2008 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #30

    Ideally I would love to see us get Veloso and Van Der Vaart. No doubt we’d face competition from all over Europe for these two but I think both would probably welcome a move to England and realistically neither are going to get into a top-four team. At least with Toon they’d play regularly in front of huge passionate crowds. Veloso would take up Butt’s role and Van Der Vaart in Geremi’s role to unlock defences…

    Failing that I’d be happy with Emana in Butt’s role and Bentley/Diego/Moutinho in Geremi’s role

    We may not get the big fish but at least try!! We must be more attractive proposition than a corrupt Italian club who play in front of half-empty stadiums in the dullest league in Europe!!

  • Tom_Toon

    May 29, 2008 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #31

    Both are good enough to start in any top 4 team. Emana is more attacking and Moutinho wont suit the prem.

  • Hadrian

    May 29, 2008 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #32

    “But a recent survey reveals United were one of only eight top-flight clubs to report an operating profit. So is Ashley pulling in the purse strings out of panic or greed?”

    Greed .

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #33

    Cisse was 20 years old when he went to Liverpool, his scoring record is very good for a youngster who was new to the premiership and not always first choice, what makes him good is the goals are so often from the bench in top clubs, look for stats that show substitutions, also what they dont do is show are the goals scored in crucial games, he wins trophies and is involved in scoring at key times, two goals against Reading is easier than two International or European Cup goals.
    Look at Anelka at Chelsea if you want a comparison, goals per new striker drop in top clubs, they are high in lower clubs like ours.
    Only the likes of Drogba and Adebayor buck the trend because they are top choice otherwise they leave, Drogba will have a contract in his favour if he isnt played, he can choose his club.

    The midfield is so difficult, I would spend really heavily and try to get players of the quality of Daniele De Rossi, Elano and Andrea Pirlo, but everyone wants that quality, I would pay way over the top for Bentley, but I would prefer his team mate Pederson on sensible money especially if Zog is leaving as he is very creative, but they could play alongside each other too.
    Who ever we choose we must get the best we can afford in this area. it is more to do with who is available rather than who we want.

  • Bill F

    May 29, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #34

    I’ve seen Cisse on the Lique One footy, and he has always looked a real handful for any defence. He also tends to look really p*ssed when he doesn’t score which makes me think he is always looking for more from himself. It’s the sort of attitude that I think would be great for us. I don’t think you can base his ability on the Liverpool period, for what he would cost I think he would be an assett. I was surprised that Anelka was preferred to him in the French squad. He is a much better player and a better team player to boot.

  • Bill F

    May 29, 2008 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #35

    And Ian sorry to be dog in the manger but we have as much chance of getting DeRossi as we have of me being selected for the Jamaican Bob sleigh team.

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #36

    Billy F, agree 100% I have followed the player most of his career, if he is on a team i usually watch the match. He is absolute quality, his fitness level will definately not be bettered by any other sportsman, he is such a perfectionist it is unreal.
    Absolutely nothing he does is by chance, his goals are scored where he intended them to go, like Gerrard’s goal against the USA, very purposeful.
    I think another premiership club will land him, he will choose a club that wants and needs him as he feeds of the fans and loves every moment of being the man that can turn a game, if he ends up in the right club I am not sure what his limits are, 16 goals this season and he isnt happy with it says a lot, Gomis has scored the same 16 and everyone thinks he is headed for the top, what a contrast!!

  • nightfall

    May 29, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #37

    we should go after: cuellar, veloso, arshavin and gomis..and perhaps that young greek fullback…

    no arda (too slow, too weak), no crouch (i like him, but we need a STRONG striker),…

    sell: smith!!! ,ameobi, emre, duff, cacapa, rozehnal,…

    p.s.: if there’s a chance for us to get ribery, nasri, ben arfa,….sign ’em all 🙂

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #38

    Billy F, I know!!!!!!!!! re midfield, it is who is available really isnt it!! We need every penny we can save elsewhere to be spent in the midfield and make some mad attempts to land top players.

  • tam toon

    May 29, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #39

    Given, Smith , Duff, Barton, Cacapa out as they are on mega bucks approx 275k per week. Jussi from Bolton to back up harper would save 30k per week plus 5million for Given. Simple economics to start and not a vast difference in keepers.

  • Bill F

    May 29, 2008 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #40

    No one has answered my query re. Carr who did we manage to palm him , oops sorry, sell him to. Or did we have to pay some one to take him.


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