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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

  • HeronMag

    May 29, 2008 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #41

    Jim, I’d never thought about Boyd.

    That’s a good call, he’s a cracking player.

    Very underrated.

  • Stami

    May 29, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #42

    Cisse Cisse Cisse… i would much rather poach Peter Crouch! Cisse has had a very bad track record with injuries! he has been out of the EPL for a few years, and has only aged since he left! Gomis would be a great signing but as Ian said earlier, will take time to adjust to the EPL! if we could affort(HINT HINT MA) to buy Gomis and wait on him to shine then sure, id say go for it! Peter Crouch has proven he can fight with the big dogs and hold his own on the International stage, not only for club but country too! as he wastes away on the bench of LFC, im sure constant 1st team football is what he wants!

    Gomis = too expensive for a 2 season wait(assumed)
    Cisse = Off the pace of the EPL, might also need adjustment time
    Crouch = Raring to go!

    i would spend my money on Crouch!

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #43

    Boyd would be cheap that is for sure, a big gamble in the premiership though.

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #44

    I am not against Crouch, I just think that Martins and Owen need a very clinical positive fast striking partner, Crouch makes the best of what is happening which is a similar role but not as good as Owen, Cisse can power from the half way line and easily pull away from any player on the pitch, then either pick out a player or go for goal, totally different types of player.
    I dont see how Crouch would fit in unless Owen left and we were after two players.

    I wish some big name midfielders would start making noises about moving in July.

  • Geordie Nick

    May 29, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #45

    Bill F- carr was released a few weeks ago as he is out of contract

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #46

    Its official, Cisse’s agent says he is talking to several English clubs, dont like the several bit.


  • Rich

    May 29, 2008 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #47

    Boyd will score goals wherever he goes, he is a classic finisher

  • Oga

    May 29, 2008 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #48

    Cisse would not compliment any of our strikers. Gomis would be the perfect bait for Owen, like Heskey was. He would also give us the opportunity to play with a lone striker.

    We need to improve in every area except for in goal.

  • Bill F

    May 29, 2008 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #49

    I’m not dogmatic about Cisse, I just think he is one of several good options, including Crouch. I would love us to get Gomis but don’t think we will. Any one see the spoof link on the latest blog re Torres. Brilliant.

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #50

    dreaming with Gomis, top price and unproven in the premiership and no Viduka until christmas to pick up the pieces if it doesnt work.

    If we bought Gomis and he didnt settle in from day one we would go backwards not forwards even if we bought some good midfield players, it would be the same as waiting for Owen at the start of last season, we know he is good, but when will it show and another year passes, then Owen or Martins leaves and we have to find another decent striker.
    we will never have a better set of strikers than we have now, all we need is one player who is an equal, we dont want or need to try and find the new Pele. If Cisse has a point to make and ends up top goalscorer in the premiership then it would be a bonus but not intended.
    If we get the midfield right we will move quickly up the table.

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #51

    I would rather hijack the Liverpool deal for Barry. that would be a better use for £13m

  • leavy

    May 29, 2008 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #52

    i agree with ian i really think newcastle need a goal scoring midfielder
    we never really replaced laurent robert in my opinion he could score from range run at players and take free kicks, we had solano who was the same and dyer now we have very little flair and that saddens me
    i personally would like d’ allesandro or diego
    the latter being unlikey but some intent would be nice

  • Ian

    May 29, 2008 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #53

    who is available leavy? I keep searching but there arent may proven ones moving.

    We may have a chance at Barry, O’neil says that he is worth far more than the £10m Liverpool are offering, I agree, I think he scored 8 goals in the premiership and is a good solid player, if we threw in a high offer, the club might want it and Barry, even though he was set on Liverpool may be unsettled enough to move to us, we do have some England players he knows, it is worth a go.

  • Hadrian

    May 29, 2008 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #54

    Bear in mind that 10 million added last year is a HUGE percentage of the cash you have for the first team squad .
    that overall figure of 70 million represents alot of practically fixed costs outside of the first team .
    so that 10 million is a huge huge thing , its shouldnt have been allowed to happen really , they restricted sam’s spending on players but let him go daft with the wage budget .

    keegan must sell and replace , but then is he allowed control over it after its brought down ?
    should be allowed any wage for a player as keegan wants , as long as its accounted for .

  • leavy

    May 29, 2008 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #55

    to be honest i can only name about 3-4 good goalscoring midfielders and it depends how much we want them
    diego van der vart juninho etc
    but they all play for clubs bigger or are will be bought by players bigger than us
    yes barry would be a good player
    also newcastle should think about players who score a lot from midfiled for smaller clubs its all very well going for players in good clubs

  • Oga

    May 30, 2008 at 12:27 AM

    Comment #56

    Of course the midfield is our priority, but that does not mean we should neglect our strike force.

    Cisse has no ariel presence, is very similar to Martins and has a terrible injury record. We need a striker that offers something more than pace. Gomez and Gomis are what we’re are looking for, in terms of ariel presence, strength and technique.

    The purpose of signing either player would not be for them to get goals, it would be to help our other strikers to get more goals. Owen would score a lot more alongside Gomis.

    I dont get into this unproven argument either. Torres was unproven in the premiership before this season, while Smith was supposedly proven in the premiership before we signed him.

  • howway geordies

    May 30, 2008 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #57

    £6M for Smith – you’re having a laugh though, Ed!

  • Ian

    May 30, 2008 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #58

    oga, Cisse’s injury record is good. Two players broke different legs, one put his foot full whack through his leg, no ball involved. Do that to any player and his leg will break, the other again was a savage attack on a player who they were unable to catch, what is amazing is that he is still the fastest striker over the ground with a ball in the World, I havent seen another striker who is close. Averaged 11 goals per year every year since 2002, how reliable do you need?? Only Martins is as reliable in our team.
    His ariel prescence is brilliant, he is 6ft tall and is lethal with either foot or his head, he is a very powerful header and striker of the ball.
    We are a striker obsessed club, we should buy the best bargain Cisse or even Kitson (if we cant get Cisse) and concentrate on top midfielders as they are going to cost around £13m each, we could do with three!!! Who except Chelsea has a better striker line up if everyone is fit than us already?

    Cisse is a gift horse, no striker that good is that cheap, everyone all said the same about Anelka and Mccarthy when they were for peanuts too, I had exactly the same comments then.
    Cisse is a good striker, but the point is he doesnt have to be here, we only need 8-12 premiership goals from his position all season, the same from the Owen and Martins positions then 5-6 from the midfield players, a few from the back and we are way up the table. What is Gomis or another going to do, knock in 30 premiership goals, 9 more than Torres??? I dont think so. It still wouldnt be enough to match 3 good midfield players who score a reasonable amount of goals, we need to stop buying one player and expecting things to change, they wont, this time we want to climb and stay there, once we are 5th the team will change anyhow, they always do and we will be able to buy (if we need to) a proven player such as a Torres type with no question marks above them.

    The World’s press are reporting Gomis in Euro 2008 as earned but a big gamble, they say that manager has gambled in the past and it has paid off, but they think not having Cisse at all in the squad is risky, if the World’s quality press think that, then some people’s views of Cisse arent based on facts, just thoughts.


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