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Five Newcastle First-Teamers For Just £10M

In the last two transfer windows, while we haven’t seen enough players come through the door, we can at least point to some very good buys the club has made.


Sebastien Bassong – what a signing for about £1.5M

We say that because here are some players we’ve signed in the last two windows with their estimated transfer fee -we brought nobody in a year ago when Kevin rejoined the club:

  • Sebastien Bassong – Metz – £1.5M
  • Danny Guthrie – Liverpool – £2M
  • Jonas Gutierrez – Real Mallorca – £1M
  • Ryan Taylor – Wigan – £1.5M
  • Kevin Nolan – Bolton – £4M

There’s five first teamers for a total cost of around £10M, and that’s very good business.

We can also add in Fabricio Coloccini, from Deportivo La Coruna for another £10M, who was our biggest signing at the club, since Ashley took over.

However Fabricio has been going through a little difficulty recently and his lack of pace is starting to show up, although he’s very experienced and reads the game well.

His lack of speed and heading ability is complemented well by young Sebastien Bassong.

When we look at these signings, we have to think that if we can get another five like this lot for even £20M in the summer, we’ll be doing well.

And if we can get a bigger signing in like Fabricio, maybe that could be Miguel Veloso from Sporting Lisbon, who we tried to get last month.

But when we look at the players who are performing for the team, it’s not always the big signings who turn out to be the best players.

If nobody knew what Coloccini and Bassong cost the club, we said one was £10M and one was £1.5M – who would most people think the £10M player was?

You get the point.

So we’ve done quite well in the transfer market – and yes – that’s looking on the bright side of things.

And we really expect there to be a big clear-out this summer with some of our high wage earners leaving.

We expect Viduka, Cacapa, Geremi, Xisco, Gonzalez (loan) Owen and Edgar, to definitely go in the summer, and possibly be joined by both Smith and Enrique, although we’d like to see Jose stay with us.

Those we can get transfer fees for would be (with estimates), Geremi (£3M) Xisco (£2M), Smith (£3M) and Enrique(£4M), and while there will be obvious debate on these estimates, we should be able to get about £12M for those players moving out – and the others are out of contract in the summer.

So there’s £12M for Joe to spend this summer, but since we brought in about £8M in January, maybe that will be added to the summer transfer kitty, and hey, maybe Mike will even add some more, depending on the economic climate, which we don’t expect to be much improved any time soon.

But he could at least have £20M to spend – and if we spend as wisely as we’ve done in the past that could bring some good players into the club this summer.

But we’ve said that before, and if we’re still in the Premier League cope June, watch for Joe to wheel and deal – big time.

Comments welcome.

40 comments so far

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #1


  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #2


  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #3


  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #4

    Selling Enrique is idiocy!

    Bassong is our best player!

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #5

    Dear mr ashley,

    I am a life long Newcastle United supporter and would like you to know how i feel about the way the club is being currently run.

    I do not have the resources to have the privilege of owning such a great North Eastern institution, which represents the hopes and dreams of many thousands of individuals in the region.

    However, you do.

    I am not going to go into great depth, of what i would like to see happen to the club but i will make it succinct and to the point;

    Please use your staff efficiently, make them do their homework between each transfer window to identify suitable targets which are going to enhance and improve our first team. I say first team because at this moment in time that must take priority above long term youth policies.
    By doing this, once the window opens, your well prepared staff will be able to put their plans into place, make a realistic bid and have a full transfer window to negotiate.

    However, this is what appears to have happened since you and your staff have been at the club;

    In the preceding weeks to the window opening, your recruiting staff remain absolutely silent whilst your team manager, whether it be Keegan or Kinnear, inform the fans that players will be bought and the fans will be suitably pleased. They reassure the fans the recruiting staff have a plan to buy the targets which will improve the team.

    What happens next?

    The window opens and speculation mounts, fans expectations are raised but nothing happens. Fans become bemused, frustated, angry and expect to have information from your staff as to the transfer situation. The weeks go by without any activity yet games are being played with a severely under strength squad and we continue to struggle at the foot of the table without gaining valuable points which may save us from relegation. It always comes to the final weekend of the window and no transfers have been made. The only information comes from the manager who has to speak on behalf of the recruitment team and in hindsight, have clearly been misguided by the recruitment team. Keegan and Kinnear have both spoken on tv to explain why our best talent are being sold, ie Milner, n’Zogbia and Given, but the recruitment team will replace them with the money they recieve, with quality signings which will improve our team.

    The result:

    We sell our best talent on the final weekend of the window before making any buys ourselves. The buys we finally bring in are clearly cheaper, less talented and unproven in the premiership.
    There have been four windows since you took charge and so far you have made approximately £10m profit on transfer dealings. Our team has steadily dropped further down the league and have spent most of this season either within or perilously close to the drop zone.
    The last window closed a few days ago and you have made an 8m profit having sold two established premiership stars and brought in a striker who had to have a trial before given a contract until the end of the season, a player who had lost his place in another relegation rival and a young player who was relatively unknown who cost nothing.
    Yes there were reports of the club making half a dozen large bids for star players, strangely all made on the final day of the window. This has happened on each of the four transfer windows you have been at the helm, however on each occasion, we are repeatedly rebuffed by their respective clubs.

    Finally, Mr Ashley, i want you to know that i understand about the world financial crisis and the major impact this has had on your own personal financial fortune. However, the way i see it is, if things remain the same, this great club which you own financially and thousands own spiritually will slip back to sleep like it did in the early 80s and was kindly woken by your predecessor Sir John Hall in the early 90s.

    Let us not forget, you are not the only one suffering financially. Many thousands within our region have been forced to sell their houses because, like yourself bought big in the boom but when the bust came, they had to sell up and take a loss. Many of those, i am sure, could have remained in their houses and tried to get through the hard times but it would have meant their family going without. Their children who have no influence on the situation would have suffered greatly. For that reason, those home owners have sold up and moved on to pastures new. Unfortunately they are the hard facts of biting off more than you can chew.

    I now plead with you to take a long hard look at your situation and take the actions which those home owners have had to take. To sell up to a buyer who will pay a realistic price, even if it means you lose a substantial amount of money. Luckily for you, this is not your home, your kids wont suffer. You need never come back to Newcastle again. Due to the lack of time you spend here anyway it would not be a hardship. You would still have many hundreds of millions in your bank. More money than the 50 thousand fans could muster together.

    I hope this letter has made you think about how i feel and hope it influences your future decision to sell up.

    Please reply to this letter if you feel it warrants it.

    Kind regards,

    Troy Stavers

  • Kash

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #6

    We won’t be getting £3m for Geremi!!!

  • Ed Harrison

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #7

    Troy – let’s hope this gets to Mike.

  • Kash

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #8

    Plus, considering we’ll need a new front man once Viduka, Owen and Smudge leave, then £20m for 5 first teamers maybe pushing it!!!

    I’d rather not spend £12m on Veloso, when that money could be spent on a front man!

  • RyanToon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #9

    troy send it to mike mate, great letter!

  • RyanToon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #10

    well i have to say ive always said get enrique out but for me (hopefully) his performance vs sunderland can make him become alot better, i hope so but im still unsure

  • alextoon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #11

    Troy…ya forgot to ask him to sell up to someone better….cos lets face it..the way some people treat him…he could just say ok…I’ll sell to the worst option possible that will run the club deep in to the ground.

    Ed. Brilliant article

  • Magpietillidie22

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #12

    This is what ive been saying anyway, we’ve brought in some top quality players thus far on the cheap. Bassong by the end of the season will be worth 10million plus easily.

    However as kash said we are going to need a front man, one that can score 20plus and that is where we will find it hard i think. I expect as spurs will have defoe, keane and pav fit for next season we will probably go in for bent. This in my mind could prove to be a huge signing. When the guy plays regular he is a top striker and if spurs dont want him thats their problem but given a run in the team he would score more than defoe, pav and keane over a season

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #13

    Wouldn’t want Bent.

    Martins-Dzeko would be ideal.

  • lesh

    Feb 5, 2009 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #14

    Troy, A great post, emotional yet objective.

    Wonder if the Chron, the Journal, Gazette and dare we say it, the nationals would print it. If it were given a public airing, there’s a fair bet it’d be brought to Ashley’s attention.

  • toonoholic

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #15

    Ed why are you so hell bent on selling enrique !!!!!

  • clinta

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #16

    I’m sure the club will want rid of some of the overpriced dead wood, there are so many players now (and in the past) who have done nothing for us on the pitch, but picked up small fortunes while doing so.

    Sadly while we’ll get rid of the lads whose contracts expire I’m not sure if well be able to off load the players that are still contracted as again… no one will be willing to meet there wage demands.

  • stevep

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #17

    @Troy – why would Ashley sell up at a loss, as you state it isn’t his home and his kids won’t suffer regardless of whether he sell sor not. Sorry mate I feel it as much as you but the letter makes no sense.
    If anything we should be imploring him to get rid of Llambias, Kinnear and Wise and hand the reins to a decent manager (if anyone would come)

  • Magpietillidie22

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #18

    Tom_toon – obviously there are plenty of other strikers i would want instead of bent but i just know they will go back in for him

  • Ross

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #19

    getting rid of Enrique would be stupid. He had a good game against Sunderland because he’s going through whats commonly known as “development” or “adaptation”. Thats what happens when a young, promising player comes to a different country and begins to learn his trade, but the majority of you lot wrote him off as crap when he wasnt bombing down the wings and making crunchers left right and center, give him time!
    if his link up play with Jonas along the left against the scum is anything to go by then he could become very good for us.

  • Jan Stavik

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #20

    5 first teamers for 10m? This shows that u can always get a nice heading if u twist and turn it the way u want.

    The only really good signings are Bassong and Jonas, the others have not been great sucesses. Nolan and Guthrie will come good, while I’m not too convinced about Ryan Taylor who is an average Premiership player, nothing more.

    However, average is a major upgrade compared to Steven Taylor and Edgar, so he’ll be useful.

  • BarmyArmy

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #21

    No oi oi Charvers??? Have you been having English classes Troy? 🙂

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #22


    I honestly believe Ashley has no intention of spending money at the club, whether it be cos he can’t afford it or it is his plan outright.
    It’s my belief on what ive seen so far, therefore I can only hope he does the honourable thing.

    Steve your not from Whickham are you?

    By the way, i’ve sent the letter to the papers to see if gets published. Sunday sun/journal / EC

  • Winston Potski

    Feb 5, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #23

    I’m personally happy with the quality of the players coming in.

    Yes it’s frustrating when we’ve grown accustomed to ‘breaking the bank’ to tempt star players over the past decade. But how many of those expensive big-names have performed well enough to justify their price-tags?!

    Most of the players in the squad Ashley inherited were massively over-paid and this represents poor value for money for both the club and it’s fans.

    Gradually, NUFC are getting rid of the leeches that are holding our club back and replacing them with guys that will genuinely take pride in pulling on the black-and-white shirt.

    Whatever people want to say about Dennis Wise, he and his recruitment team are really doing their homework before committing to new players and the fees paid demonstrate great business.

    It’s not going to happen overnight (and many feel it’s happening too slowly) but Ashley’s prudent policies will see us stabilise and improve in the long-term.

    I feel the club’s difficult league position at the moment was inevitable due to the careless overspending tenure of Fat Freddie Shepherd.

    If we stick together and ignore the tired doom-and-gloom merchants, not only will NUFC get out of this mess but go on to become a top premiership side once again.

  • Winston Potski

    Feb 5, 2009 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #24


    what’s wrong with bein from Whickham like?

    I don’t think your letter represents ALL toon fans, nor is it particularly well-founded and for those reasons I wouldn’t hold your breath for Ashley’s reply or the front page of the local papers!

  • sirjasontoon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #25

    Dear Mike,

    I am Just writing to say…NUFC is not a sports direct outlet…treat is with the respect and give it the financial backing it deserves or go and F yourself.


  • chuck

    Feb 5, 2009 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #26

    In general you get what you pay for Bassong being the exception to the rule.
    Nolan was a bit below what most would expect,
    but he is not exactly anything but a hard working big strong guy, a poor mans Gary Speed.
    As for Jonas, dont believe that was the fee, the guy was rated over 7m. and we got him in some kind of swindle deal, which I believe we had to come up with more money.
    The rest, journeymen, worth about what we paid, actually we paid over the top for “The Xisco kid” , “Toro Nino” and “Collo”.
    TROY STAVERS has it mainly right.
    Listen , you cant run a football team like a retail business, it requires top management with track records, we are selling entertainment not shirts.
    If M.A. thinks he can operate a PL team on the cheap he is kidding himself.
    Even his role model club Arsenal spend when needed.
    Fact is we need a guy like Dein at the top, then a manager like Van Gaal or one of the Dutch Masters, a sound scouting system combined with a willingness to back them up with the required financing.
    We have the stadium in place, the fan support,
    we could be challenging for European silver and it`s financial rewards each year, like we were with SBR, why not.
    But it will be a struggle to survive each season if the present situation continues.
    And yes Mike I know there`s a recession !

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 5, 2009 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #27

    @ Winston Potski

    Don’t be so defensive Potski boy. I’m originally from Whickham myself. I just thought I might have known the other blogger.

    As for your other comments, I realise I don’t speak for all fans and if you notice, I made it known, these were my opinions.

    I don’t for one second expect my letter to be printed on the front pages of any paper. However I have had a considerable number printed in the letters pages of the local newspapers over the years and I will be surprised if you don’t see it there in one edition shortly.

    Try giving your expressing your opinions in more detail and I might know why you think mine are unfounded.

    Roy Tavers ts

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 5, 2009 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #28

    Sorry Potbelly,
    I see you’ve posted earlier with your opinions.

    They are absolute rubbish tho.

  • Spitfire

    Feb 5, 2009 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #29

    Fact is we are stuck with Ashley and the way he wants to do things. I am no fan of his but at the same time I don’t believe he is inherently stupid or evil. He has just made a few big mistakes . The biggest one being to lose his best communicator – Mort. We have to get over it. I believe eventually he might get it right. The problem is, in trying to do that he just might get us relegated instead . All we can do now is make the best out of what we have and support the team. Our big decision will come in the summer when we decide to renew or not. In the meantime its squeaky bum time – to coin a phrase.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #30


  • BlacknWhite Barmy

    Feb 5, 2009 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #31

    Whilst the players you mention to sell are not worthy of the shirt (except Enrique), just selling them and adding similar numbers of players does not work – as well as the fact that they are untried. THe fact is our squad is at the bare bones Viduka and ExEmo are going to walk for free – and any forward worth his salt is not going to come to a team of untried players. Pay peanuts get monkeys Im afraid.

  • BlacknWhite Barmy

    Feb 5, 2009 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #32

    THe reference tot Sports Direct shops is spot on. Can anyone remember the flagship london sports shop Lilywhites? It was staffed by keen, knowledgable people who were willing and able to give advice. Its situated in Piccadily and is housed in a fantastic 5 story building – you paid a bit more but it was good quality.

    Then along came Fat Ash the Cash and bought it – its now staffed by lowly paid backpackers passing through london who have no knowledge of any sport let alone willing to give advice. Racks of ‘YSL Sports clothing’ line every floor and mostly on the floor . It makes Primark look like Harrods

    and then he bought the Toon. Its staffed by …………………………………………..

  • GeordieJayne

    Feb 5, 2009 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #33

    Hey Troy great letter there m8, I completely agree with you.

    See what you can do with a day off the drugs LOL

  • The Real Entertainers

    Feb 5, 2009 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #34

    Positively, its great signings

    Negatively doesnt show much ambition

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 5, 2009 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #35

    I’d rather show no ambition and make buys like this than spend loads on the rubbish the Spuds have bought.

    No brainer!

    By your thinking Arsenal show no ambition, when in reality they show the most wanting to develop world-class talent.

  • vic

    Feb 5, 2009 at 9:02 PM

    Comment #36


    MA is making one big mistake by one big mistake.

    Obviously he is not stupid – he built multimillione empire. But his policy to run the football team as a retail business is leading to gradual decline in the club.

    Look on the ladder…
    Look on the lads mood…
    Look on three last loses-we lost Milner, Zog, Given who are world class …
    Look on our new arrivals …
    Can you imagine that sir Alex Ferguson would add to his squade Loverkranz…

    Agree that there is only one thing we all can do now is support the team in our hearts. The reality is that MA will continue make one big mistake by one big mistake…

    Hey TROY. I think majority fans feel like you.

    If you add his disrespect of fans, absence of communication, continuos lying etc

  • KKN39

    Feb 6, 2009 at 2:34 AM

    Comment #37

    let Owen, Viduka, Cacapa, Edgar go (for free i suppose?); old Butt shouldn’t have been given a contract extension (he isnt cheap anyway)
    sell Smith, Geremi, and probably Duff (whose age & wage are on the high side) for 8m combined hopefully?
    keep Spaniards Enrique definitely, and young strong Xisco needs to be given a chance? shld save my breath on the hopeless useless Gonzalez.
    tbh MA/DW signings mostly come good (relatively speaking of coz): Bass, Jonas, Guthrie best-value-for-$ signings in PL; Nolan, Taylor & Lovenkrands seem hardworking athletic players; Colo maybe given a chance to succeed Butt in DM? Bass & Hyypia sounds a great partnership for the next season.
    Besides Hyypia, another CM in Johnson or M’bia, 1.5 or 2m in Daniel Fox and maybe a cheeky loan bid in Alex from Chelski may just completes the (defensive) midfield and back4?

  • KKN39

    Feb 6, 2009 at 2:57 AM

    Comment #38

    433 should be the way to go as after Zog goes we dont actually have wingers – Jonas better given a free role in midfield and Duff has lost his pace and consistency (R.Taylor is no more than a squad player). Jonas/Taylor (on either wings), Barton/Nolan (AM), Johnson(or M’bia)/Colo (DM) can form the dynamic and physical midfield engine (tho not particularly creative). the front trio provides most of the attacking prowess: big & strong (Carroll/Xisco) + tricky & quick (Martins/Owen’s successor) + skilful & creative winger/playmaker (who?). the flanks can be left to the fullbacks in Enrique, S.Taylor, Beye, Fox (or whatever young attacking LB out there)

  • The Real Entertainers

    Feb 6, 2009 at 7:42 AM

    Comment #39

    Arsenal show ambition when signing :

    Arshavin for 12 million
    Sagna for 6 million
    Adebeyor for 12 million
    Nasri for 12 million
    Walcott for 8 million

    its easy to forget Arsenal will spend large amounts of cash on players when needed, it just gets over looked as there youth players get the attention.

    Besides Arsenal can afford to by one player a season they have a great foundation and stability than we do.

    Arsenal just need a touch up every year, we need a full blown operation!

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 6, 2009 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #40

    Adebayor was about £3.8mil and thats like one player every 2 transfer windows.


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