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Player Retires From International Football – Will Fight For His Newcastle Place

Newcastle midfielder Ki Sung-yueng has announced his retirement from International football and will now concentrate on his Newcastle career.

Ki turned 30 last month and played 110 times for South Korea with 10 goals and was the captain in last year’s World Cup in Russia.

His final game for Newcastle before going off to the Asian Cup was on December 22 in the 0-0 draw with Fulham – 2 points dropped by Newcastle.

At the time he said when he got back he didn’t know if there would be a place in the side for him.

And Sean Longstaff has filled in brilliantly for the South Korean, and we expect the local lad to start against Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon.

Ki Sung-yueng – expected to be on the bench on Saturday

South Korea had a disappointing Asian Cup and were beaten by eventual winners Qatar in the quarterfinals.

Here’s what Ki has said in the Chronicle today:

“It’s time for me to concentrate on Newcastle,””I have played a lot of games for Korea and travelled back and forth for 10 years or so.”

“That is difficult, such as this time. You are playing well in the team and have to leave. By the time you come back, someone else has your place.”

“That has happened a lot of times in my career because of the national team.” “It’s normal, the PL is so competitive, but that’s life.”

“But playing for my country is also an honor. I had to decide what my focus would be on now. I have done a lot for the national team.”

“I have seen Longstaff in training, I knew he had quality. We have very good competition now.”

“For me, I have to wait for my chance again. First of all, I need to be as fit as before. I need to do extra training.”

“I had to do this in the first period of the season, wait and work hard.”

“I picked up a hamstring injury in the first game of the Asian Cup.”

“It wasn’t a bad injury, it should have taken 10 to 12 days. Then, I came back to training, and I did it again.”

“I was very frustrated because it was my last competition for my country.”

“I realised that, even if we reached the final, I couldn’t play, so I decided to come back to Newcastle.”

“It feels like quite a long time now.” “There is no pain now, I’m fully recovered, just not yet at the level I was at before.”

Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden have played well together over the last eight games or so and they are expected to start on Saturday.

The game against Huddersfield is a relegation 6 pointer.

That means the difference in points between the two club depending on whether Newcastle win compared to Huddersfield winning is a full 6 points.

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Comments welcome.


44 comments so far

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #41

    There’s one reason why the HMRC are coming after the club – we’re a non-moving target with its premises, assets and operations in the UK. The players and their agents are mobile and so are their finances and are a far harder target.

    Both sides will be liable for tax and National Insurance contributions, it’s easier to recover them from us.

  • posada

    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #42

    NY Mag
    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:07 PM
    Comment #35

    I’m not an accountant either (nor a tax specialist)

    My understanding (and it could be wrong) of the HMRC claim against the club is that when paying signing bonuses for players, instead of giving the money to players directly they would pay the clubs agent a fee, the agent would then through a series of intermediaries wangle the money back to the players, thus avoiding income tax and NI payments.
    In which case I think this would be considered wages (not 100% sure though)

    Re above.
    Don’t fully understand it and I’m not sure I really want to as I can do naff all about it.
    However, I have long thought the above was how it was being done.
    Unrealistic payments to an agent, who then pays tax on that perhaps in a more tax friendly part of the world and much of it goes back to the player thus avoiding tax.

    Big point I would make. Are NUFC being subjected to a closer degree of scrutiny than other clubs.
    Most clubs were paying image rights. 15% or so paid off shore and not taxed.
    Supposedly the agent fee for Pogba to Man U was 30M.
    We never made payments on that level.

    Don’t know, but my feeling is that most clubs will have been at it. If your the club that won’t play ball you don’t get to sign the players.

  • posada

    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #43

    HMRC are a public body.
    Sooner or later is this not a matter of public record.

  • martoon

    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #44

    RobLeenio @41 – Yes but I can’t imagine the players are on PAYE – I would have thought they all have there own limited companies so they can offset tax against expenses, image rights etc. and whatever else their accountants can get away with. The point I’m making is surely we pay them and they sort out their own tax, NI etc. so I still don’t see how we are liable? I understand we may have been complicit and so therefore be due a fine or whatever but I still understand how we are liable for the tax & NI they didn’t pay?


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