What does giving the job to John Carver mean for the bigger NUFC picture?
John Carver is getting the job full-time/long-term, Lee Charnley setting us up for it with his message of support the other day removing what little doubt I had.
From the minimum of 20 games JC had, in my mind he had to win 40% of them. Reason being he has no history, nothing to back up his claim that he can do what needs to be done to coach success.
Given that JC’s record currently stands at 14%, with City(a), Man U(h), Everton(a), Arsenal(h), Liverpool(a), Spurs(h) being 6 of the next 8 games, I can’t see the win % improving a great deal. In fact to reach the 40% mark JC will need to win 7 of his 13 games remaining.
However, when we are all criticising JC, you do have to keep in mind that all he’s doing is his best to get the job he craves. He really wants the NUFC manager’s job so I can’t be too harsh on him when he trots out meaningless drivel which complies with his job requirements, he is after all on an extended job interview, he really needs to put on a show to get the job. I would probably do the same in his situation.
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I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t much to be gained from listening to Carver, or any future appointed ‘coach’ for that matter. The coach will accept the job knowing that they will not be able to discuss any meaningful topics, transfers in, transfers out, anything remotely detrimental to the regime’s image.
They will accept the job on this basis, so why would they do anything else? All that will ever be expressed will be platitudes. We’ll get the condition of the players, who is in, who is out, maybe a comment or two about the opposition, how tough it will be etc etc. There will never be anything of substance, no information on the club’s direction or lack thereof.
As each year passes by under Mr Ashley’s regime, it’s clearer to me what the term ‘wiping its own nose’ actually means. Based on all evidence to date since Mr Ashley’s arrival, this means players bought will only ever be to the value of players sold. I’d also hazard a guess that the same will apply to wages for any incoming players (being equal to the wages of players leaving the club).
Wiping its own nose does not include money from sponsorship, advertising, retail, TV etc. The running costs of the club will be from this revenue stream and anything remaining?
Well that’s the question. As a privately owned business, once expenses have been paid and the profit has been taxed, Ashley can withdraw this for whatever purposes he wants. It can remain in the club until he decides to pack up then he can pay tax on it and put it in his pocket. He can pay tax and put it in his pocket year in year out, leaving nothing in the coffers. He could even use it to buy players & wages and invest in the business. I don’t see it being used to lower the ‘debt’, Mr Ashley would appear (to date) to want that paid in full when (if) he eventually sells the club. A nice little bonus when he finally decides to stop milking the NUFC cash cow.
There may be an injection of funds from time to time if the club is in danger of slipping out of the league and missing out on the huge sums of money but where this injection comes from who knows, it may well be another loan from Mr Ashley, it may come from the club’s rainy day fund, wherever it comes from it will be minimal, certainly not an amount sufficient to compete at the higher end of the PL but enough to ensure survival.
We’ll see the occasional fantastic player come in and leave when the right offer comes along, regardless of how long said player has been at the club (I fear Mr Ashley will have learned his lesson from Cisse and Tiote and that players should be sold for substantial profit even after only 6 or 12 months).
What price Jannmat, Perez, Sissoko, Krul being at the club next season? They will command good profit now, why risk loss of form? Based on last year’s trading I’m pretty sure any money would be invested (50 million perhaps?) back into the squad and maybe bring in 7 or 8 players in but with a view to unearthing another gem while remaining in the PL, no intention of competing at the higher end of the table but great if it does, a happy coincidence.
This approach will only ever result in starting afresh each year, with the aim of a top 10 finish the target and the normal company line of ‘not be able to compete with the big boys’, the big boys now including Stoke, Southampton, Everton etc.
Before I’m accused of wanting billions spent on Messi, Ronaldo and Bale, I do not object to running the club smarter than it has been in the past, I do not advocate going back to the reckless spending days of Robson, Souness, Roeder, Allardyce (when you stack up transfer fees Out to transfer fees In, the deficit is not good reading).
But given that Mr Ashley has put NUFC on such a sound financial footing, why can some of the club profit (not just player sale profit) not be introduced into the team? If the club pretty much takes care of itself now, why not lay a % of the profit down for team strengthening year on year rather than just squad replenishment?
Maybe this is in fact the case, the Arsenal model that Mr Ashley first talked about when buying our club. I live in hope that this is the plan, that Mr Ashley is stashing the club profits in a massive war chest and once it reaches a certain point we will unleash the full force of NUFC and its spending power on the PL and Europe. It’s possible but not likely.
If JC gets the job and the results do not justify his employment as long-term coach, then in my mind the final sliver of hope that Mr Ashley has a grand plan for NUFC to rise to the pinnacle of English football will evaporate, it will be stomped on, extinguished, dissolved and quashed.
My hope of witnessing my club competing (not just partaking) in any competition will be replaced by the hope that in my lifetime Mr Ashley will pack up his bags, leave and be replaced by an owner who strives for more than an additional zero added to his bank balance.
If JC gets the job regardless of his performance, in my opinion there is no bigger picture for NUFC.