Many neutrals raised eyebrows when Alan Pardew left Newcastle United for Crystal Palace.
Leaving the third best supported team in England who have been almost a permanent member of the Deloitte Top 20 over the last couple of decades, what was that all about?
Even Newcastle’s harshest critics would accept that the manager was moving several levels down in terms of size of club and potential.
Whilst Pardew was assured of a warm initial welcome at a club where he’d been a cult hero as a player, not many people swallowed that link as the overwhelming reason for leaving Tyneside.
Most Newcastle fans were of the opinion that Alan Pardew had experienced enough of NUFC’s lack of ambition under Mike Ashley and was going to a smaller club who at least were trying their best and would increase his wages several times over, proving just how small time Newcastle United had become.
When we talk of small and big clubs, what is the reality? Hasn’t the relative fair TV revenue payout meant clubs are pretty much equal in terms of strength of finances, apart from those competing in the Champions League in recent seasons?
The answer is yes, but only up to a certain point.
Look at the respective finances of Crystal Palace and Newcastle last (2013/14) season.
Crystal Palace had a turnover of £90.4m, which came from Matchday £9.3m, Commercial £6.9m and TV/broadcasting £74.2m.
Newcastle United had a turnover of £129.7m, which came from Matchday £25.9m, Commercial £25.6m and Tv/broadcasting £78.3m
Roughly speaking, Newcastle United generated some £40m extra income last season compared to Alan Pardew’s new club, and this is in a scenario where Newcastle could surely earn between £10m and £20m extra, if there was a proper drive to bring in more commercial deals and Mike Ashley didn’t give free club advertising to his retail empire.
Added to which the merchandise/shirt sales at the club have spectacularly collapsed compared to years gone by, with so many fans refusing to buy because of Ashley, Wonga and so on.
So realistically the £40m Newcastle can afford to outspend Palace by, could easily be £50m to £60m at a reasonable estimate.
A great illustration of just how bizarre the move of Pardew from Newcastle to Palace is, plus the damning indictment it makes on Mike Ashley’s running of NUFC, comes thanks to the latest excellent piece by The Swiss Ramble.
This top source for football finances has just done a piece on Crystal Palace which you can read here, within it he has the graph below which shows how reliant as a percentage of income, all Premier League were on the TV revenue last season.
Whilst Newcastle were only behind/ahead of the obvious six clubs, Crystal Palace were more reliant on TV revenue than all of the other 19 Premier League clubs, with over 80% of their revenue coming from broadcasting.
It really is a shocking example of just how low Mike Ashley has brought us, a club with so much potential (if under different ownership) and the manager leaves to join the one with the least potential, certainly in terms of generating money.
Table above compiled by Swiss Ramble.