Mike Ashley is changing the bonus scheme for Newcastle United players as from this coming season.

Previous seasons have seen much derision poured on the way the club have set rewards based on the starting point of a minimum top half finish.

The Shields Gazette report that Mike Ashley is now putting in place incentives for success in the cup competitions, as well as extra cash for Champions League or Europa League qualification.

With the actual fine details not made public we have to rely on what the club and their friendly press tell us, with the Shields Gazette reporting that players could receive ‘six figure sums’ if ‘successful’.

Exactly how much of this is actual change is hard to tell, because anything that brings in significant extra cash based on how the players perform, is already surely linked to the rewards they receive.

In terms of the league, as we know the players would have been rewarded if they had finished tenth (rather than last season’s fifteenth) and for every extra place up the league they would have got more cash, based on previous media reports.

So in reality the player would have received more cash if they say had got a Europa League place last season, as indeed the club/Mike Ashley would have done as well.

Southampton finished seventh for Europa League qualification and if Newcastle had ended up in that position, they would have banked almost £10m more than they did, with each extra league position worth around £1.2m. So it is a win win for both parties, as in for Ashley and the players.

As for the cups, it would be very bizarre if the players would have received absolutely nothing if they had say won the FA Cup last season, because much as it isn’t anywhere near what the league delivers, it would have still meant millions of extra income.

Having said that though, with Lee Charnley’s recent admission that the club hadn’t been trying in the cups and that starting NOW they were going to, I suppose I believe anything would have been possible with regard to the bonus scheme.

With talk of ‘six figure sums’ it is hard to believe that Newcastle’s more senior players who will be on thirty, forty thousand or whatever a week, would actually be that bothered about that extra chunk of cash.

Though if you read pretty much any self-made rich person’s autobiography then invariably they are still very keen on getting as much extra dosh as is humanly possible.

The idea of millionaire footballers needing extra ‘incentives’ to try and win football matches is a hard one for most of us to get our heads around but if that is the industry standard then that is what you have to offer.

Hopefully this summer will show that Newcastle United and Mike Ashley are offering us all the most important bonus scheme of ‘hope’ this coming season, now that would be a mjor departure from recent years.

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