A quick glance at the Premier League rich list underlines how NUFC should be spending a lot more money on new players.

Yes, you read it right the first time, I think we should spend even more dough!

Mr Ashley is rated as the fifth wealthiest owner in the division. He’s worth a whopping £3.5 billion. Now I’m not sure how cash rich that means Ashley is, but let’s just say he’s got plenty to burn.

Set against that backdrop, the major investment we are currently witnessing is something that should have happened more over the last five years, since returning to the Premier League.

In 2011 there was a major overhaul, but after that summer nothing of any great significance, and nothing close to what we have seen in this transfer window.

So far £50m has been splurged, one of the highest net spends. Now I’m not being unrealistic and suggesting MA goes on some sort of spree like Man City or Chelsea, I appreciate there has to be a sense of realism here.

However, Newcastle, with an owner that wealthy, should be spending decent money every single year. Surely?

It’s far better to invest solidly every coming transfer window than to save up your pocket money, then have to work back through a vast in-tray of issues.

We have a scenario now where the club is playing catch up from previous periods of under-investment in a perilously wafer thin squad.

The new TV money has been huge and Ashley’s profits from Sports Direct have rocketed. There is no reason not to have consistently invested.

Another look at that rich list shows clubs like Everton (Kenwright £33m), Swansea City (Morgan Family £32m) and West Brom (Jeremy Peace £50m) all have owners whose wealth is dwarfed by that of Mr Ashley. Yet these clubs seem to get through much more solid transfer business.

Ashley is worth more than Liverpool’s owners (John Henry £1bn) and the owners of Manchester Utd (the Glazer family, £3bn).

These clubs can be explained away because of the strength of their brand, commercial deals and their global appeal, eg how many replica shirts they shift over in the far east, but it’s not the case that NUFC are skint. Far from it.

They have caught up this summer, that’s not in doubt, but the rich list shows us just how much better it could all be.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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