Lee Clark has talked about the difficulties of both Newcastle and Sunderland landing the right players to improve their teams.

The former United midfielder says that back in the days of Kevin Keegan’s management, Newcastle had the perfect incentive on offer – a great team playing at the top end of the Premier League.

With both north east clubs at the bottom of the league, Clark says this makes the task of attracting players even more difficult.

Money is another incentive and throughout the Hall/Shepherd days we saw over the top wages paid out as Newcastle’s fortunes slid, with players such as Michael Owen making fortunes out of the club and giving next to nothing back.

No doubt Newcastle offered the right money this summer but certainly to keep our best players, success on the pitch will be the only way to do it.

Lee Clark talking to the BBC:

“The difficulty for Newcastle and Sunderland at this moment in time is they are in relegation battles.

“Now we have all known and even when we (Newcastle!) were attracting some of the biggest names in the British game and in Europe.

“We always knew that there has to be another incentive to attract them to the north east, because the type of players we were going for, had possibilities to go to London and live the life in London – which is always a big pull.

“So if that was an extra incentive in terms of the finance…the biggest thing as well was that we were a team competing at the top end of the Premier League and a possibility of challenging for trophies. So that was another way to pull the players in.

“The problem for the two clubs is the catchment area – the north east of England, but also the positions of the clubs.”