Deloitte have published their ‘Annual Review of Football Finance 2017’.
This looks at what happened over the course of the 2015/16 season in terms of finance, the season when Newcastle United were relegated.
The core part of the Deloitte report centred on the Premier League, the world’s dominant league, at least that is when it comes to money..
‘The 26th edition of our publication returns to two familiar themes – the continuation of relentless revenue growth across Europe’s major leagues, in particular the Premier League, and the commitment of this money to spending on players via transfer fees and wages, again led by English clubs.’
So are there any clues in the report as to why Newcastle United ended up heading back to the Championship only seven years after the last relegation.
Money doesn’t guarantee you success but in the vast majority of cases, not spending it guarantees failure.
Looking at the table above, in 2015/16 the three clubs with the lowest wage bills were Watford (£58m), Bournemouth (£60m) and Norwich (£67m), no real surprises there as they were the three promoted sides from the Championship.
What may surprise you is that after (renowned as being cautious and prepared to build again after relegation) West Brom (£74m), the next lowest wage bill was Newcastle United on £75m.
An astonishing 15 of the other 16 clubs who had also been in the Premier League the season before (2014/15), all had bigger wage bills.
For example, Everton had a lower turnover (£122m) than Newcastle’s (£126m) but spent £20m more on wages than the Magpies.
Swansea had a turnover (£96m) that was £30m less than Newcastle’s, yet spent £7m more on wages.
Even Sunderland, who Newcastle fans would assume had failed to be as ambitious as Newcastle, spent £9m more than Newcastle on wags, despite their turnover (£108m) being £18m less than Newcastle’s.
The bottom line is that Mike Ashley had ran Newcastle United into the ground over a period of years with under investment, leading to a squad that had neither quality nor numbers, which was key to why the club were relegated.
Yes football players are paid stupid money, and none of us celebrate that fact, but all Premier League clubs also receive stupid amounts of money just for competing in the English top tier.
Moving forward to the present day, journalists who are usually clued up, are now saying that Mike Ashley is failing to back up Rafa Benitez in terms of transfers in this window. The belief is that the market is too crazy, both in terms of transfer fees and wages when it comes to getting transfers over the line.
The bottom line is that Newcastle have to compete when it comes to wages and transfer fees, or else there will be almost certainly no chance of bringing in the necessary players NUFC need for the coming season.
Here’s hoping that reality sinks in with Mike Ashley and his minions, you can’t cheat the system and do it on the cheap.