How On Earth Can We Not Compete With Southampton?

I have been concerned and confused from something that I read recently in which Alan Pardew was quoted.

The quote; “We can’t compete with Man City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal in those Champions League positions with that extra revenue.”

MikeAshley8Ok, this to a certain degree is true. Under Mr Ashley’s current regime it is true that we don’t have the huge and stupid amounts of money to spend on wages and transfer fees. This was not the part that has got me seriously concerned.

The next quote is what has made me chew over in my head since reading it, “We can’t compete with teams like Southampton in spending.”

How on earth can we not compete with Southampton, Fulham, West Brom and even Norwich & West Ham in the transfer market? I do not believe these clubs have more money to play around with on transfer fees and wages.

Their owners are not exactly Sheikhs as at Manchester City with huge long arms and even deeper pockets. I have not been able to stop thinking about it all day.

We lost Darren Bent to Fulham (wages, and slightly overrated but will score goals), didn’t follow up on Norwich’s Van Wolfswinkel ( looks like a handy lad that’s going to score goals) and not really getting involved in attempting to bring Andy Carroll back ( would not even match West Ham’s offer to bring home one of our own).

How is this the case? It is seeming like we are falling behind the smaller, less followed, smaller capacity stadiums, less revenue generating clubs and yet being told from the financial report coming from the club that we are moving forward.

I understand Mr Ashley’s business thinking on trying to clear debts and help the club be back on a level that is not so far in debt that we become another Leeds Ttd,but surely the man himself does not want to be being beaten by the let’s face it, smaller owners in the club owners world.

He seems to have too much showmanship and business pride to lose out in the retail sector to let this happen to this amazingly highly followed and regarded club.

He just needs to remember that once the business side is sorted to how he wants it to be, he can turn his showmanship and billions to our huge sleeping giant of a club, make history and have us singing his name for all the right reasons, which is competing in the transfer market and winning silverware.

49 Responses to “How On Earth Can We Not Compete With Southampton?”

  1. Augier

    Do you even do any investigation before writing these articles? Do you know who owns Southampton? The current owners are worth billions and this is being invested in the club. Pardews right, Newcastle can’t. How times change.

    Reply
    • Temuri Ketsbaia

      Fulhams new owner is also seriously loaded – its just our misfortune we attracted the wrong type of billionaire

      Reply
      • Simon Walker

        That’s sir John Hall’s fault for selling up the club and its debt as fast as he could when he found someone unaware of the debt, who was clearly intent on buying to sell. It’s like selling a car you know the engine’s about blow on, because you didn’t run the car properly, and now the new owner refuses to buy any replacement parts on the car so its just run ineffectively.

        And we have a stand named after him….

        Reply
        • novocastrian

          Simon your right about hall he was running round the stock exchange for week’s trying to sell Newcastle and did it when Freddie Shepard was in hospital Freddie was trying to get up a consortium to buy hall out but he would not wait. I hate it when hall comments about Newcastle after what he did

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          • east stand exile

            Agreed, Hall gets off free from the majority but he has a big responsibility for the state we are in now. And he has the nerve to say he only sold when he was sure he had a buyer who could improve us!

  2. Papa Waigo

    50% of players in the first team home grown (cheap wages) billinonaire owners which are building for the future that’s how southamton can out compete with a lot of teams these days. Reasearh before running your mouth!!

    Reply
  3. Saint Magnet

    Makes me laugh that people think the Saints are a small club when it comes to available money, we have the fourth richest owners in the premiership. 3 signings 36m how times have changed COYR

    Reply
    • Paul_Soton

      mate, seriously, no need to start all big-club mentality. We put up with that for generations from others and I, for sure, won’t be pretending to ‘better’ than we are. I’m loving the last 4 seasons, but I’ll never forget how we nearly went out of business…

      Reply
  4. Lowki

    you do know that Southampton are like the fifth richest club or maybe fourth richest club in terms of spending money right? and about the 9th richest in Europe? so you know, plus smaller stadium doesn’t mean we don’t have the fan base in actual fact we have the capability to have in the region of 48 thousand fans a game if we add to the stadium which there are plans to do, we have also spent in the region of 30 million on a new training ground a further 72 million in transfer for the top flight in two years and still have money to spend. we also have the best academy in England and a great chairman in Cortesse who is backing the club with money. plus we had the 30 million debt wiped out by our saviour Markus Liebherr. we may not get the crowds you get but we will challenge you in the transfer market, we will be pushing for higher finishes and we will finish higher in the league than you this season. I like Newcastle but don’t go calling us a lesser club we are bigger than people actually think we had a rough patch for seven years and now we are back fighting for the top and believe me these so called giant clubs all had to start somewhere and the tides are changing in the premier league. just watch how saints fair this season and stop using other clubs to moan about your club.

    Reply
    • east stand exile

      Don’t take it personally, it’s just comparing for illustration. Always liked the saints and have you down for top 8 this season. Great for you that there’s ambition there now, good luck with it.

      Reply
    • GToon GToon

      you know what lowki most nufc fans dont care about other clubs. we basically get annoyed when other clubs such as yours try and fulfil their potential while ours try and fill the bank balance. its the potential we have at nufc that will never be realised under ashley – that annoys us most. what exactly are we waiting for? are we waiting for the day when ashley finally says “yep thats all the debts cleared” only for somebody to say “yeah but we are actually in the conference league now mike”. we look at teams like spurs who were going down until redknapp took over and got the financial backing to make them the force they are now. when we had a good season and finished 5th we then spent nothing in the summer to move us on to the next level. you had a good year last year and have spent to move forward again, leaving ashley and pardew behind. we might have to go down again before we get rid of them and get a decent owner. the other points that irks us is that if the club showed the slightest bit of ambition the whole city would be jumping. as it is most of us expect a bottom 6 finish, our better players to be sold and nothing but disappointment until ashley finally leaves. hope you enjoy the season – bet i won’t!!

      Reply
  5. Aggaz

    Southampton have a billionaire that pays out for players we’ve got one that is skint even tho he’s roughly worth £3.5b

    Reply
  6. east stand exile

    Saints do have billionnaire owners, but MA is a..billionaire as well! It’s not that we can’t compete, we chose not too. MA isn’t really interested in NUFC, certainly not long term. It’s been a problem for him right from not doing due diligance at the start, ‘having’ to put in cash to clear the debt, then of course all the other problems which we won’t trawl over yet again, suffice to say most were of his own making.
    He is now getting as much money out / back as he can, making it easier for him to get a sale. That’s the only game in town, so he will do just enough to keep the sky money coming in. It’s different at Southampton (and other clubs) who are trying to progress as clubs and teams, having a go, enjoying the ride etc. MA is beyond that (he has flirted with it in the past obviously), he has no interest in the fans at this point for example, or ambition beyond being in the PL. I might not agree with how he is carrying out his plan, but I do hope it works!
    Hopefully he gets that sale soon, and we are lucky enough to get owners who want to progress as a club / team.

    Reply
  7. Westendersaint

    I thought that in general Newcastle fans were usually very well informed when it came to football. Financial strength nowadays has far less to do with stadium capacity and size of the fan bases and more to do with the personal wealth of the owners. Pardew as a recent Southampton manager knows very well why Southampton are so strong financially and is totally justified in stating that they have far more financial muscle via their owners than those of Newcastle (and indeed Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa), let alone similar sized clubs such as West Brom, West Ham, Norwich and Fulham.

    It isn’t only Arabs who are wealthy enough, you only have to look at those that had associations with Pompey to see that. I suggest that you Google Markus Liebherr and the Liebherr family to broaden your perspective. It is the money that they are investing in the club that allows Southampton to fight their corner amongst the big boys.

    Reply
    • Andymac

      On the other hand Liebherr are a large conglomerate that dont specifically fund Soton from the coffers of the company. Whereas Fatman owns 64% of SD and has personal wealth far in excess of Katerina Leibherr. However the key difference is that she wants Saints to improve and compete at the highest level possible.

      Reply
  8. Heaton Mick

    Am I alone in not reading other club’s websites or being bothered about what’s written on them?
    I suspect if I did I’d probably find some (quite rightly) biased articles that I disagreed with so I wouldn’t bother.

    I’ve lost count of the number of other club’s fan’s who’ve appeared on The Mag website suggesting we’re not as big as we think we are but have no hint of irony that they’ve bothered themselves to read about us!

    Reply
    • Scummer

      I think that it is down to news aggregation sites such as newsnow.co.uk. I am a Saints fan who reads the odd story listed on the page there for the club and this posting cropped up there.

      Reply
  9. Chad Ricketts

    To be honest I am a Saints fan; and I do sometimes worry about the amount of money we are spending on players, I mean the latest transfer we paid 15 million pounds for!!!!! This was for the AS Roma Striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, who we signed on a four year contract last night, which offers him over 2 million pounds per year on salary. I would much sooner see us field our own home grown players like on Saturday, because although big signings are exciting, you will always worry, (especially how pompey went down the pan), of the clubs owners pulling out or the club finding itself in huge dept. I would hate to support a club like Man City, because as a lot of it is borrowed, there is nothing stopping the owners pulling out, and saying they want there money back. So perhaps Newcastle are wise not spending to much money…

    Reply
  10. Paul_Soton

    Rather than comparing with Southampton, it’s best to compare with Newcastle itself.

    The club seems to be well run (after however many tens of millions in debt?), getting great value players from France, without the Europa League that will help – AND according to physioroom.com Newcastle had the worst, by far, injury list last season.

    Keep folks fit and I’d be back Newcastle to finish top 10 again.

    Also remember most football club revenue isn’t from matchday tickets any more.

    About 1/3 from merchandise and sponsorship, about a 1/3 from TV rights, about a 1/3 from match day revenue.

    The difference in match day revenue may not be as large as you’d expect with Southampton. Rough back-of-a-fag packet numbers appear the difference may be as small as £0.25m/game Over say 23 home games a season, the difference may be as small as £5.75m

    (Calculations SFC:It’s a small fortune to attend, £36 a game is the normal! 31,000 average = £1.1m. For NUFC, on the club website £27 seems the middle amount, 50,000 average = £1.35m.)

    Reply
    • MadJackMcRadge

      All fair points, though the £27 is for the lap of the Gods – average ticket prices around the ground are higher than this, I’m afraid. I totally agree though, many up here can get confuse big crowds with big money – having 50,000 in the ground based on NE ticket prices holds significantly less clout than, say, a London club pulling in sub-40,000 but having tickets that cost between 2-3 times as much. NUFC would need to be pulling in 100,000+ to make the money Spurs do on a matchday. Unfortunately, in the modern game, big crowds don’t have the weight they once did.

      Reply
      • Paul_Soton

        Good points. It’s what the EPL was born for, to stop distributing the money down the leagues and commercialise TV viewing. There’s some great football economic books out there that are worth a read. (soccernomics is a great starter).

        You can easily say, without the petro-dollars, the russian roubles, the American debt-model, the ‘natural’/British order would see top three of Man U, Arsenal and Liverpool, Man City bottom half, Chelsea mid-table. WHo’s the blame – just look at the FA as the game’s regulator…

        Reply
        • MadJackMcRadge

          Soccernomics is good read – though the part about Iraq performing best on the world stage relative to expectation (namely GDP, population etc) raised an eyebrow! I’ve always considered David Conn the best of the bunch though – still get depressed reading ‘The Football Business’ and noting that our value in 1997 was £180m – more than Arsenal or Liverpool – we’re the only major club who are valued less now than 15 years ago!

          Reply
          • Paul_Soton

            I’ll give that a go sometime. On some multiple regression modelling I did for the EPL season just gone whichever variables I used, however you sliced the data, NUFC under-performed and WBA massively exceeded expectations. Tip for the season NUFC to finish above WBA.

          • MadJackMcRadge

            Funnily enough, I’ve got WBA to be 18th on my work predictions league! A reversion to the mean there methinks. FYI I’ve got the Saints in 8th, NUFC in 12th.

  11. Paul_Soton

    <- BTW, the reason other clubs supporters have read this isn't because of falling over themselves finding out about NUFC. This website, like others, is linked in to a brilliant news aggregating website called NewsNow. When there's mention of say SFC then it bings up and surprise surprise things get read :)

    Reply
  12. Simon Brant

    The sooner you get rid of MA and get someone who seriously wants to take the Toon forward the better imo. He just keeps bleating on about the debt he had to pay-off and now he’s stuck until he puts up or shuts up. Both would be nice ;)

    Reply
  13. Marsdinho

    It should also be noted that Pardew used to be manager of Saints, so I guess he’s more qualified than most to comment on our finances.

    Reply
  14. chris

    Ashley’s only ambition is to make SD the biggest Sports Retail chain in the world. NUFC are a small cog in this plan with all the FREE advertising they have afforded him for the past 5 yeas or so along with the name SD popping up in the news every other day. There’s no such thing as Bad Publicity so the old saying goes and Ash has that down to a tee.
    Good luck to Southampton and any other club who’s owners show ambition for the clubs they run and not there other interests.

    Reply
  15. Simon Walker

    Mike Ashley once allegedly told someone ‘I don’t know why I bought Newcastle, I thought i’d have a little fun…’

    In the words of Mandy Rice Davies, ‘well he would say that wouldn’t he…’ That’s not the truth behind it, clearly.

    He bought this great club at a low price (it looked incredibly low without due diligence unearthing the debt first), bought in haste as freddy shepherd was on a hospital bed, then found the debt, found he couldn’t sell quickly at a profit, and found himself in a mess.

    Cue making the club one massive pr and advertising machine for SD, insisting on being debt free, and not employing professional football and marketing people suitable for the modern era.

    He was never in it for the long term, but he’s not short of money so why not sit on it, claw in some cash, promote SD, and maybe a buyer will come in one day….but he never intended to do anything other than use this club to make money, thinking he was buying it cheap. The man thinks of this as a bit of a quick business gamble, that went wrong for buying something for millions and not checking the books properly. And we’re now suffering way more than he is, because he doesn’t care.

    Reply
  16. BillyDoz

    Okay, I’m a Saints fan too but my best mate is from Ryton, so I have a big soft spot for you guys. :)

    It goes much deeper than Ashley’s unwillingness to spend, and a simple comparison of transfer spending only tells part of the story.

    Before anyone runs away with the idea that this is all down to who spends most, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Southampton started four academy products at West Brom on Saturday, three of them only 18 years old. Bale, Walcott and AOC would have started if we still had them.

    You can just about survive in this league if you either spend big or develop well, and Saints are doing both. Newcastle is arguably doing neither, which is shocking considering the support base and the area’s history of producing great players.

    Reply
  17. Dan vass

    Too all the saints fans out there, this was no way a put down on your club. You guys are great,proper old fashion proper deep footballing roots. We just have had a higher pedigree for years and we should be pushing the top clubs. You guys are in the group of redevelopment and reinvestments and are now over taking. And this is what is more frustrating for as we should be more advanced than we are

    Reply
    • saint carl

      The saints are on the up and have been for the last 5 years, we’ve known this as we watch them week in, week out. The Lieberr family own our club and have a financier at the healm surrounded with real football people. Our academy is prob the best there is, has been for years #shearer #9

      Reply
      • Paul_Soton

        Mate, 5 years ago we were literally verging on bankruptcy, it was 4 years ago you mean. You’re right, it’s been an amazing 4 years, I hope we can keep British players who care playing for SFC. Seeing the likes of Man City playing with 1 Brit, Arsenal with maybe 3, it’s ‘orrible…

        Reply
    • Paul_Soton

      Like was said further down. If we’re talking traditional football, dare I say English football in England, by attendances alone NUFC would be top 7. The selling off the national and community assets that are our clubs to foreign ownership for watching the ‘EPL’ literally anywhere around the world, means it’ll never be traditional again. I miss 20 years ago. I remember Barry Venison signing for Saints in 95/96 and him with the rest of the squad coming to my school. I don’t think you’ll ever find that again, not for SFC anyway…

      Reply
  18. Huw_boy

    With Southampton you have a club that under the guidance and the financial clout of the leiberer family are the fifth richest club in England. The youth academy is probably one of the best if not the best in the country. Southampton are trying to develop a good team blending youth with players of world class pedigree. While Southampton have the financial muscle to buy big they cannot always attract the big players due to not being in European football. However they have always maintained plans that within five years the owners/chairman want Southampton to be in champions league. This may be a big ask but I think it is possible to take that fourth spot. Although I would suggest Europa leage is probably a better bet.

    Reply
    • Alexh

      The liebherr family are worth £3b, yes that’s a lot but nowhere near the £10b of abramovich or £20b of man citys sheikh! They don’t have anywhere near the money available of the top 5 in England to spend, nor the stadium capacity, fan base or appeal to even be able to make it happen, Southampton just isn’t a big enough place to have a huge team like Manchester, London, Madrid, Paris etc. they will never make the top 4, no chance

      Reply
  19. Dreamz

    Stupid article – learn your facts re Southampton and their spending `power` before writing such twoddle :) it’s also not about how much you spend – but where you spend it – the Saints hit around 10th at their peak last season with a majority of players that had come up through the championship ranks – we literally schooled Man City/Man Utd in `those` games (despite losing) and have now added 3 quality signings to that same squad – a squad that were still the `noobies` in the EPL – this year they’re not, this year they know what to expect/deliver and will go further – top 10 finish – easy, we can even take the scousers out of the 4/th/5th/6th slots too. (the fact you wrote this article AFTER we signed Osvaldo makes it even more laughable – can’t wait till we stuff your crappy team this season! ;-)

    Reply
  20. William Atkinson

    It is time for a bit of reality. People have a sympathy for Newcastle fans that is probably associated with where in the country you are. I love the North East, but I feel like being honest here. Newcastle is NOT a big club. It has never been. Just because their supporters are loud and passionate, doesn’t qualify them as a big club. You don’t have a significant fan base outside of the Newcastle area. You haven’t won anything in recent times. Your top 5 finish was fun, but lets be honest, only you remember that. The rest of us remember you getting relegated not so long ago. Big clubs, such as Chelsea, Man U, etc always finish in the top 6 and never get relegated. Plus they have worldwide appeal – you don’t.
    Nobody but Newcastle think you’re a big club, so come on, lets start being honest.

    Your manager’s pre and post-match comments are ridiculous (ref Man City last night)- they amounted to desperate defeatism. You should be ashamed of him. Making emotional news statements is clearly something you need to rid of your managers (lets not forget Keegan’s famous embarrassing outbursts). Why not focus on a very good squad and offer some enthusiasm? Why you choose to continue with a sour-faced moron who can’t articulate properly escapes me (‘we was good at times’, qt Pardew). A club that can boast Bobby Robson as a former manager surely deserves better.

    So this article attacking a football club that has transformed from bottom of the third tier to a predicted top half prem finish in 3 seasons seems a little desperate. This is a club that has spent £35m (and the same the season before) on top class talent. A club who’s academy has produced some of the premier leagues greatest ever player (certainly producing your beloved Sir Alan), Gareth Bale (did you say £100m?) and so on. Southampton have done a great job of minding their own business and building a quality football team that is admired both at home and internationally. Their manager doesn’t go out and winge (perhaps in Spanish…) and their players are gracious in their fortune (we all loved Rickie in his post England hero debut match interview)

    Why not look at Wigan and rewrite this article? A club that has produced more in results that you. (Last season?), spent more money on players than you, and is currently sitting in the same league as you will be next season.

    Maybe not – hopefully not. Newcastle are a good club, you are good fans, you get behind your team, you care. But do yourselves a favor and stop trying to ridicule or compare yourselves favorably against clubs who are showing you up to be a sorry state of affairs.

    Reply
  21. Alexh

    Wow the Southampton fans are very excited, top half finishes etc, saying how Newcastle aren’t a big club is rich from you, not long ago your part of the world was run by Portsmouth, the north east has always been Newcastle territory, and always had better support compared to our neighbours. Can you say that? No way, the atmosphere at Pompey is much better

    Reply
    • William Atkinson

      Good luck in the 4th division. It must really hurt to see Southampton spend £14m on a player. That would save your little club. Small change to them. (oh, wait – ‘we won the FA cup’ etc. I know you would rather have NOT won the FA cup and still be in the prem now. How it hurts….)

      Reply
      • Alexh

        I’m a Newcastle fan, who has been to away games at both of them little grounds down south and the atmosphere at the blue one is much better

        Reply

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