It was a great finale to the Villa match but after the final whistle we learnt of Alan Pardew bragging about the size of his summer transfer funds, describing it as a ‘nice little kitty’.
Exactly why the Newcastle manager decides to start talking about the potential summer spending is anybody’s guess, although the fact that thousands of season tickets holders are cancelling their season tickets may just possibly have something to do with it…
“We all know that as much as we haven’t spent any money in the last eighteen months that we have got a nice little kitty there and we have got to make good use of it.
“If we can do that then we can come back stronger next year.”
Obviously any sane person is never going to put a figure to exactly what funds are available but I would hazard a very good guess that what Alan Pardew thinks is a decent sized kitty, will be somewhat different to what most fans would think.
On the back of the new mega TV deals, almost every club has been investing that extra money in an attempt to make sure that they strengthen their position in the Premier League, or at the very least survive.
In the last year Newcastle spent only £2m on the Remy loan deal while the next lowest total spends were Stoke (£6m), West Brom (£14m) and Villa (£18m).
Every other club spent over £20m and even leaving aside the top six spenders such as Chelsea and the Manchester clubs etc, the average was close to £30m that each club spent over the last two transfer windows.
I would say most fans would see it as reasonable that using the Cabaye fee of around £20m for starters and then adding even a conservative £15m this summer (which will be at least what United get extra each season under the new broadcast deals), plus the same that wasn’t spent over the last year, would be reasonable – IF United are to compete in any way.
For starters Newcastle need to buy two strikers, a playmaker, a goalscoring winger and very likely at least one quality centre-back, especially if Coloccini at last manages to leave.
With first team squad players such as Harper, Perch, Simpson and Cabaye all shaved off the wage bill in that time and no doubt other likely departures in the summer which will further reduce it and bring in some incoming fees as well, it becomes harder to understand any justification for that kind of money (around £50m) not being made available.
I would argue that this amount isn’t even to ensure Newcastle can compete in and around that top eight – but simply to give United every chance of stabilising and hopefully ensuring no relegation flirtation next time around.
With there being every chance of Remy and Coloccini joining Cabaye in playing elsewhere next season, we need real quality to fill that void.
The Aston Villa match surely proved the point with Coloccini keeping things together and helping to deliver the first home clean sheet in the Premier League since November 2nd, while it was again proved just how superior Loic Remy is above our other ‘striking’ options. As for Yohan Cabaye – the lack of creativity was abysmal against Villa and with Ben Arfa looking to be totally out of favour it makes strengthening that area even more pressing.
So if you see Alan Pardew carrying a bag marked ‘kitty’, ask him if you can help him count it. We’d all like a little reassurance.