As the days tick by with no new signings for Newcastle United, it is difficult not to feel that we are in for yet another car crash season of flirting with the bottom end of the table.

With 15 Premier League clubs having signed 35 players already, including a couple who have signed six each, you do wonder just what on earth is going on within St James Park.

(To feature like Sam, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])
However, I do think there is one small glimmer of hope, a reason why Newcastle United have made no signing as yet.

The reason as usual with Mike Ashley, is how can he get the best financial benefit out of any situation.

When the last set of accounts for the 2013/14 season were announced, they included this special extra note:

Post balance sheet events

After the year end the club invested £29.8m on 6 new players to strengthen the playing squad and realised £12.6m from player sales.

The players it related to were De Jong, Janmaat, Riviere, Cabella, Lascelles and Darlow.

Newcastle’s accounts run up to the end of June and so the costs of bringing both Jack Colback and Ayoze Perez to St James Park would be included in those 2013/14 accounts as they were both signed in the first week of June. I know Colback was a ‘free’ from the mackems but there would still have been significant signing on fees etc.

So my optimism comes from the possibility that purely because it suits Mike Ashley in terms of working the system, he never ever intended to buy any players who would end up in this current year’s accounts (1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015). For whatever reason, not wanting extra expenditure to be added to that year’s figures.

This bit I can very much believe because you would think surely there would have been some movement at Newcastle by now, considering just how weak the squad proved to be last season and the fact that this close season has been squeezed due to a later than usual finish in May and the new season moved forward due to the 2016 Euros.

The more telling part will of course be what happens once we are past June 30, unless of course Mike Ashley surprises us all with a flurry of signings in the next 48 hours…

It may be pure coincidence but Siem de Jong was actually signed on 1 July 2014 – the very first day of the new (current) financial year. The very earliest in the new financial year that he could be used to stimulate season ticket sales and general interest.


No harm as well at this point throwing in the fact that the much delayed NUFC Fans Forum is to take place on Monday 6 July, giving the club 5 or 6 days of the new financial year to announce new signings in advance of club officials meeting supporters.

With so much anger and frustration built up from the chaos and near disaster of last season (plus of course the club’s broken promises to hold an urgent meeting with the fans forum before the end of last season), you can’t imagine the club wanting to meet the fans if we still have this status quo of zero signings? The negative fallout of such a meeting would do nobody any favours, least of all the club themselves.

This is of course pure speculation but I can see the mileage of signings happening in these early days of July and even potentially one or two announced in the hours leading up to that meeting with supporters.

If we reach 7 July with no credible signings then I think I won’t be able to stop myself reaching for the panic button.

  • Geordie Zebra

    Love your optimism.
    Please rearrange ‘straws clutching at’.

  • Bornunderabigbluestar

    Yep, I believe you may be right as everything is money motivated now, but lets see because, Rolando, Siem and a certain Steve T will be like new signings don’t forget……

  • Defib

    Geordie Zebra At straws clutching?

  • David Pickering

    I’m not sure I can agree with your assertion, albeit accepting you are trying to put a positive spin on the lack of activity. Why? Because the transfer window does not officially open until the 1st of July and as such no transfers can actually take place until that date. The six “signings” by Liverpool will only be completed on that date and if Newcastle were in the same position then all those fees etc would naturally fall in the next accounting year. Nice try but……..seeing is believing and applies most strongly to Newcastle. Everybody must hold off on season tickets until evidence is finally demonstrated that backs up Ashley’s “interview”.

  • mentalman

    I’m sure a journalist wrote something similar a couple of seasons ago.

  • nufcmag777

    We already have 6 new signings so i will be surprised if we get any more.Aarons,Taylor,De Jong,Lascelles,Darlow & Marveaux.If Ashley would just get rid of the dead wood we would be fine-Cisse,Tiote,Sissoko,Krul.

  • nufc1234

    good story m8 but i think ashleys head is like a labyrinth so many dead ends and people like your good self trying to figure him out where  many have tried and failed

  • Geordie Zebra

    So close, let’s try another.
    Rearrange, ‘pissing in wind the’…

  • SeanLynch

    Good article and a perspective I agree may have more than an element of truth behind it, after all, FCB is first and foremost a businessman, and in his eyes, his way of doing things has worked … up to now.

    I also recall mention of something a couple of seasons ago, which would also make sense, purely from FCB’s point of view, although certainly not one which would be shared by fans – why spend money on players who will give you nothing in return until training starts, effectively paying wages for them to go on holiday.

    Is it coincidence that generally new players start arriving when pre-season training starts?

  • TonnekToon

    Sounds credible enough , but here’s a negative explanation . They’re just tightwads and don’t want to spend !

  • Ring around Uranus

    My forecast Newcastle United supporters for the coming season. PAINNNN

  • Andrew Swift

    Remember back in 2010 when they said no capital outlay? We can read the NUFC hierarchy like a book they will bring in some signings in early July and sell a couple of the crown jewels on or just before D-Day just wait and see

  • desree

    Given that contracts can’t be signed until July 1st when the window opens and deals are closed then unfortunately the reason is a lot simpler and not positive. We can’t compete against swansea and southampton.
    How can Ashley go on national tv, say the club is now in a position to punch above its weight, then miss out on our key targets to swansea, Southampton and west ham.

  • desree

    mike ashley is pissing in our pockets?

  • MatthewTurnbull

    Your point is in valid the reason Everyone is nervous is because if you sit around with your finger up your bum shopping in the bargain bucket it means you’ve already miss out on the top targets to improve your squad, I have no doubt we will make signings that’s not what worries me it’s the fact they going to be the second bests of this world and thats not good enough! nothing has changed no one wants to come to us because of how damaged the Newcastle brand is!

  • desree

    here is my explanation. Once debuchy and cabaye had been sold for a combined 31m we then spent that money on players.
    Once krull, cisse and tiote are sold we might see some signings.
    Look in the press, all the rumours are about nufc selling players, not buying.

  • desree

    I think the biggest mistake we all make is assuming he is smart because he is a billionaire. I’ve never known a businessman get so many hiring decisions so drastically wrong.

  • Andgeo

    Exactly! Nothing has changed, and fatty will use the drop in season ticket sales as an excuse for it. If sufficient investment is not made into the team a major protest against the sports direct regime that is stripping our football club needs to be made from the first game. Unfortunately this negativity is the only way we can get rid of this scum.
    By sufficient investment ashley must at first and ‘AS AN ABSOLOUTE MINIMUM’ need to replace:
    1) Santon – Italian international left back
    2) m’biwa – French international Centre half, ligue 1 title winner and champions league qualifier this year at Roma.
    3) Guitierez – Argentinian international left winger
    4) Hatem Ben Arfa – French international and football heinous responsible for two of the best goals I have ever seen at St James Park.
    I say minimum, because these 4 players have been shipped out in the past 12 months and would need to be replaced before the fat swine could claim to have invested or strengthened the team.

  • Chemical Dave

    They’re not.wrong if the object is to avoid success.

  • Rabid Dog

    I always enjoy reading a positive spin on what is a pretty crappy situation. I think you’re wrong, thanks for at least trying. Aarons,Taylor,De Jong,Lascelles and Darlow will all be trotted out a “like new signings” and yet again we’ll suck up the lies because we have no other option

  • Hughie

    Good possible explanation Sam. Other potentially positive possibility is:
    McClaren and new assistant doing a stock take this week–very likely I reckon;

    To offset that though how about the following pessimistic reasoning :
    1. is it possible that the new coaching regime has been told that the current squad is fantastic , but was poorly coached–
        also very likely– result–minimal signings??
    2. ST take up is down by £10 million –far less money now available than Charnley and co. thought–possible
    3. As others say, historically the club sells first then buys–hence the delay. Krul first, then Cisse ,Tiote and Sissoko– gain 
        about 15-20 million–likely.. 
    4. No-one of any merit wants to come to what is regarded in many parts of the UK and Europe as a joke club–very likely.
    5. Charnley and Carr do not have the necessary negotiating skills and that is exacerbated by the age and salary policy         
       restrictions being operated–very likely  

    Is anyone taking bets on Mclaren leaving before the season starts?

  • DownUnderMag

    Good theory and it does sound feasible.  Sure he won’t like the thought of no expenses showing up and a massive profit being shown one season as the tax implications as well as expectations of spending will be hard to justify hehe

  • A lex

    I’m afraid I disagree and believe this is what happens at this time of year. NONE of the many transfers indicated by EPL clubs will have actually gone through yet. Transfer forms, procedures and fees won’t be made and paid until the window officially opens.

    However, what clubs will have are irrevocable contracts in place in place so that the transfer goes through on or after July 1st. A bit like the completion date on a house purchase.

    So, for this reason, I don’t see the silence and inactivity at SJP as any indicator other than nowts happening.

  • Grrrbby

    How do you know who our key targets are? Nobody does, not even the media. It’s all guess work. We might never have been in for any of the players Swansea, West Ham etc have signed. I’m not losing any sleep over their transfer business so far like.

  • Grrrbby

    Santon: had a few good ganes for us, otherwise was awful
    Mbwia: not good enough, maybe had two good games for us
    Gutierrez: not good enough

  • wor monga

    Yeah…ok…so that’s the way it’s going to pan out, and we get
    to July 7th with no new signings (god forbid)…so, what d’you suggest
    then?…let me guess… it’ll be stay away, don’t go, or perhaps don’t renew your
    ST…or maybe even go and watch Gateshead instead…FFS!!…

    Well, that’s alright do any of those things…cos maybe it’s way
    past time this club realised it needs to find out just how ‘big’ in the
    football world it really is, and just how many supporters it really has, and
    start again from there!

  • Chemical Dave

    As we headed for the third tier of English football there was around 16000 die hards left and their protests against the running of the club were to be the catalyst for change. Makes a nonsense of what your sanctimonious rhetoric says doesn’t it ? Perhaps you weren’t a fan back then ?

  • Hez

    I think the players have signed for the club and the only thing which matters to the July 1st deadline is the registration with the league. Everything is in place they are officially that clubs new player, we are slow starters again!!

  • wor monga

    Chemical Dave     Sanctimonious rhetoric indeed…about football, really!!…the
    truth is no amount of whingeing can change what’s happening…it’s big, big
    finance, and the number of supporters a club has doesn’t really make much
    difference these days…

    The only factor that counts is how much the owner of a club
    will allow that club to be in debt to him, and we seem to be maxed out regards
    that…take it or leave it…that’s the way it is!!

    (As for the time supporting…I can still vividly remember
    being passed down to the front, and sat off to the right of Ronnie Simpson in
    the Gallowgate goal, and policemen kicking me and other kids off the cinder,
    back to the wall.)

  • Demented_Man

    wor monga Chemical Dave If you’re saying Ashley doesn’t care about how many supporters turn up, then why has the club extended its season ticket deadline twice?

  • v0ices

    Demented_Man wor monga Chemical Dave because season tickets still account for over 20 percent of the clubs income plus merchandising all this talk of support meaning nothing is rubbish. thats ashleys profit margin right there.

  • Ankles

    Perhaps there’s a simpler explanation. Nobody wants to come here.

  • TheBoneYard

    Grrrbby all 4 are better than what is left

  • Jimmywayhay

    McLaren out McLaren out , he’s now looking like another puppet , in all honesty ,I give him one more week to stamp his authority ,if no signings are made by then ,well ,it’s McLaren out you puppet ,

  • Timptoon

    Chemical Dave The object would have to be to really p*ss off the fans to bring in Dennis Wise, Joe Kinnear (twice FFS), Derek Lambias and Alan Pardew; to senselessly over-promote the numpty Charnely and possibly not the best manager in the world JC.

  • Andgeo

    They are all light years ahead of Williamson, goufran, obertan and rivière. If you could swap those four right now would you? Guitierez was the best player on the pitch vs west ham.

  • Andgeo

    So do you trust that mike ashley will sign the players we need? No chance!!!

  • Polarboy

    wor monga Chemical Dave Do you ever stop talking sh*te, that’s rhetorical by the way. To say that the fans don’t matter or that how many show up doesn’t matter is complete f**king nonsense. The profits from football clubs and the profits that Ashley makes through his other businesses are built on relationships, consumer and service provider. 

    Ashley wants to expand into other parts of Europe and you can’t do that effectively if the reputation of the club you are using as an advertising vehicle is worse than dirt because the fans have justifiably f**ked off. Fans and football clubs are inextricably linked and always will be no matter how much money comes into the game.

  • Remarks
  • Remarks

    TheBoneYard Grrrbby agree.

  • Remarks

    Andgeo agree.

  • Remarks

    Andgeo agree

  • Remarks

    TonnekToon agree.

  • geordie4567

    Most credible “positive” explanation I’ve heard so far. However, still seems negative to me because in the meantime we’re missing out on good players

  • LeazesEnder

    You’ve  got till thursday before some third rater is signed…. then you have to eat your underpants!

  • desree

    Grrrbby, here are a few clues to our real targets, they currently play in france or Holland. They cost less than 10m. They are under 25. They aren’t good enough to play in the pl. They have real dodgey injuries.
    The ones we have missed out on are a smokescreen so that we can prevent all the other teams in the PL from buying sh!te.

  • LeazesEnder

    wor monga Chemical Dave Why do Chelsea and Spuds want bigger stadiums?

  • LintonLad

    An interesting theory Sam, and with Paul Simpson (allegedly) joining on July 1st, it could hold water.

  • MichaelMookieKoromaHD

    Well thought out and entirely plausible…….just have to wait and see

  • Toonarden

    Rabid Dog Of course you have an other option – stay away!
    How weak are you?

  • Ol Holm

    Could be a valid reason. But still no excuse to possibly miss out on much needed signings

  • v0ices

    LeazesEnder wor monga Chemical Dave would that be because larger capacity means higher income?

  • Ollie Burtons Grandad

    Grasping at straws mate!!
    There are 3 simple reasons we have not signed anyone yet:-
    1) Fatman is too fecking Tight
    2) The Club is too fecking Shite
    3) Charnleys a proper fecking Plight
    No daft theories just a sad summation of our once proud Club.
    Ashley out!

  • NIToon

    Positive reasons for joining Newcastle. Get paid for 10 hours work a week, get a kick a bout for 90 mins at the weekend, get free football kit. You even get a contract, yes you heard right, a contract from Mike Ashley. Negative reasons for joining Newcastle. No chance of winning a cup, if team doing well by Xmas all good players sold on, no chance of winning anything, ambition is a swear word so don’t have any

  • lameduck9

    SeanLynch  You’ve hit the nail  – I worked at SJP during the time that Ashley took over and whilst I was not in the offices (I was responsible for maintaining the telephone systems & IT until they sacked us all off and subbed it out) I often heard that Ashley’s approach to all business deals and especially transfers was he would pay cash, but he wouldn’t sign a player who was still on holiday – he thought that too many transfers were done and wages paid out weeks if not months before a player could actually start ‘working’ at the club – if that still rings true then we’ve not made any signings in June.

  • lameduck9

    David Pickering  from an accounting point of view any signings which are formally done would have a contract exchanged between clubs and a contract agreed with the player regardless of June or July – this would thus have to be declared in the clubs accounts immediately – the July 1st is for the Premier league etc to formally acknowledge the player has moved.  As such, the buying club become financially responsible for the players wages as soon as contracts signed

  • ennyoueffsee

    Don’t usually post to any forum but the time for sitting as the quiet minority has passed.  There is no excuse for the lack of transfer activity good players pass us by and sign for clubs like Swansea and Southampton.  Clubs that really are or should be below us.  We are NEWCASTLE UNITED the greatest football club in the world.  There is no punching above our weight we should be on top of the world.  The Lack of ambition and this philosophy of being a selling club is down to one man and one man only.  The time for chatting and speculation is over the time for action is now and not in 48 hours or 4 days or 4 weeks.  I don’t care if it balances the books.  I want to see this club being the great club I believe it is the Club I have supported for all my life. I see millions of pounds in free advertising that could be used to pay off debt bring in world beater players make this club reach its potential.
     Action speaks louder than words

  • desree

    This article is like a man who can’t bear to accept his wife is cheating on him, so he creates excuses for her when she comes home at 2am, abruptly ends phone calls, gets flowers from a secret admirer and even when her catches her read handed then finds some excuse.
    I’m flabbergasted at some of the comments on here, surely after everything we have witnessed fans can’t be holding out in the hope thatfatty has changed.
    Southampton, swansea and West Ham are punching above their weight. We have the horse, what we don’t have is an owner with even the slightest desire to build a club or win anything.
    Even if we sign six players that is still 2-3 less than what we need to keep out of relegation based on the last 3 years. What was the song again ‘we’re geordies, we’re mental, we’re off our [email protected] heads’
    we must be if we are falling for fatmans BS

  • Grrrbby

    TheBoneYard Grrrbby That doesn’t mean they are good enough? I don’t want players that try hard, I want quality. Jonas give everything but he is past it now, same as Ryan Taylor. I’d argue that Haidara is a better defender than Santon. Taylor and Colo are better than Mbwia. And Ben Arfa went missing far too much. You can’t play with 10 men for half of the season and hope that Ben Arfa decides to do something special once in a blue moon.

  • Grrrbby

    desree A smokescreen? Did I miss a statement from NUFC telling us which players they were in for like? No. It’s all media talk, nobody knows who we are in for and that’s the best way. We will sign players from July, I’m hopeful.

  • Grrrbby

    Andgeo Yes I do. I think they realise mistakes have been made last season and are going to sort it out. Once McClaren’s backroom staff are sorted, I am expecting some players signed. Maybe one this week once we get into July and he gets a good look at the squad. There haven’t been any players so far that have moved and I’ve thought “I wish we signed him”. If we miss out on Austin I will be gutted, but otherwise I wouldn’t know who to go for. A commanding defender to partner one of Taylor, Colo or Dummet in the centre. A left back. And two strikers including Austin would be a great start. After that, anything is a bonus.

  • killyted

    the problem is we have no players to sell ,which would fund new players coming in,a bit like last season  when we sold 2 of our better players

  • Grrrbby

    desree And what players have we missed out on?

  • Toon69

    We’ve already got 4 new players at the club, Tioti, De Jong, Lascelles and Darlow, isn’t that line already been used by Chutney & the board!!!

  • toonfifer

    A reasonable argument and it’s nice to see a few positive posts instead of the same old “Ashley Out” at all costs and anyone who disagrees is a………..Sheep……….Idiot……….Judas and all the usual bully boy tactics from certain individuals.

    I totally agree with people like wor monga SeanLynch and others ,we have to allow the new guy to actually assess what he’s got and who wants to stay and who really want out. To see McClaren described as a puppet who should go already is just crazy, we need to wait at least 3 more weeks and see the players McClaren wants both leave and join what will be a new regime.

    I think we might be pleasantly surprised at how our starting XI actually looks on August 9th, but of course most of you on here will be watching Gateshead or North Shields so perhaps you’ll miss it!!

  • v0ices

    Grrrbby TheBoneYard easy to see what id ashleys pr department invented today.

  • Grrrbby

    v0ices Grrrbby TheBoneYard Good one!

  • Remarks

    desree “We have the horse” – do you mean Obertan?

  • Remarks

    toonfifer wor monga SeanLynch “might be pleasantly surprised”- oh I love it – you are a very funny man. nothing like a great bit of satire to make my day. thanks for that.

    dump cashley –

  • toonfifer

    Remarks toonfifer wor monga SeanLynch

    I wondered how long until it would flush you out, no idea why you come on this site, you should just be on the Heed Army site.

    We need positivity around the club, Ashley’s going nowhere in the next few years so you’ll be at the International Stadium for some time, as for me I will be at St James Park where I’ve been since 1968 singing, laughing, moaning and definitely drinking.

    You’re a long time dead so Carpe Diem.

    Oh almost forgot, I’m please I made your day!!!

  • Remarks

    toonfifer Remarks wor monga SeanLynch

    Yes positivity. thats what’ll stop cashley from treating all of the fans like [email protected] everyone hold hands and think of your happy place.

  • toonfifer

    Remarks toonfifer wor monga SeanLynch

    Its got to be better than the miserable world you populate.

    I hate Ashley with a vengeance but I also hated Lord Westwood, Stan Seymour and Gordon McKeag who similarly stripped all the cash out of the club. I still went every week and watched total garbage like Frank Pingel, Bobby Shinton and non league lads like Alan Shoulder and my schoolmate Peter Cartwright who was a “marquee” signing for £5000!!!! 

    This is WAY better than that even with the [email protected] Ashley throws at us, it will never change so why not put it to one side and follow the toon where they go.

  • Remarks

    toonfifer Remarks wor monga SeanLynch

    Sorry – but I just cant give ashley anymore. to be honest my hearts just not in it anymore.

  • jimileysbaldyheed

    Sam there seems to be a lot of sense in the logic of your argument. Every business works to an annual budget and one thing Ashley is determined to do is run club on business like lines.One of my worries tho is our chairman, if he is on a bonus for bringing target in “under budget” it is that which will determine our spend. One of Pardews least reported quotes was from the beginning of last season when it was reported he said “Im expected to do more with less” which I think gives credence to your argument this time round. Our manager sits on the board/transfer committee so will obviously be aware of our budget spend and should be able to influence where the money goes. We wont have long to wait to find out as SM stated that our first acquisition would be coming in round about the time of the Gateshead friendly .Lets hope its all about to take off in the next month or so and get a bit of positivity into the air. But Charnley has to learn that you have to pay the going rate for a  player cos if you dont someone else will . But Id rather they were thinking about who they need where in the team rather than panic buying in the hope that it will all come together. Liverpool seem to be spending the Sterling money before they have it and are making the same mistake Spurs and themselves made last year To many. As we did years ago when we flogged Gazza bought three with the money lost our first game the next season 5 nowt to Everton and got relegated. Patience lads and learn the lessons of history

  • jimileysbaldyheed

    Enufsee Our reputation as a selling club is not down to one man only. Sir Alex Ferguson described us as that when we sold Andy Cole We have a list of sold super stars as long as your arm from Wee Hughie to  Gazza SuperMac Beardsley Ginola Sir Les on and on and on Idoubt that will ever change and its as much down to geographical location as anything else Blyth sands or Sandbanks Financial need players looking at the tother side of the hill etc.Alan Gowling lives the next village up from me and he said that Gordon Lee got a  bad press when Malcolm went to London as Supermac  wanted the bright lights as did Gazza

  • jimileysbaldyheed

    On another point one of the reasons Gordon Lee gave for leaving was that we wernt interested in the league just the odd cup run. So nowt much changed there.

  • desree

    Clearly we are seeing strategic recruitment by other clubs. NUFC are in panic buy and panic sell mode. Charnley is so scared of losing a few quid that he is screwing the club up. Santon, Mbiwa and HBA all sold at a loss when our squad really needed them.
    Riviere, SDJ panic buys because we weren’t prepared to pay market rate for someone to play up front.
    If anyone believes the lack of activities are down to strategic planning, then That’s ok.
    I sense it is down to gross incompetence and a damaged brand that everyone is avoiding