We were assured by Mike Ashley, when he spoke on the final day of the season, that Newcastle would be loosening the purse strings, and competing with the bigger clubs for top players this summer.

However, move on over two weeks, and we are now left wondering – has anything changed?

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I know it’s only been two weeks. I know the transfer window is not officially open yet. I know that we are still waiting for the formal introduction of our new (same old) manager. However, we are currently seeing report after report of the same old guff involving incoming transfers that have blighted us year after year.

I understand that these are just news reports, and consequently, cannot be taken as gospel, but for every reporter, whether local or national, to be saying the same thing (in my eyes) is too much of a coincidence.

André Ayew was, apparently, one of our top transfer targets. He is now reportedly not value for money. Let that sink in for a second. A free transfer, who is a top quality player, is not value for money.

We were, apparently, going to offer him a £2million signing on fee, and £30,000 a week wages. Astronomical to you and me, but in footballing terms, not a huge amount. There was no report of him having turned this down, merely reports stating we are no longer pursuing him.

Patrick Bamford, a young English up and coming player, who is being tipped as a future England player. Chelsea slap a £10m fee on his head, and immediately it is reported that Newcastle are unlikely to do business at that price.

Marco van Ginkel. Newcastle were interested in bringing him in. Chelsea quote their price, quickly followed by reports of that being enough to see Newcastle cool their interest.

The club still expect fans to believe that we’re going to offer £15m for Charlie Austin. I truly hope I am proved wrong, but I fully expect to hear in the next couple of weeks, that Newcastle have offered £7m, which will be turned down flat, and will then end their interest in preference of seeking better value for money elsewhere.

Top players, and especially English ones, will have to be bought using big money. This is what we were assured would be the type of money the club were going to pay this summer. This, it appears, may not be the case after all.

I am the first to say that I wouldn’t want Newcastle to be fleeced by anyone. Some players are given ridiculous price tags, that only a fool (or Manchester City) would pay. The latest one of those is Dwight Gayle from Crystal Palace. £10m they apparently want for him. When I read that we were interested in him, I was shocked (and disgusted…surely even we can seek better than that). When I read the price tag on him, I almost choked on my cornflakes!

The fact is, if you want to bring in quality signings that will stave off situations like last season, you have to put your money where your mouth is.

The one thing that Mike Ashley (and his businesses), our manager-elect, and our incoming signings have in common is bargain basement. You pay Sports Direct prices – you get Sports Direct quality.

For once, I wish we would shop in Fenwicks instead.

You can follow Paul on Twitter @PNic_SpJournStu as well as Facebook, plus he has his very own blog 



  • PaulNewsome

    The club still needs to appoint a head coach before anything.

  • PaulNewsome

    BTW, most of the stories about players are made up by journalists.

  • radgiegadgie

    they will come thick and fast like they did last year soon enough.

    as ever though, will they gel together to make a competitive team next season?

  • jack1x

    It will be the same old story this transfer window , loans and bargain basement , How can Ayew not be value for money wheh 10m is quoted for Dwight Gale , and average player at best ..Another shot season beckons , another dissapointing transfer window . Lire to again by Ashley , although never believed it in the first place .

  • Sickandtiredstill

    That alleged ‘war chest’ is nowt but an old biscuit tin with crumbs in it.

    Another article elsewhere states that we are 22nd in world football for brand worth and it INCREASED despite this last season! Get your head around that, and the complete failure of Ashley to grow our commercial revenue etc, and we can once again see the gravy train that fatty owns and flogs to death.  

    Anyhow – as most of us figured out already, due to the ever increasing Sky money players are only going to get more expensive. British Clubs will bump up their prices coz they all have more money or those outside the PL want some of it. Foreign clubs who can only dream about media income like the PL receives will equally be looking to cash in.

    Sky are pricing the Ashley model out of the market whether he likes it or not. he;s proven over 8 years already that he can’t buck the system and next May is starting to look like a foregone conclusion as to where we end up.

  • Andgeo

    Has anything changed? Every other club is two weeks down the line in terms of preparing for next season, and in typical fashion we are waiting for charnley to get fat mikes attention for 5 mins in order to get anything done. Has anything changed? No!!! We are still disadvantaged by the continued presence of Mike Ashley’s stink around our football club.

  • Cornflake

    Yes, once it showed that they didn’t even bother to meet alternative coaches (managers) and that idea still hasn’t changed, it sure does look like a bunch of smokescreens once again.
    Sure we’ll buy a few guys here and there, probably 2 quality players, but that’s about it.  Just enough to keep them coming back for me.  Maybe we can get top 10….maybe, and that’ll keep them coming back.
    Depressing times, but really hope to be proven wrong.

  • DownUnderMag

    Perhaps the deception/ruse worked and many gullible fans have renewed their season tickets, (or at least enough of them) and so he doesn’t feel he needs to do anything more??

    Free transfers and cheap lower league players will NOT cut it this transfer window.  And once again we see the club totally failing to address the areas that really need strengthening.  I think in Cisse and Perez we actually have two good goalscorers and while another top class forward would be nice, for me someone who can supply them with ammunition and a reworking of the backline are much more pressing priorities…and yet we don’t even have a manager in yet!

    Time to get real.  Ashley has proved that despite an elaborate plan to con fans on the final day of last season, nothing has changed in terms of the actual running of the club.  Time is running out…for him, for us, for the club!

  • Chemical Dave

    The actors change but the plot remains the same, like watching annual remakes of a movie turkey.

  • Jail for Ashley

    You can see why Ashley is prepared to spend on the best spin doctors but not the best coaches or players, it’s cheaper for him. One obviously rehearsed interview with the words Champions league littered in to it had the vast majority leaving the ground before local hero had finished. Not a single promise was made other than the fat barsteward wasn’t going anywhere. We will now end up with the fans at each other again with those wiling to give McLaren a chance before blaming him for our situation and the most vocal having already boycotted, that poxy interview has bought Mashley another season and another 70M pounds.

  • PaulNewsome

    Jail for Ashley Ashley is no different with spin doctors than he is with coaches and managing directors. Keith Bishop is a Z list celebrity PR who does ex Bay City Rollers, ex soap stars etc. He’s as cheap as chips. Can’t you tell that?

  • Paul_Nicholson

    Jail for Ashley You’re dead right. The only thing worse than watching the club you love falling apart, is watching it being ripped apart by in-fighting between the very people that matter the most – the fans! Soul-destroying!

  • Paul_Nicholson

    Chemical Dave Couldn’t agree more

  • Paul_Nicholson

    DownUnderMag We are basically the football equivalent of his shops now!

  • Paul_Nicholson

    Cornflake It makes you wonder if they ever really contemplated anyone else. I suspect that if McClaren hadn’t got the boot from Derby, Charnley (on the advice of chief whip Carr of course) would have given the job to Carver until the opportunity to get McClaren arose.

    Change? Not a hope in hell with this lot on board!

  • ToonTone100

    Leopards CAN change their spots…. I’m not saying he will mind… but judge him when the new manager is in place AND the transfer window has shut.
    I’m still hoping he meant what he said …. even though I think there are better managers to achieve that stated “goal” than Steve McClaren. Time will quickly tell.

  • IntravenusMP

    Transfer window is not even open, the season only finished last Saturday and pretty much every player is either on the beach or annoyed that they have to play a meaningless international before jetting off for a break. 

    Most transfer speculation is only that right now or the completion of transfers that were started last January

  • v0ices

    IntravenusMP you can agree a transfer you just cannot finalise it. most clubs will already have bids lodged and be talking to targets many will have deals agreed we dont even have a head coach after waiting 6 months.

  • ilullissat

    Its not rocket science.If the fans continue to go and the current owners are still in charge then NOTHING will change.Its that simple