Following on from Mike Ashley’s eve of the end of the season address to the (Geordie) nation, we have seen Newcastle linked with credible Premier League signings such as Charlie Austin.

As well as Ashley’s words, we have seen journalists close to the club (and the rest of them) claiming that things have changed and United are serious about competing for players already proven in the Premier League.

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Whilst United picked up both Demba Ba and Jack Colback from other Premier League clubs, in both cases they were available on free (if you ignore the wages) deals.

The last Premier League regular that was bought by United was back in January 2009, Kevin Nolan arriving from Bolton.

So after six and a half years are we really going to see such a dramatic change of direction from the club owner?

I want to believe but I am constantly reminded of that Location, Location, Location programme, you know, the one my wife watches…

In the programme, the two presenters (Kirsty ad Phil) are set the task of finding a house in a particular area within a certain budget.

What happens every so often is that they get a couple who it is clear they aren’t going to be able to please.

Despite showing them any number of properties it is clear they won’t ever be able to find them the right place at the right place.

They show them a house in a nice area with three bedrooms and they say that it would be ideal if it had four bedrooms, but no use with only three. Then they are presented with a four bedroom house in a not so nice area and they say it would be perfect if only it was in the nice area. Problem is that if it was in the nice area then it would be fifty grand more….and so it goes on.

Basically, they are looking for something that doesn’t exist. A mad house seller who has decided to put their property up for sale for tens of thousands of pounds less than it is worth.

Which brings us to Mike Ashley.

Newcastle are linked with players such as Charlie Austin and Saido Berahino. Goalscorers, English and they have already shown they can do it in the Premier League.

Using the housing comparison, it/they are in a nice area, right number of bedrooms and a canny garden as well.

Trouble is, clubs like QPR and West Brom aren’t going to hand over their prize asset to the first chancer that comes along.

It is most definitely a seller’s market with the TV riches that are pouring into the Premier League, so they can afford to say thank you Mr Ashley for your generous offer but we’ll just see what Swansea, Southampton, Liverpool, whoever, are willing to pay.

The same scenario when it comes to wages; I can just see Charlie Austin’s agent taking the first offer he gets, not.

A figure of £10m as a valuation for Austin has regularly circulated but I can’t get my head around that. Only 3 players scored more goals last season in the Premier League and the were Augero and Costa, plus the only English striker to score more goals than the QPR man, Harry Kane.

Now I accept why Harry Kane at 21 may be valued at more than Charlie Austin who is 25, but considering that he scored his goals for the worst team in the league, I don’t think Austin is going to go for £10m when figures of £40m or so are flying about for the Spurs striker.

Last season wasn’t just a one-off either, in the previous three seasons in the Championship, Charlie Austin scored 59 goals in only 98 starts.

I can quite imagine Mike Ashley making an offer to the likes of Charlie Austin or Saido Berahino, but I find it very difficult to imagine it will be the best offer the player(s) will get, or even match other clubs.

Steve McClaren is said to have accepted a contact that is ‘heavily incentivised’, as in if United win a trophy then he will get X amount of money, with claims of £1m extra according to some newspapers.

That is all well and good when you are talking about an out of work manager who has just been sacked by a Championship club, but why would an in demand Premier League striker (or his club) accept anything less than what other are offering.

Whether it is Mike Ashley offering QPR £10m plus some magic beans whilst Swansea/Southampton are offering £15m+.

Or Newcastle offering £40,000 a week plus a trip to the moon if we win the Champions League, whilst Swansea/Southampton are offering £60,000+ a week.

Newcastle United have to offer the going rate if they are going to get proven Premier League players ‘over the line’.

I really hope Mike Ashley has had a reality check on what is essential for Newcastle United to prosper this coming season, but with each passing day of endless speculation my heart sinks a little further.


  • Bianchi Boy

    “Newcastle United have to offer the going rate if they are going to get proven Premier League players ‘over the line’. I really hope Mike Ashley has had a reality check on what is essential for Newcastle United to prosper this coming season, but with each passing day of endless speculation my heart sinks a little further”

    Your infallible logic misses one key point.

    All of these rumours emanate from those bastions of reporting the facts – newspapers.

    I doubt there is even a shred of truth in the Austin to Newcastle rumours. A bored sports reporter has put two and two together to make 87 – and Newcastle fans receive it as gospel.

    What you think is essential for Newcastle to prosper is probably the same as Ashley – signings. What is different is the actual players you think we need/can afford/would be successful.

    I personally think Austin would be a huge disappointment. But other opinions are available.

  • Ashleyout

    Forget about Austin and Berahino it aint gonna happen as long as Ashley has the club….

    Star players are a thing of the past as far as Newcastle are concerned. We got Mclaren because he was free.. out of work and no compensation to pay. 
    Ashley is a cheapskate and wont pay top wages or top transfer fees and this is why we will go for the bargain basement buys as normal. Buy them cheap, pay low wages and sell for a profit if they show any quality…

  • Fozzyworld

    Good article. Also can you imagine what the rest of the squad would do if a new player was on much more money than them. Ashley won’t wear that.

  • desree

    just read that austin is in demand so charnley is considering putting in. 9m bid?! looks like we are about to endure another relegation fight and likely a manager walk out!

  • LeazesEnder

    Alan Shearer was on a reported £115,000 pw ten or twelve years ago….  top players are being paid very large sums today….. 

    According to a load of columnists, Ashley has seen the light and is now willing to compete ….Ashley hasn’t really changed now has he….?

    Who do you believe?

  • Ashley’s threat before the last game of the season ,not to leave until winning silverware was depressing and he was talking about winning the championship . Nothing has changed , except maybe not having to read moncurs drivel in the local rag.

  • mrkgw

    Agree with this article. Our club are cheapskates. Yes, balance books where possible but to bring in substandard players to save a few quid will never, ever work. Problem is that we receive nothing from SD sponsorship plastered around the ground whilst others have fairly lucrative deals. And so, we play catch up every time in terms if income. Quite how Swansea do it however, I will never know.

  • wor monga

    You’re spot on here…Austin isn’t going for £10m…unless there’s
    a relegation clause in his contract that says exactly that…the thing is the
    details of his contract are being kept confidential, and unless the player
    wishes to reveal the details to the club he fancies going to…it will remain
    that way…

    What both parties are trying for now is to raise interest,
    to raise the money being offered, and they do that by starting rumours that all
    the major payers are sniffing around the striker… Seeing as Charlie has definitely
    indicated he’s leaving QPR there must be something in his contract to say that he
    can make that happen this summer, but…

    There are two main factors for me…1) He wants a regular
    starting berth…which as it stands leaves us looking good, in pole position…2) but
    there’s also as you say…Location, Location, Location…he’s getting married, and
    at present they live in London (Darn Sarf), so maybe the lure of remaining down
    there ‘andy for ‘Arrods’ and not moving to the Far Norf might just come into it,
    who knows?

  • wor monga

    LeazesEnder        Fair comments, but…the difference with Alan Shearer is any
    club in the world would have paid him what he asked for…as the old Manfred’s
    song went “if he just would…if they just could”…he was up there with the world’s
    best strikers, proven to score against the best defences in the world.

    Stick ‘Big Al’ in your team and nobody would kick up about
    the tremendous amount he picked up compared to them, but Austin is not in that
    category yet…good as he is…he is nowhere near that level yet!

  • v0ices

    Fozzyworld ẃe already have collo who is useless ans i think on over 80k a week…..

  • v0ices

    mrkgw they sell players too… but they replace them.

  • Wait and shteve

    Quite easy really, they spend some of their income

  • Wait and shteve

    Why would Austin be a dissapointment??

  • Wait and shteve

    Good stuff mate, U0001f601

  • Wait and shteve


  • v0ices

    Wait and shteve because its become obvious we wont get him so mikes supporters now have to try and make him look bad

  • v0ices

    devonbay at least we know the man is a proven liar so we can hope he was telling porkies about not sellinh up too.

  • Jimmywayhay

    Should have had Shaearer on the board and as a full time ambassador for the club meeting prospective new signings ,otherwise these statements are pipe dreams!

  • Andgeo

    The fat man has no intention of splashing the cash!!! In his own words he plans to “continue his policy of investing in the club” to him this means no change to the failing transfer policy. We will miss out on the best players by offering too little.

  • DownUnderMag

    Again, low bids, no doubt low salaries, he will go elsewhere.  I am all for testing the water in fees as you shouldn’t ever just pay what a club is asking for…but as long as it’s a toe in the water and just to see how much you can get knocked off.  but if we lose out again through being tight and other clubs pay what is being asked then Ashley may as well never show his face again, his credibility will be destroyed.  I am all for keeping sensible in terms of the money paid out, but not when it means we are shown up by the likes of West Ham, Swansea, Southampton and others who we should easily be able to compete with.