I contributed a short piece on here yesterday, talking about Newcastle United’s ‘preferred media partners’ – Sky Sports and The Mirror.

They being the only ones allowed in for Steve McClaren’s unveiling as the new Newcastle Head Coach, getting exclusive access in return for whatever…

I observed that it was amusing to look back at the aftermath of this exclusive access, when Simon Bird of The Mirror told us of club sources informing him that Charlie Austin was a done deal and would be signed mid-June.

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I then mentioned Pete Graves of Sky Sports, somebody I follow on Twitter and who I described as ‘a canny bloke, a Sky Sports presenter and Newcastle fan’.

I then referred fans to a number of messages he’d put out on Twitter, following information he’d been given by Newcastle United:

Wednesday 24 June

“Progress being made (on signings at NUFC).”

Wednesday 24 June

“Understand fans frustration. Officials at Nufc will be frustrated too. But progress made in last few days .”

Friday 26 June

“highly rated targets means they’re competing with others. hence delays. breakthrough’S (plural) next week #nufc.”

Friday 26 June

“(In reply to a fan accusing Pete Graves of putting out propaganda for the club) No mate. Just reporting what I’ve been told. If it’s wrong I’ll be as disappointed as you.”

I then suggested that this ‘duping’ of their media partners by Newcastle United could lead to resentment from Sky Sports and The Mirror.

My article appeared to get a fair bit of coverage elsewhere and Pete Graves himself may have had a look judging by a series of messages he then put up later yesterday on Twitter:

Pete Graves – Saturday 4 July:

“I know #nufc fans are frustrated. And signings are taking a while. Even I appear to be part of some conspiracy to fool everyone.

“I’m just a reporter and #nufc fan who gets occasional nuggets of info and tries to pass them on when I can. Not always 100% accurate.

“I’ll continue to do this. And I’m confident the deals that have been worked on for last month aren’t far away. No agenda. What I’m told.”

We all know that signing players isn’t an exact science, you can’t just decide in an instant and buy one off the shelf.

sky sports

However, with the current squad proven to be so poor last season and desperate for creativity, goalscorers and decent defenders, you have to look at it as a major problem when the squad fly off to America next weekend and there isn’t a single signing as yet.

Those putting a positive (brave) face on it, will hope that a flurry of signings will happen as Pete Graves clearly suggests/hopes/has been told.

Of course we all hope he is right but a bit like my (non-)belief in ghosts, I’ll believe them (ghosts and Charlie Austin, Georginio Wijnaldum etc) when I see them.



  • LeazesEnder

    Of course signings are imminent…. so is the start of the season!

  • Chemical Dave

    Not sure why people are fretting over signings, they will be coming as the sole objective of them arriving is to keep the gullible and the curious content.

  • TonnekToon

    I’m sure there will be signings . But of what caliber ?

  • mactoon

    Whether it is intentionally misleading information from the club or just premature announcements of deals that take longer than intended it still shows you shouldn’t take any notice of the press speculation. It’s well recorded Newcastle do not discuss their targets or transfer kitty so the stories of 90 + targets we have been linked with are obviously wide of the mark. We will see players when they are signed

  • Jezza_NUFC

    I think he has been misquoted. What he meant new signs rather than signings are imminent at St James’s Park. As in yet more awful red and blue signs emblazoned all over the stadium to advertise the fat parasite’s horrible business.

  • wor monga

    It’s not easy…the selling club has to be satisfied first…then
    the agent (agents) has to be satisfied…and most importantly the Player has to
    also want to come…he’s in demand, and he may have certain preferences which
    means a club like ours might have to sell themselves very dearly…

    …it’s not as
    easy as buying an ice cream although to read some of the offerings on here
    there’s quite a few think it is!!

  • Duke Fame

    wor monga very good analogy

  • Duke Fame

    TonnekToon Well, Georginio Wijnaldum should be announced this week, he is almost perfect for us.

  • Duke Fame

    Chemical Dave heads the moaners win, tails the optimists lose?

    We’ll see, as ever but I get the feeling that you and a few others are determined that NUFC fails just so you can say “I told you so”.

  • WilliamCarney

    mactoon Your right about the Newcastle not sharing info to the press about transfers until they are actualy done and dusted, a lot of the speculations that come from the press are more accurate than what you might think, the reason for this is because the press know who our agents are and follow them, so when the press see one of our agents going to a certain city they know what our most likely candidates are in that city, however a lot of reansfers dealingsa are done primarily over a phonel.

  • phillstinchy

    I agree that its not as easy as buying ice cream (although that was a very good/funny analogy)
    But it is not rocket science either !!
    1, Have a list
    2, Enquire with Club (If you agree with valuation, then pay it, if not move on to next name!)
    3, If bid is excepted, then negotiate with agent and player and pay him what’s he worth. If he doesn’t want to come, same as above applies…. Move on to next name!)
    4, If point 2 and 3 has gone well you have a new transfer!
    Take the Charlie Austin example,
    Leicester bid 12m and it was
    rejected,why?? Because QPR want 15m.
    If you believe what has been heavily rumoured and we want him then i have a simple tip for the board…. Pay the [email protected]#king 15m !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Duke Fame

    phillstinchy The bids will be matched to the highest bid, Leicester are more than likely creating a smokesceen for another target, there is no advantage in going public and they know Austin will not go to them.

    He’s on honeymoon, I suspect he’s weighing up the chances of getting a game at Chelsea as that’s the ‘ambitious’ move, moving his family oop norf again, the difficult but could be rewarding move or taking Saints of West Ham which will be the easy compromise. 

    I suspect Chelsea will make him richer, us & the others will be similar wages.

    No it’s not as east as just paying the £15m. Qpr will prefer to sell to us or Chelsea simply we will pay the fee in one go.

  • phillstinchy

    @Duke Fame I do agree with you with the potential choices and dilemmas he has.
    I used him as an example as to how to progress a transfer in response to @Wor Monga,
    But with him we won’t know 100% if he will or not if we don’t offer what they want. Chris Ramsey was interviewed on talkSPORT yesterday and sai they haven’t received a single bid at the asking price.
    We are not going to get to the negotiating table with anyone decent not paying what his club wants, or at least close,like the Monaco centre back ( I cant spell his name sorry), we bid £12m, they value him around £21m. (I’m not saying pay £21m for him before I get slaughtered, its another example of the way they are conducting business)
    In Sports Direct if I take a pair of £70 trainers to the counter and instead of paying the cashier that amount only give her £40, what do you think will happen?

  • Jezza_NUFC

    wor monga  It’s not easy you say? Well how comes all the other clubs in the Premiership seem to manage to sign new players during the transfer window?

    It’s only not easy to sign players when your club has got an owner who’s policy for the past 8 years has been to sacrifice footballing success to line his own pockets.

  • G Dubz

    Signing is some 19yr old kid for 300k from the second division, I’m not excited are u?

  • Americanmag

    Are there 70£ trainers in sports direct?

  • Americanmag

    I think you have a point there and wor Dave is leading the pessimist drive by a mile- I think he may work for the mag! I’ll take it all back if there are no signings that will improve the team but I suspect things may happen this week

  • Americanmag

    Ashley doesn’t really care about the ” curious and gullible” if by that you mean the fan base who continue to attend( and don’t agree with you but he is very interested in staying in the premier league end of story- he is a pragmatist par excellence like it or lump it- personally I’d like him and his right hand men hounded out of town but sadly it ain’t going to happen soon. He has the economic power and a board in his pocket.Developing a critique to challenge this regime ain’t easy and will need more than a split fan base shouting at each other and some painted bed sheets. Most of the national press know what’s going on but even their criticisms such as in the telegraph and more recently the guardian seems to be able to drive change or influence others to buy the club. We’re in this for the long haul

  • Chemical Dave

    Haha, you’ve got me there like. My mind about mike Ashley was made up very early on but having said that, would love to think he’d wake up one day and decide he’d like to make good his desire to win a trophy but its not going to happen is it ? Which ons do you optimists fancy first ? Or do you free with fat boy, champions league is just as good as ?

  • Duke Fame

    phillstinchy I’d question the motivation of Chris Ramsey to say that. QPR are a basket case with some rich backers who are either losing interest or have extremely pressing issues in their businesses. QP do not have spare money and Charlie austin needs liquidated for as much as possible as quickly as possible. Chris Ramsey is tying to get bids going ASAP so he can get on with his job.  

    Leicester know they will not get Austin but will be competing for another player with one of the Austin bidders, they want the other club to be tied up in Asutin wranglings whilst they get their man. 

    In Sports Direct, the RRP was £120m you already have your negotiations done as Mike has done the deal for you.

  • Duke Fame

    Chemical Dave If you keep an open mind, it means you can look at things objectively. I have a clear line in the sand of what is needed and it looks like at least 2 of those requirements are close to being concluded.

    If all you ever want is Ashley out, you need to start saving, get your fellow agitators together, re-mortgage your homes and make the man an offer, until then, you are going to get very frustated.

  • Chemical Dave

    Well thanks for the advice duke aka but up until now I’ve not been wrong about fatty so I’ll stick to what I know, not what I’ve no hope of.

  • lockietoon

    Pete of from Hexham, top bloke so actually encouraging news!

  • BillytheFish

    Pete is usually a very reliable source, and a mad toon fan, so if he says something is happening, then I wait for the news……

  • fromtheheed

    Are we really waiting the sale of Sissoko before we splash the cash? Still to be convinced, Wijnaldum is Sissoko’s replacement and I think a better player. Still no mention of centre backs or full back. Typical Newcastle, penny pinching will cost us dearly.