In the aftermath of no new signings in January, the north east local media were quick to reassure Newcastle fans.

A number of articles claimed that there was nothing to worry about as their information was that there would be money to spend in the summer, if/when Newcastle United are promoted.

Whether this was a case of actually being briefed by the club ‘insider’, or simply stating the obvious, is an unknown.

After all, which club would now even consider for a second, not strengthening on promotion to the Premier League?

You might as well not even bother coming up.

However, plenty of media and a fair number of Newcastle fans were easily placated by this message that there would be money to spend in the summer, as though this was going to give the club some kind of an advantage against their rivals, if promoted.

They were happy to sweep away the concerns Rafa Benitez obviously made clear he had when he wasn’t backed in January, the United boss having made sure that this message got out into the public domain before then declaring that everything else had to be put aside for the time being, the only focus to be that of getting promotion.

Whilst nobody should expect money to be no object of Newcastle are spending for a Premier League campaign, I think it is important for everybody, especially Mike Ashley, to understand just what the reality is these days.

Serious money has to be spent and that is just to be in the raffle, not to be guaranteed to win it.

Once again, it was in the local media where I saw many comments after Newcastle were reported to be potentially interested in Ben Gibson this summer,

Just called up by England, Gibson has been outstanding and can play centre-back or left-back, is young and English, and Middlesbrough have one of the best defensive records despite being second bottom of the Premier League.

However, the local press were all consistent in saying that his reported £20m valuation would surely be way beyond what Rafa Benitez would be allowed to spend on one player, especially a defender.

There is surely only response to that and that is…why?

Over 14 years ago Newcastle paid around £10m for central defender Jonathan Woodgate, who was exceptional, the best defender most of us have seen. So 14 years later how much are we supposed to pay to get the quality of player needed?

Not saying that every player needs to be that kind of fee but surely if Rafa identifies any player/position for that kind of money as an essential, why in this day and age wouldn’t he be backed to bring the signing in?

To emphasise just how high the stakes are in this era, the current bottom six of the Premier League have spent £330m (all transfer valuations via dedicated website Transfermarkt) between them in the past 12 months. An average of £56m per club.

Even clubs such as Sunderland and Hull who were perceived to have very much underspent, paid out £34m each to try and avoid relegation this season.

Promoted Middlesbrough splashed out £50m and this was on top of paying over £10m for Jordan Rhodes in January 2016 to try and help ensure promotion and hopefully be a player for the Premier league.

Burnley two seasons ago spent only just over £10m and were relegated, this time they have spent a not insignificant £39m and are having a good go at staying out of trouble.

The thing is, this summer we can probably expect prices to rise again as yet more money is pumped into Premier League pockets.

Looking below, just to have a fighting chance of having a healthy season, the funds available to Rafa Benitez surely have to be a minimum of £50m and more.

With a £30m transfer surplus under his belt already, plus around £10m to come from Florian Thuavin’s move to Marseilles, plus various other players no doubt leaving this summer as well, you are already up to a figure of over £50m and that is without even taking into account the riches of being back in the Premier League.

In years to come hopefully there won’t be quite so much pressure on bringing in quite so many players but this time, if Newcastle are promoted then serious money has to be spent to kickstart a new era for NUFC under Rafa Benitez. A serious uplift in quality in numerous areas of the team. To achieve this, surely we will see the current 12 year old transfer record fee of £16m for Michael Owen broken at least two or three times.

With that starting point I’m sure we can all look forward with hope.

League positions of Premier League bottom six with points total and how much spent in last 12 months:

30 Leicester (£77m)

28 Crystal Palace (£85m)

27 Swansea (£50m)

24 Hull (£34m)

22 Middlesbrough (£50m)

20 Sunderland (£34m)

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles to [email protected])

  • Mark Scott

    I don’t think price is necessarily any more of an indicator than youtube video scouting. I mean we came close to breaking our record for the likes of Cabella and Thauvin and we all know how well they turned out. I agree we need to sign improvements, but that only means a big spend if they are proven players and in all likelihood we won’t be able to compete for those players and will once again be looking to get in bargain buys or take a risk on players with a problematic past.

  • Jezza

    I can’t see NUFC spending big in the summer at all. We should all know how the fatman operates by now. 10 years of precedent tells me that the sum of money NUFC are likely to spend will be equal to or less than what ever amount they bring in from player sales.

  • Toon fan 1950

    I think that Ashley will invest money into buying some decent players over the summer. If he does not, he will be cutting his own throat.We will be relegated straight back into the championship. He will also lose at least £80m of tv money. He is not daft. Rafa will need to spend at least £60m to keep us up next season.

    • Jezza

      If we do get promoted there is a very strong possibility that Ashley will take a gamble that the same squad that finished top two in the Championship should be good enough to finish fourth bottom of the Premiership.

      • bobbi fleckman

        Would you like a wager? I bet that we buy three senior outfield players this summer.

        • Jezza

          Do you count unknown 21 year olds from France as senior players?

          • bobbi fleckman

            anyone in the 1st team is senior

  • Vodkamagpie

    Surely money will be spent, over 100Mil, a decent player costs around the 30Mil mark, and I think it’s obvious that the main reason Rafa came here, is that he knows there is money to be spent, and will be spent, to push Newcastle up in the premier league, once and if we gain promotion.

  • Lord

    How much did we spend in the summer of our 2015/16 relegation season? I seem to recall we had the second highest net spend in the league.

    Sometimes it’s not how big it is, it’s what you do with it.

    • Geordiegiants

      I wouldn’t disagree with you there as you are correct. I think the point being we do have to spend on good players, not buy cheap below average players.
      I personally don’t think £50m is very much at all in the premier these days though.

    • Jezza

      Spending money is the transfer market does not guarantee success but not spending will guarantee failure.

    • Whickhamrobbie

      totally agree money money money thats all fans bang on about but if its not spent wisely then its a waste of time .
      Money spent on youth /coaching like Southampton is the better long term strategy imo .
      Just buying an overseas mercinary is not always the answer .

    • bobbi fleckman

      That’s true, the best bit f quality we bought was Gini who, when partnered with a £30m Sissoko should have been very effective. Come to think of it, our midfield had Jon jo, Gini, £30m Sissoko and Townsend along the line up and we still went down – it’s what you do with the money AND the players.

  • Gareth Marshall

    The type of players we need probably cost between the £10-15m price range. Anything much more than that, for a club like us in our position would be a little exuberant in my opinion.

    Of course these days £20m won’t buy you a top top class player, but £30m will get you close and I see no need in us signing a “superstar”. What we need a are 4-5 quality players who can come in and do a good job immediately, like Clark and Ritchie.

    For £50-60m we should be able to get just that, without risking financial troubles.

    A little trading up of squad players for experience to the tune of a few million each should be covered by any player sales.

    Yes we need some new players and we need to spend some money, but at the writer points out, we already have around 50m available so why risk much more unless absolutely necessary.