Now that Graham Carr’s time at Newcastle United has officially come to an end, it may be worth having a quick look at his record in the transfer market.

Much has been said in the past about how he has found the club numerous brilliant players and attracted many players to the club that can make Newcastle/Mike Ashley (delete as appropriate) untold millions in profit from their future sales.

That was the argument from the press in years gone by and it seems to have been written into history by Lee Charnley, however the fans won’t see it that way.

“He can count some of Newcastle’s most successful players in recent years as his ‘finds’.” Lee Charnley.


Put simply, his role as scout has actually been a bit of a disaster when you scrape the surface and delve into his transfers.

We can all point out that the managers he has scouted players for were hardly the most adept coaches and that certainly would be a good case for Mr Carr’s own defence, but it still stands, that his transfers have actually cost the club in terms of development and progression. The millions of pounds worth of profit that Mike Ashley dreamed would be coming his way, hasn’t come to fruition.

Let’s look at this list of main players that to my knowledge Carr was responsible for:

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – Proved too lightweight for the Premier League. Cost £8m+, sold for £6m.

Mathieu Debuchy – A £6m signing looking good going forward but poor defensively. Poor after best mate Cabaye was sold. Sold for £12m.

Chancel Mbemba – Not fancied by Rafa Benitez, unused for much of 2016/17 and cost £10m. May do better in Premier League.

Vurnon Anita – A trier but too lightweight for the Premier League. Signed at £6m+, let go for free.

Moussa Sissoko – Started well but after a handful of good games did nothing. Bargain initially at £1.5m, bizarrely sold for £30m.

Henri Saivet – Cost £1m+ per game he played in (4).

Cheick Tiote – Tough tackler and a bargain at £4m. Looked good next to Yohan Cabaye, didn’t do quite as well after his departure. Let go for nothing.

Yoan Gouffran – A trier, scoring a few goals, but hardly prolific at Premier League level. Looked decent in the Championship.

Hatem Ben Arfa – Erratic temperament, not a team player. Moments of class but too infrequent. £5m buy, let go for nothing,

Gini Wijnaldum– Two game a season wonder, went missing most of the time. Signed for £14m, sold for £24m.

Siem De Jong – Perma crock, doesn’t look suited to Premier League. £6m signing.

Yohan Cabaye – Undoubted class, went on strike to force a move. Bought for £5m sold for £20m

Sylvain Marveaux – The lesser spotted Frenchman. Signed for nothing, sold for nothing.

Remy Cabella – Unsuited to Premier League football, signed for £8m+, sold for £6m         .

Florian Thauvin – Unsuited to Premier League football, signed at £15m, sold for £10m.

Papiss Cisse – Initially a sensation, scoring a hatful of goals. Faded badly after first year. Signed for £9m, sold for £2m.

Aleksandar Mitrovic – Erratic ability and temperament. Cult figure. £12m signing.

Demba Ba- See Papiss Cisse. Signed for free, sold for £7m+.

Emanuel Riviere – Unsuited to Premier League football. Signed for £6m.

So out of that lengthy list, the success stories on the pitch were Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba, with Cabaye, Ba, Wijnaldum, Debuchy and Sissoko proving to be highly profitable on resale. However, as a body of work costing over £100m, the turn of profit hasn’t materialised and in most cases COST the club multi millions of pounds.

One could argue that if the club had appointed a better manager to bring these players on, Graham Carr’s record would probably look a little better.

Or if the club had gone out and paid the going rate for the first choice target, rather than skimp on finances and go for the second and third choice, the abysmal record of the scout would again be a bit more positive.

Either way, the good news coming out of Carr’s departure is that Rafa Benitez seems to be reaffirmed as in complete control of all transfer matters, despite what the doom and gloom merchants may say.

The next step could be a big one for Mike Ashley. The other elephant in the room is Lee Charnley, who can’t be classed as a top level Managing Director. Over the last ten years, Ashley has overseen/caused some horrendous catastrophes at the club and not hiring a top level MD is one of his biggest problems – remember Derek Llambias?

The club is slowly growing out of the shell Mike Ashley has put it in and the positive steps continue…Rafa Benitez, no more W***a, the removal of an underperforming Chief Scout – are all signs of this.

Long may it continue.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Penfold is the last man standing so to speak, he along with the Gimp Carr should have been sacked on the last day of the season we were relegated.
    The Toxic Twins have cost Nufc millions along with relegation & a squad that needs serious money spent to compete in the premiership
    I think the Pie Man`s clearing the decks for a sale

  • toonterrier

    Three positive steps is going to be hard to take in after one step forward and two back under the ownership of the big lump over the last ten years. No use saying Ashley has learned a lesson as he never listens and is only interested in raking the money in rather than spending to build a club and team that’s respected all over the world. Little chance of winning serious competitions even with Rafa pulling the strings as we all know we need class players to get us into the top four rather than survival in the Premier league which is all the fat one wants. No mention of the Chinese takeover in the last few days so suspect the price was too high..

  • HarryHype59

    This is well written article that gives a balanced view. Carr’s successes came fairly early in his reign. His more recent acquisitions were poor and are worth less than the club paid for them. The figures quoted on transfermarkt make grim reading for Mr Ashley, no wonder he wants out.

    • Clarko

      You’re learning. Some figures would’ve been nice but progress is progress.

      • HarryHype59

        How you doing with developing your basic understanding of football finances? You were struggling to comprehend the concept of operating costs in your previous posts. Hence your rather amusing assertion that Rafa has the total £41m parachute money and 30m profit from player sales to spend on new acquisitions. Are the players not getting paid Clarko?

        Your alpha male forum pretensions are comical! Only a few days ago you were defending Carr. His removal confirms that his recent record just wasn’t good enough. Makes you look a tad foolish!

        • Clarko

          Mike Ashley “I’ve confirmed to Rafa Benitez he can have every last penny the club generates through promotion, player sales & other means”.

          Rafael Benitez to STAY as Newcastle United boss – with £80m transfer kitty via The Northern Echo

          Benitez could have in excess of £75m at his disposal via ESPN

          Benitez recognises that his budget – which will be between £70m-£110m depending upon how successfully the club can recoup money from player sales via The Chronicle

          Bringing up arguments I already won, when I was trying to be nice. What can you do?

          • Cuh736

            Quoting the chronicle? I thought they were trash

          • Clarko

            Your words not mine.

          • HarryHype59

            Really….You haven’t won a single argument!

            The Ashley “every last penny” statement is actually vague. What are the other means? How are the players to be paid.

            The club financial accounts 2016 show the club had operating costs of 96m. It covered the bulk of these costs via 72m TV money. This year the TV money is 41m. That is a huge shortfall.

            The other sources you use the words “could” and “recoup” which implies the figures are dependent on variables.

            The player values on transfermarkt make grim reading regarding “recouping” money on duff buys.

            The club finances

            At least you aren’t calling me a moron simply for

          • HarryHype59

            The Ashley ” every last penny” statement is actually vague! I suggest you don’t take it literally. It implies the “Rafalution” will be self funding.

            The ESPN uses the classic media cope outs of “could have”

            The EC refers to “recoup money on player” sales. That won’t easy baring in mind the high relative wages and long term contracts our players are on!

            I hope you are right and Rafa will get a 100m war chest. But I can only see a season of bargain bin signings and loans this season. If relegation is avoided and the club picks up the bumper TV deal then things may change.

          • Clarko

            Ashley’s statement is not vague, it, again, specifically states the the club will have “every last penny” that “generated” last season. Again, first hand information, the most valid source of information there is.

            All the media outlets corroborate one another.

            The Evening Chronicle stated that a minimum of £70m is available without any player sales. The £110m was with the inclusion of player sales.

            What you think is irrelevant really, you have no evidence to suggest that Newcastle do not have the £70m+ transfer budget.

          • HarryHype59

            “Every last penny” after the operating costs are paid (96m) in 2016 club accounts. Who will pay these costs if the entire turnover is going on transfers? The only way that can happen is if Ashley attracts external investments.

          • Clarko

            You are trying to put words in Ashley’s mouth, did Mike Ashley, the keyword in the statement being “generates”, he didn’t use the word “profits” or “net”, he used the word “generates”, the club generated £70m+.You’re beating a dead horse, you are trying to interpret/twist Ashley’s statement in a way that benefits your argument.

            I do not know how the operating costs were paid last year, but guess what? Neither do you, those details are not available to the public. Do you want to know what is available to the public? Mike Ashley’s statement. Do you want to know what else is available to the public? That Mike Ashley made a £33m loan facility to the club in December 2016. Now I am not one for making guesses but if I had to put my money on it, I am guessing it went towards the operating costs of the club.

            Stop ignoring the actual evidence.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      £50m for a Spurs full back, £50m for an Everton midfielder, Scary figures indeed for the Pie Man

      • HarryHype59

        The problem is compounded by other clubs getting the bumper TV deal whilst we get the only the comparatively paltry 41m parachute money. Watford got £109m for finishing fourth last which highlights the massive advantage those clubs have as transfer fees rocket.

  • Damon Horner

    Any doubt at the minute Rafa is winning the power battle at NUFC?

    • TheNutJob

      El Supremo

  • steve

    So basically what you’re saying is that some players were sold for massive profit, some gave years of service and some were sold for a small loss. Our success rate in signing unproven players and them being a success has been as good if not better than any other club in the country during Carr’s reign which is saying something when a lot of them have his 3rd or 4th choice.

    • HarryHype59

      Look at the player values for his recent acquisitions on transfermarkt. It makes grim reading. The cumulative effect of so many duff buys contributed to the latest relegation which cost over 100m in lost TV money. Carr championed the appointment of his chum Soopa Steeve.

      • steve

        Because Rafa’s choices of Selz, Hanley, Lazaar, Gamez and Diame have all rocketed in value?

        • HarryHype59

          No arguments from me on that one

  • hetonmag

    Never mind his good buys or the bad ones, his and penfolds pursuit and eventual employment of the wally with the brolly has ended up costing this club millions.

  • Down Under Mag

    While some of these were awful there are some that were not as bad as most think. Ben Arfa may have been temperamental and lazy BUT he was woefully mismanaged and asked to play a defensive role…I mean why would you get such a good flair player and then stifle him by aksing him to track back and play defensively? Far too many players have been ruined here by being asked to be a round peg in a square hole. Even Riviere (who was only brought in after Ashley refused to stump up for Bafatembi Gomis) was played as a lone striker when that clearly isn’t his strength.

    There seems to be a sense of replacing an outgoing player and then the inept management trying to shoehorn a new player into the exact same role while ignoring the new players strengths and weaknesses. Cabella and Thauvin were brought in to be a Cabaye replacement and yet were never going to be able to do the same things…failure to give them time to adapt and more importantly not playing to their strengths hampered their settling…I saw enough from Thauvin to warrant more patience but the manager wouldn’t give him a chance and shipped him off.

    Hopefully Rafa seems to be getting his own say and therefore will be getting players who he will give a chance to…you have to wonder if some of those who were brought in last summer were his signings when he refused to play them?? The sings are there that there is a shift in power and running of the club and it is positive news…time will tell if it continues or is just a show to appease ticket sales or the sale of the club.

  • Kneebotherm8

    What do you mean Riviere was unsuited for Premier league football? He’s unsuited to football full stop judging by his performances in France and Spain.