Deloitte have published their ‘Annual Review of Football Finance 2017’.

This looks at what happened over the course of the 2015/16 season in terms of finance, the season when Newcastle United were relegated.

The core part of the Deloitte report centred on the Premier League, the world’s dominant league, at least that is when it comes to money..


‘The 26th edition of our publication returns to two familiar themes – the continuation of relentless revenue growth across Europe’s major leagues, in particular the Premier League, and the commitment of this money to spending on players via transfer fees and wages, again led by English clubs.’

So are there any clues in the report as to why Newcastle United ended up heading back to the Championship only seven years after the last relegation.


Money doesn’t guarantee you success but in the vast majority of cases, not spending it guarantees failure.

Looking at the table above, in 2015/16 the three clubs with the lowest wage bills were Watford (£58m), Bournemouth (£60m) and Norwich (£67m), no real surprises there as they were the three promoted sides from the Championship.

What may surprise you is that after (renowned as being cautious and prepared to build again after relegation) West Brom (£74m), the next lowest wage bill was Newcastle United on £75m.

An astonishing 15 of the other 16 clubs who had also been in the Premier League the season before (2014/15), all had bigger wage bills.

For example, Everton had a lower turnover (£122m) than Newcastle’s (£126m) but spent £20m more on wages than the Magpies.

Swansea had a turnover (£96m) that was £30m less than Newcastle’s, yet spent £7m more on wages.

Even Sunderland, who Newcastle fans would assume had failed to be as ambitious as Newcastle, spent £9m more than Newcastle on wags, despite their turnover (£108m) being £18m less than Newcastle’s.

The bottom line is that Mike Ashley had ran Newcastle United into the ground over a period of years with under investment, leading to a squad that had neither quality nor numbers, which was key to why the club were relegated.

Yes football players are paid stupid money, and none of us celebrate that fact, but all Premier League clubs also receive stupid amounts of money just for competing in the English top tier.

Moving forward to the present day, journalists who are usually clued up, are now saying that Mike Ashley is failing to back up Rafa Benitez in terms of transfers in this window. The belief is that the market is too crazy, both in terms of transfer fees and wages when it comes to getting transfers over the line.

The bottom line is that Newcastle have to compete when it comes to wages and transfer fees, or else there will be almost certainly no chance of bringing in the necessary players NUFC need for the coming season.

Here’s hoping that reality sinks in with Mike Ashley and his minions, you can’t cheat the system and do it on the cheap.

  • Leazes Ender

    If you spend that amount on ‘wags’ it goes without saying.

  • Leicester Mag

    With MacNugget at the helm it was as odds on as a pair of Sports direct kecks falling apart after 2 washes

  • Kneebotherm8

    Heeyyyyyyy,we’re up towards the top of the profitability table. Good old Mike,he’s a canny lad. 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

  • Soldier

    it arises time & time again Mike Ashley will have to change, he won`t

  • GToon

    The three reasons we were relegated were : Ashley, Ashley and Ashley.

    • Leazes Ender

      I wonder if the board got any money from Ashley for the land it used to own on Strawberry Place.

      • Leicester Mag

        Bob hope and no hope !

    • Clarko

      No, no and no.

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    Ashley doesn’t give one and why should he? Being a billionaire & so ‘thick skinned’ abuse directed from fans will not remotely bother him. Only when he loses money will he do something about it. Be underwhelmed for signings this summer. Expect nowt & be grateful for what you’ve got. Ashley’s stance with fans & manager. What an absolute shambolic mess #AshleyOut

  • goggsy

    The wage to league finishing position correlation has been a pretty accurate success gauge since the premier league inception. Newcastle up until 2006ish are one of the best examples of the theory in motion. Unfortunately many of our own supporters have many different theories on why we can’t sign any number of players of varying ability and price tags,but you can gaurantee it’s never that Ashley won’t cough up on wages. It’s seen us relegated twice in recent years and it will happen time and time again until he pays people the going rate. People are generally transfixed on transfer fees and miss the real

  • Alex

    And he’s storing up trouble for coming season, yet again. If not relegated, who’d come to a club that just finished in 17th…..and with Rafa long gone.

    • Leazes Ender

      Is this club capable of learning lessons?

  • Down Under Mag

    I think the biggest worry isn’t our ability (or willingness more to the point) to pay the bigger salaries is that our revenue, once among the top 20 in Europe, shows how far backwards the club has slipped…be it a mix of no advertising revenue from Sports Direct freebies, lack of European football or just a lower calibre of sponsors willing to be associated with us, it just adds up to an easy out for Ashley to not sign up players on big wages.

    The other thing that does skew these figures is that we signed a lot of players from the continent who would probably have taken a huge increase in what they were on BUT were still no doubt a lot cheaper than the average Premier League wage packet….but our sellign at profit policy means that the better players were never offered improved contracts to remian so our wage bill remained low but our quality was diminished overall.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Asset stripped the club & downsized the team & still the sound of the happy clappers is deafening

    • Toon

      You are a bit sad aren’t you!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Sad to see my club being destroyed by a Billionaire Barrow boy
        unlike idiots like you

  • Lord

    We spent a lot on players in 15/16. We got *relegated* because we bought poorly over a period of years and had a terrible manager who was cheap and cheerful.

    The chart shows a club being run prudently rather than ambitiously. A club set up to sit in mid table. We should be where Spurs are on the chart and trying to push up. But it doesn’t show a club setup to be relegated.

  • Toon

    Good job Deloitte published this, I’d never have guessed it, Mike Ashley an a****, I’m stunned

    • Leazes Ender

      Deloitte only add up the figures they can get hold of, United is so intertwined with Ashleys money that it would be like finding a strand of hay in a haystack.

  • HarryHype59

    Whilst the wage bill may be comparatively low, a significant percentage is taken by players who are not good enough and can’t be shifted. It is highly doubtful our flops will earn anywhere near the amount they get at NUFC.

    The club is lumbered with unsellable toxic assets draining the wage bill. That is one reason why the “Rafalution” has stalled.

  • Himanshu Dhingra

    To think that squad had Marveaux and Obertan (6 or 7 million combined in wages)

    Pardew was right. We couldn’t compete with the likes of WBA, Swansea and the Mackems.

    • HarryHype59

      The current squad has Riviere, Saivet and De Jong. They must be on a similar amount.