The balance is tipping all the time and time now really running out for Newcastle United to make signings who will go straight into the team to face Tottenham in only three weeks time.

By this time next weekend, if a potential signing hasn’t arrived at St James Park, then there surely won’t be enough time for Rafa Benitez to consider them for the opening match.

Previous managers would have done it without a second thought but Rafa won’t just throw somebody in after a few days of training, especially if arriving from abroad, without having given them time to settle and get to know their new teammates, as well as what is expected from the Newcastle manager.

Which leaves us now looking at what the likely side will be to take on last season’s runners-up on Sunday 13 August.

It is now 11 weeks exactly since the Championship season ended and the more I look at the new signings, I doubt very much if any new faces will be in the side to take on Spurs. Which I don’t think any of us were expecting when celebrating that dramatic last gasp second tier title win on Sunday 7 May.

Christian Atsu only started 15 of 46 Championship games, so his intended role this coming season must be mainly as an impact sub, to cover injuries, and play the odd game here and there when Rafa wants to rest players and/or mix it up.

Florian Lejeune was next in this summer and at the age of 26, last season was his first playing regularly in a top division, having  previously only really had experience of the Spanish and French second divisions. I can’t see him getting a game ahead of Lascelles and Clark, at least in the early stages of the season.

Jacob Murphy is the most expensive signing to date at around £12.5m but he is on a steep learning curve.

A first full season on League One football at Coventry in 2015/16, then his first Championship one last season. I struggle to see him being thrown straight in by Rafa Benitez, with surely a need to come off the bench a few times to get adjusted to his rapid rise from League One football only 14 months ago.

Then you finally have Javier Manquillo, with Rafa saying yesterday that the 23 year old Spaniard has to play far better than last season at Sunderland to threaten the first team, the United boss making clear he’d signed him as cover, with the hope he can prove his worth in time.

Unless we (hopefully) bring in better quality signings in the coming days, I can’t see past this as the most likely starting 11 against Tottenham:

Elliot

Yedlin

Lascelles

Clark

Dummett

Ritchie

Shelvey

Hayden

Atsu

Diame

Gayle

Whilst Christian Atsu was signed permanently this summer, he isn’t exactly a new face, so I would expect a team to start which at the minute would basically be our Championship side from last season.

In fact, the more I think about it, I think that the short-term deal offered to Yoan Gouffran could well have seen him starting the season if he had agreed to stay, Rafa Benitez potentially seeing him as a ‘safe’ and steady option to help defend that left side, as he did in the Championship.

Against tough opponents, Rafa could even play an extra midfielder like Colback instead of a winger like Atsu, but whichever way you look at it now, we are left wondering at just how capable last season’s Championship winners are, in terms of competing a division higher.

Despite the sheer number of players at the club, Rafa Benitez clearly does need to build a far better squad as well as first team, so you can only sympathise at the size of  the job in hand and the problems when it comes to getting unwanted players out of the club.

Most of the really difficult ones to shift and most expensive mistakes, were brought in prior to Rafa’s arrival, with Mitrovic, de Jong and Riviere just three of them. He did make a few mistakes of his own with Sels, Lazaar and Diame, though the last named looked to everyone to be a bargain with a low buy out clause for a player who’d played consistently at Premier League level.

Others such as Hanley and Murphy were brought as insurance against injuries and nobody really argued with that aspect of the transfer strategy to get out of the Championship.

However, the problem of needing to get unwanted players out of the club, doesn’t alter the fact that Newcastle need better first team players to be bought (or loaned…) in.

Rafa Benitez is no doubt the last person who needs to be told this but the challenges of dealing with this transfer market AND Mike Ashley, were never going to be easy.

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



  • Mrkgw

    A startling lack of investment, we supporters are being taken for mugs. Newcastle are anything but United. Ashley and Charnley out!

    • HarryHype59

      All is well mate. We have a player who couldn’t cut it with the Mackems. Viva the Rafalution. Fizzy pop league here we come (again).

  • Rich Lawson

    We bought a lot of players to get us out the championship and that worked,we now have to face the reality that some of them aren’t up to doing a job in the prem’ ?I don’t think many (any ?) would have come on a one year contract ?Can we not just consider it a short term fix that achieved its end and now we’re up take a bath on a few of them with free’s and maybe 1st year support on their wages to free up squad space ?

    • HarryHype59

      That is the reality of the situation, as some of those assets are “toxic”.

  • mentalman

    Im suprised players like hanley are getting so much game time in the friendlies and mbemba is being played out of position you would have thought we would be using these games to improve the first teams understanding and integrate the new players into the first team.
    I can only think hanley is being put in the shop window so to speak but how effective is it when he’s playing 45mins in a friendly

    • MadMag83

      Yeah don’t understand his logic.

      • I think those are positions we definitely lack in quality and he’s looking for options from players who are looking to be sold. Getting game time in friendlies might sell those players to other clubs or if not some might prove useful in other positions during the season.
        I still believe the likes of Mbemba, Hanley, Haidara will be sold/loaned and that is the reason Rafa is playing them, to show they are match fit.

        • MadMag83

          Do clubs really scout players in pre season friendlies though? I agree he could be giving them a chance to prove they can still do a job for Newcastle, but I can’t imagine a club is going to but the likes of Hanley based on him playing half of a friendly match.

          It could just be that he’s looking to give as many players game time as possible so that everyone is fit should they still be here come the end of the window.

  • Wor Lass

    Sam, I think you`ve forgotten how difficult it is to guess Rafa`s starting 11. Your logic is sound enough but Rafa just has that knack of taking us all by surprise with his team selection.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      you can say that again, get man of the match and chances he`ll flog you

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The answer is NO, but the Rafalutions coming, isn`t it

    • If we survive this year I’m pretty sure if Rafa stays he’ll get a much bigger warchest, but this year we need to offload more players than actually buy.

      • Paul Patterson

        Yeah, but that’s like going out shopping for the ingredients for a Sunday lunch, buying the vegetables and saying ‘sod it, I’ll just buy the beef and Yorkshire puddings next week’.

        • Mal

          Trouble is Paul at the minute we’ve got so many vegetables on the plate there’s no room for the beef and Yorkshire puddings.

          • Paul Busby

            Hahaha!
            Very true though. Would have liked to see the back of Riviere, Colback, Mitrovic, Diame, De Jong, and Haidara already.
            I reckon Colback and Diame will hang on as they have decent experience in the PL
            We probably have more targets lined up to replace the rest, but waiting to shift them on before we can.

            Wouldn’t be surprised if a thoroughly underwhelming striker was announced this weekend to replace D.Murphy.

  • Geordiegiants

    Wether we like it or not, we are going to be starting the prem season with pretty much the same side as we finished the fizzy pop league.

    • HarryHype59

      It would appear so!

  • Desree

    The season we went down we signed two players with 36 goals between them mitro and wijnaldum. Rafa has a huge challenge ahead with the squad and lack of support. How come last year we were able to attract higher calibre players as a championship club than we can as a premier leage club.

    • Those were players that wanted to play for us and were fazed out by their managers/clubs – Ritchie, Hayden, Gayle, Clark. Currently clubs are all waiting for big money transfers and holding out for release clause silly money bids. As August comes things will liven up a bit, but I hope we at least get a proper player or two and don’t leave it till the last moment.

    • Geordiegiants

      Simply because we can’t compete with wages, the parasite is sucking the clubs revenue away with, out sourcing to his other companies.

      • funlovingexpress

        The same parasite who refuses to take wages from the club and gave an interest free loan.

        The reason is that some of the wages floating around would use up all of the money we got from our parachute payment never mind actually having to pay a transfer fee.

        Club revenue is minimal now anyhow. Most players have private sponsorship deals etc. TV money is the main revenue stream and thats something we wont get until the end of the season. As a championship team we got something like 2 million for tv revenue.

        The premiership teams got something like 140 million. Thats a big difference.

        Yet we still have a sizeable budget and are using it. Put it this way, we will still outspend a lot of the teams who got their tv money. Definately will outspend Sunderland and they got the whole lot.

        • Soldier

          the parasite that`s building on land so St James can never be extended
          the same parasite who bought the club with £53m debt, it now exceeds £130m.
          the parasite who bought a premiership club & then relegated it twice.

          • HarryHype59

            All true, the debt of 129m is staggering when you think the club doesn’t compete for honours but only survival. How anyone can claim Ashley has benefited Newcastle is astounding. Maybe a third relegation, will make these poor dèluded saps grasp reality.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            It’s not all true Harry, I’ve explained it very slowly for you , read the figures and stop being taking in by Leazes’.

          • HarryHype59

            Bobbi …the debt is widely reported to be 129m in various media sources. It puts us at no. three behind Chelsea and Man U, unless Liverpool have increased theirs since last year. For a club which simply doesn’t try to compete and win things and only wishes to survive in the top flight that figure is a disgrace.

            You keep blaming the previous regime for the debt, but Ashley has had ten years and around half a billion in TV money to clear it.

            Leazes gets slated on here simply for telling the truth that Ashley is a terrible owner. Maybe a third relegation in ten years may get you accept reality.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            The debt has been £129m since 2007, it’s not gone up. If you want it to be reduced, it means the club pay the money back to Mike Ashley but it then means the club will have less money.

            I’ll try and put it in simple words for you.

            Lets suppose you owed Biffa Brains Out £11 back in 2007 and was about to beat you up if you don’t pay up. Suppose you also wanted to have your dinner which costs £1.90 because you had to eat otherwise you die. A nice guy from down south called Mike comes along and says don’t worry Harry, you’ve got yourself into a bit of a mess but I’ll lend you £12.90 to pay Biffa and have your dinner and we can be friends, if we are friends I won’t ask for the money back or interest until you are rich enough to pay it all back or we stop being friends. 10 years later, you have been friends with Mike and you still owe £12.90 but you haven’t been beaten up and you’ve not died. Why do you then blame Mike that you still owe £12.90?

          • HarryHype59

            The “debt” was widely reported in numerous media sources e.g. “The Times” to be around £80m when the “Power drinker” took over in 2007. Fifty million was mortgage debt to rebuild crumbling SJP to modern standards.

            You have claimed the debt was always 129m since 2007 but this contradicts just about every journalist in the press and BBC who had NUFC debt at £81n up until the last relegation. NUFC debt is shockingly high for a club that don’t try to compete and win things.

            If we are playing patronising and condescending smug g*ts, how about I loan you 5k and then take every penny you earn from now until doomsday. You will still owe me the £5k by the way. Great deal eh Bobbi!

            Ashley has blown the TV wealth opportunity and made us just another team making up the numbers. If you wish to persist with this argument that he has benefited NUFC, feel free to do so! It is a a delusional fantasy.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Read the accounts, you know the things with real figures. You don’t need to keep referring to mythological “widely reported” (and strangley non-existent tosh, just go through the figures, it’s all there. The debt is shockingly high, this is because we used to pay stupid wages to sub-standard players, we also paid over the odds on transfer fees , on top of that our dividend policy was ruinous. £129m is high now, around a year’s turnover and 30 times (2015 – 3.5) EBIT so theoretically, the debt would be cleared in 30 years (3 1/2 yeas on 2015 figs). In 2007 debt was 161% of turnover and the ratio to EBIT was infinitive as the club were continually making losses. If the club continued to make losses, debt rises.

            To be clear, £69m was the debt on the stadium, it was not a mortgage, they were set up as loans in the style of bonds where repayment was due on maturity, the club could either try to repay these of refinance them £15.m was due to be repaid in 2007, the club could not afford to do this so were seeking to refinance, this was a massive problem. Oh, and BTW, the interest rate averaged at 8.7%, banks were charging a charver less interest when borrowing to buy a Vauxhall Nova ram-raiding Halfords.

            The overdraft was £11m

            The club owed £51m mainly in unpaid transfer fees but this included a £5m loan from MGM Mirage. On the plus side, we were owed £6m in unpaid transfer fees.

            On top of this debt was the tricky issue that we were spending over a year £33m more than we received, this also had to be financed.

            There is nothing condescending about being able to interpret figures and doing adding up.

            Now, your £5k loan scenario isn’t a reality. If you were MA, you’d lend me £5k and send me on a course to run a business. I’d learn how to turn a loss making business into a profitable one and get the chance to either pay you back or improve the business to make it more valuable should it be sold.

            One little concession, the club have missed out on TV revenue in 15/16 and it was not a good year to miss out on but financially it’s consistently outperformed most clubs up to 2016.

          • HarryHype59

            Bobbi …the club was/is still paying stupid fees and wages under Ashley. Cisco, Saivet, Thauvin, Cabella, Mitro and numerous others. At present we have a bench full of toxic assets on comparatively high wages that we can’t even give away. Your inability to see the obvious is comical.

            The previous regime may have over stretched its self But! It didn’t have the TV money that Ashley has enjoyed. I honesty think we will struggle this year and possibly achieve a third relegation in ten years under a regime you claim is beneficial to this club.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Harry, there isn’t a club in the EPL that does not have any players that are a bit surplus. Xisco was a strange one but I think many would have loved Thauvin to give it another go at NUFC, he’s a fabulous talent and Marseille’s player of the year last year. Carr was spot on with him, it’s a shame perhaps that we didn’t have the a manager who could get the best out of him. Saivet is a good player, I’d like him to stay but if we’re getting Sameras in, he’s off. Cabella is doing well again, the problem being the coach didn’t fancy him. Mitro will get his money back and will do well in another side, he’s not on big money by today’s standards.

            If the previous regime “over stretched its self ” i love the understatement and you make the point for me, they didn’t have as much TV money coming in. That’s like me saying to my boss, we only made a loss because sales weren’t enough to pay the wages, you have to cut your cloth accordingly.

            I’ll have £10 with you that we will not go down.

            I’ll not rewrite my response to you one the other thread but please refer to it in answer to your point “Ashley is even more fiscally incompetent than the previous regime.” that is laughable, I’ve explained in as basic a way as possible, mike Ashley has made mistakes, everyone does, but financially he’s get us straight and in comparison to the previous regime, he’s a genius

          • HarryHype59

            He has been cushioned by the TV money Bobbi, yet has still managed to mess things up.

          • Jezza

            Yes a debt that has increased from £53 million to £130 million while in the same period the club has made over £100 million in transfer profits. Work that one out.

          • Geordiegiants

            Fleckman will be able to 😟.

          • Leazes Ender

            So will Funlovin….. its the same idiot.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            at least someone can

          • Geordiegiants

            How much do Newcastle make from the sale of a replica shirt?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I don’t know, 10% was mentioned.

          • Geordiegiants

            So you aren’t sure?
            Or you don’t know? I thought you said it was all transparent and we could find out anything looking through the books.
            That is how money gets taken from our club without us knowing, clever accounting.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Of course I don’t know for sure, the public figures do not go into the minutiae for any business. It’s not how money get’s taken out of the club, you need to be realistic as to what the motivation would be for Mike Ashley to get the club that he 100% owns to get itself into a bad deal with a business that he owns 55% of?

            If he wanted to take money out of the club, he can do so, tax free. He can take £12.9m for himself for 10 years and not pay a penny in tax so why make a ‘bad’ deal with SD? He almost certainly looked at the retailing side of the business when he arrived and figured that this was an area that needed immediate change and he could access a far lower cost solution.

            When I suggest ‘look at the figures’ there are lots of claims made on here that with just 5 minutes of investigation, those making the claim could find how blatantly wrong they are. In the case of the merchandise, it’s not that obvious but nevertheless, a little logical thought would hint that the daft claims are wide of the mark.

          • Geordiegiants

            So he could be paying us 1p a shirt?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            He could be paying us £60. If he were paying 1p the club would be making more than it was in 2007.

          • Geordiegiants

            So when you are telling everyone to have a look at the books, and have a look at the transparency of it all, they can’t.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I tell people to look in the books because the overall financial position and especially that of MA’s interests will be available within those figures and it stops people from making ill-informed comment. The discussion surrounding debt is very clear within the books, people keep making silly claims yet it’s very clear as to how the debt arises, how it was consolidated and how it remains (in the latest 2016 figures,) the same as it was when MA consolidated it.

            The minutiae in terms of margin achieved on individual shirt sales will not be revealed in the published accounts. What you can see from Sports Direct’s accounts is that the fulfilment fee levied to NUFC is far less than it is to Rangers which is what I’d expect as MASH had a minority shareholding in Rangers but Sports Direct themselves had a loan to Rangers and part of that loan was to have a stronger hand in the merchandise sales than the NUFC deal.

            Whilst the accounts do not go into every detail, they answer most questions.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Rubbish Jezza, the debt it that he inherited and to provide working capital. He managed to give the debt a haircut in the process by doing deals – read the bleeding accounts!!

          • HarryHype59

            If he did inherit the 129m debt, why has it not reduced during his ownership? Unlike the previous regime Ashley has raked in hundreds of millions of pounds in TV income (£220m by the end of next season over the last three years alone)

            You push an agenda stating Ashley has been beneficial to our club, but the evidence contradicts you.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Can you name a football business that has reduced it’s debt in the period 2007-2017? I can but you will not like the answers and nearly all of them have one thing in common.

            The book value of the business in 2007 was (£16,137,000) note the brackets, that’s minus £16,137,000 i.e. if the company was broken up, all the assets sold and debts pulled in, there would be a shortfall of £16.137m and for good measure, £39m of the assets in 2007 were intangible which in a fire sale usually turns out to be worthless meaning it was minus £55m.

            The accounts now show a value of £79,373,000 and the intangible assets have been amortised (written off) so the value put back into the business as far as book value is concerned is about £119m and improvement of £96m or £135m taking into account the intangibles.

            Why has the £129m debt not been reduced? At a guess, the reason is not to leave the business short of cash. To reduce the debt by £10m you have to take £10m from the bank account and give it to the creditor. I can imagine the fun the hard of thinking would have if they announced that no transfer monies would be made available this summer as the club want to give Mike Ashley some money back.

          • HarryHype59

            The Mackems have reduced their debt so have WHU. The creditor is Ashley so there is no external liabilities, but he uses the debt to justify his short sighted immediate term strategies.

            Millions have been wasted on duff buys and two relegations. The club is presently being funded mainly through TV money. When that bubble pops we will be in a worse financial situation than we were under the previous regime.

            My gripe with Ashley, is that he is fixated with short term budget constraints rather than developing the NUFC brand longer term. The result is a club making up the numbers rather than fulfilling its potential.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            West ham had £57m debt in 2007, they had £259m in the last set of filed accounts.

            Post balance sheet, I believe they have received proceeds from the sale of upton park which would have helped with much of that debt. Are you suggesting we should do something similar?

            Sunderland had debt of around £46m in 2007 and around £135m in the last set of accounts (2016).

            So neither of your examples are right.

            NUFC did not lose much in the 2009 relegation, it was managed so that wages were reduced and players sold to the extent, long term it cost about £2m. We did miss out on money in 2016/17 but we reduced the wage bill.

            We have wasted millions on Duff and duff buys, we did before Ashley and TBPH we did before Hall, clubs will always waste some money on duff players.

            Your gripe with Ashley is fine, he works within his current financial constraints i.e. the club has to pay it’s own way and he’s not going to lend it more money / put the club into external debt to fund a gamble. If it were my own money, I’d do the same bearing in mind where the club was when he took over and how it got into that mess, as fans, it’s not our money so we’re more open to risking his kid’s inheritance.

            However, that complain is not consistent with your other complaint / concern “The club is presently being funded mainly through TV money. When that bubble pops we will be in a worse financial situation”. If that was a concern, why would you want to throw the club into debt gambling on playing staff when you think the next TV deal cannot support such a gamble?

          • HarryHype59

            You keep mentioning accounts but get the figures wrong. WHU are below us in the debt list according to the Guardian and the Times. No way do they have that level of debt.

            Even the hapless Mackems paid 20m off their 139m debt last financial year and are now below us in the debt table.

            The 2009 relegation resulted in a mass sell off of marketable players. It wasn’t quite a fire sale but money made from Martins, Duff et al wasn’t reinvested in the squad but used to cushion the effects of relegation.

            I don’t know why he doesn’t advance Rafa 30m to go out and get three quality players at around 90m over three years. Ashley could then pay him self back out of the TV money that comes in by avoiding relegation. That is what most other clubs do. He could even make a profit on buying quality players instead of losing ten million on dross like Riviere.

            Problem is, he has no vision for the club and runs it like a branch of SD.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            That’s just not true, are you saying that these businesses file false accounts yet the Guardian and the Times publishes secret facts? The guardian hasn’t been able to spell ‘financial’ in all it’s years.

            So, tell me, what was West ham’s debt in 2007 and what is it in their last accounts? They may well have received money from selling the ground but we would have a healthy bank account if we sold the stadium and went to rent out Gateshead.

            Tell me what Sunderland’s debt is and how that compares with 2007.

            If Rafa was lent £30m to go and get three ‘quality’ players, the club would owe £159m and if Ahsley is taking the money back at £10m a time over 3 years, then the club has £10m less in next season’s kitty. You’ve already said that the TV revenue bubble will burst, why would he risk it?

            Every team has a bad buy or two, Riviere is not the biggest mistake at NUFC never mind in football. We had Boumsong, Albert Luque, Andreas Andersen, Frank Pingel. Leeds had Tomas Brolin, Djemba Djemba at Manyoo , Veron and Bogarde for Chelsea, Spurs recently had Roberto Soldado

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Can you back up those claims or are you still working on it?

          • HarryHype59

            We have the third highest debt behind Man U and Chelsea. WHU do not have debts of 259m has that would put them on par with Man U. Why don’t you go and create a list of players currently on NUFC s books who are worth less than we paid for them?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            So, from 2007 – 2016, do you agree that the two example you gave of reducing their debt had in fact increased it?
            Once you’ve conceded that just cut & paste this ‘Bobbi is right again, I should never have doubted her’

            WhU had more debt in their last accounts than us, don’t believe the Guardian, it leads you to make bad decisions in life.

          • HarryHype59

            Ha ha yeah! Right.

            I have just read the 2016 WHU financial reports on page 26 section B. The debt is due in one less than one year is £24,500m and is £64,576m for debts due after one year giving a combined debt of £89,076m. The net debt is £66,663 once cash at bank and in hand of £22,414 is factored in.

            No way is the sum of £259 mentioned. Their debt is below NUFCs £129m. As you are so fond of saying, its all in the accounts.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            You are not reading it correctly:

            Bank loans and overdraft £44.7m
            Shareholder loan £49.2m
            Debenture loans £0.6m
            Group creditor £36m
            Parent CO creditor £23.3m

            Page 31 for your reference

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Utter rubbish. The land is not going to affect the extension of St James park any more than me relaying my garden patio.

            The problem in extending St James park is economics and listed buildings.

        • Basileus

          Don’t try to give the impression that Ashley is some kind of philanthropist. He’s not. Other far smaller clubs have done very well out of their “owners” running it right. We are being run for profit. But NOT for the club

          • Geordiegiants

            A owner that takes no wages from us or sports direct. I wonder how he lives, the poor thing!

          • Jezza

            Spot on. Ashley is only interested in running NUFC as a highly profitable business with the fringe benefit of providing him with free advertising for his sweat shop business.

        • Geordiegiants

          Idiot!

        • Pelican

          An interest free loan would be both beneficial to Mike Ashley and NUFC. It’s not set up that way though. The club pays for a loan that benefits Ashley and only Ashley, by giving up advertising revenue.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Wrong, we lose about £2m advertising revenue and it does not benefit ‘only Ashley’ as he owns 100% of NUFC and 55(ish)% of SD.

        • HarryHype59

          Are you Bobbi Fleckman? The club would have been better off getting a commercial loan and paying it off like a mortgage. At least then it wouldn’t have the fourth highest debt levels in English football.

          Also, according to the Chronicle the club has already received an “eight figure” sum for this years TV deal. The rest is paid monthly, with larger payments in January and at the end of the 2017-18 season.

          The club lost out massively last year due to yet another relegation. I had hoped Ashley would advance Rafa 30m of the this years money to get in 90m worth of better quality players over three years.

          • Leazes Ender

            Yes I would say he is Fleckman

          • Jezza

            Either him or wora mong.

          • Leazes Ender

            Both

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            How Harry? The club “would have been better off getting a commercial loan and paying it off like a mortgage”. How do you get that idea?

            You’d have seen around £14m a year go out in repayments and interest for 25 year. That’s assuming you find a lender which AFAIK did not exist and assuming you find a lender who will offer better rates than we were paying back in 2007. So that lost £14m would have meant no Cabaye and Ba for instance, No Wini, no Townsend. You are throwing away the transfer budget every season.

    • Rich Lawson

      ”Premier league club”,small fish,big pond.

    • Desree

      Whatever way we look at it. It is a shambles. In 5 years we have gone from 5th to relegated. Southampton, bournemouth, leicester, watford, west brom and stoke are surpassing nufc in every department. BEFORE the big TV deal.
      There is so much to be fixed. If Mike Ashley is committed to seeing NUFC a success then lets see it. If not, sell up. I grow tired of the fighting on this site. Facts are facts. Yes we were in debt when Ashley took over. But he clearly does not want success on the pitch. Ten years is a long time to turn around a business. This feels more like slavery.

  • MadMag83

    Murphy could start the Spurs game if he impresses Rafa enough in pre season to get the nod over Atsu.

  • I think we miss Ritchie in any game. As far as signings go we definitely bought Lejeune as a starter and Murphy/Manquillo as competition possibly breakouts. We need to shift out players now and get 2-3 class additions. Still absolutely baffled why we are not making a move for Mahrez or Remy!

    • funlovingexpress

      It-ll be the wages. Remy is on fortunes.
      The amount of money we have to spend is not infinite. You have a set amount for transfers and a set amount for wages.

      If you pay one player over the odds in wages then maybe you lose out on another two players because your wage budget is severely depleted.

      Then ofc all of your teams stars come in and say they want the same wages and you are well up the creek.

      • I think this is confidential and it’s unlikely both players are on fortunes per week, I think well within 100,000 a week, which I think we can manage and salaries are confidential. Only a few clubs announce those for marketing reasons.

      • Pelican

        Absolute nonsense, players are paid according to their ability. How many teams do you know that pay all of their players the same amount.

      • Leazes Ender

        You sound like a Chartered accountant.

    • Mal

      I think we have to be realistic. Mahrez wants to move to a top club and no way would he come to us even if we agreed to pay the £30+million that it will probably take to get him. I fancy Remy’s best days are behind him. I know he hasn’t played much, partly due to injuries, but it’s a long time since he scored a PL goal. I agree though about the need to shift players out in order to make space for at least a couple more signings as currently we’re going to be playing first team squad players for doing nothing as it’s impossible to fit them all into our 25 man squad.

  • anyobrien

    We are doooooooooooooooooooomed. Rafa to walk, St James a car park.

    • Soldier

      Student flats, more money in it for fatty

      • Geordiegiants

        Especially with how cheap he could by the cladding these days.

  • funlovingexpress

    Apart from Dummett and Diame who arguably have the most premiership experience its actually a pretty good team that.

    Theres irony for you

    • Soldier

      for the championship it is

    • Basileus

      That mentality got us relegated twice in 5 years. With the stupidity every bit as bad this season – three times in six ?

    • anyobrien

      Dummett is OK but for some reason an easy target for the fans

  • HarryHype59

    In all probability, Fatman will only loosen the purse strings if the club has a bad start. Ten years of the fat lads ownership has proved he doesn’t do proactive recruitment policies.

  • Si

    Hopefully not – if that’s our first line up then that would be very depressing. Probably try to hold out for a draw and fail dismally.

  • Stephen Paylor

    I think your probably right. Diego Rolan would be another one. Aboubakar would be the signing for me but at this point I think the starting line up will be the same as last year.

  • Peter Stabler

    Don’t Panic!

    • Leazes Ender

      If I said that ‘Its going as I predicted’ it would be an overstatement.

      • Peter Stabler

        I’ll come and join you in the doom and gloom club if we don’t sign anyone else but until the window closes it is ridiculous optimism from me – I can’t influence what happens, having already bought my ticket.

        • Leazes Ender

          Our manager is Sterling Moss and we’ve stuck him in a Fiat Panda.

  • HarryHype59

    Players have to signed in the key positions e.g. striker that are better than we already have and will improve the first eleven. To date Rafa has opted for quantity rather than quality.

  • toon atheist

    More unsubstantiated misery

  • Franzcarrsuperstar

    We have to remember a lot of the ‘rafalution’ was last season where we got rid of a lot of players that needed to go and brought in players like Ritchie, Gayle, Yedlin, Clark and Hayden which I think were with an eye on getting promoted (ditto Diame but I agree we need much more from him – hopefully as a back up central midfielder this year with a good number 10 signed).

    So there is work still to do, but I’m of the opinion that even the team we have is better equipped than the one that went down. Goalkeeper, striker, number 10 needed.

  • Chris

    I almost feel like this season with the financial system in place is to add a couple new faces, and just stay in the premier league. Any talk of a top 10 squad doesn’t even look like a possibility with each closing day.
    Don’t really see much ambition from the club. I’m hoping I’m well wrong though.

    • Leazes Ender

      It isn’t possible ….. with this owner, and Rafa probably knows that too.

  • HenrySlade

    We’re now being linked with Hull City’s Sam Clucas. He’s ok, but no better than the likes of Colback etc. Certainly nowhere near as good as Shelvey.

    Personally speaking, I’d much rather see us buying two or three ‘star’ players, than six or seven average players who will give us a big squad in terms of numbers, but won’t improve its overall quality.

    I have faith in Rafa, I think we’re lucky to have him, but filling up the squad with a bunch of players who haven’t really proved themselves at the highest level is making me nervous.

    I really miss the days when we used to sign the likes of Kluivert, Asprilla, Ginola, Shearer etc etc. Sir John Hall and Freddy Shepherd had their faults, but at least they wanted to bring a bit of pizzazz to the toon. Mike Ashley serves up a diet of thin gruel.

    • Paul Patterson

      Er, times have changed. We are newly promoted and we can’t just burst into the top 6 like we did. This is not 1993. It’s going to take time.
      I do share your opinion that time is ticking and a couple of great players would be better than five average ones. A top striker and creative midfielder are a priority for me.

      • Leazes Ender

        The days of being a top seven club appear to have gone forever, Ashley positions the club at tenth place usually.

        We have the fourteenth most valuable squad which isn’t in the same part of the stratosphere as the ambitious clubs, I’m afraid we are ‘cannon fodder’ for the foreseeable future…. what a waste of ten years!

        Thats ten years and counting.

        • Paul Patterson

          So if we don’t finish this season above eighth it’s a failure is it?

          • Leazes Ender

            We wont so why worry about it. at present I would say about Fifteenth to relegation.

            ….If we don’t pick up injures to Shelvey.

          • Paul Patterson

            Where would be acceptable or realistic then?

          • Leazes Ender

            For a club with zero ambition it doesn’t matter.

            Veto la Rafalution

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            then why are you even bothering with supporting the club?

          • Leazes Ender

            Why exist

          • Geordiegiants

            I would say if we don’t win anything, that is a failure. Would you not?

      • HenrySlade

        A top striker and creative midfielder are a priority for me.

        Agreed; but if Sam Clucas is going to be our new creative midfielder and we end up with a striker of similar calibre, then we’ll struggle.

  • Steve Pearce

    “Every penny this club generates will be spent on transfers”

    So then Jabba The Hut – does this mean that Newcastle have only generated about 25p? Or were you on your 14th pint when you came out with that one?