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Opinion

Astonishing Newcastle United wage bill claim under Rafa Benitez by club’s official media partner

4 years ago
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A quite startling claim has been made about the Newcastle United wage bill.

The Mirror are the club’s official media partner and you can only assume that this figure has been fed to the newspaper by the club.

In a comment which appears to be trying to help justify Mike Ashley’s undermining of Rafa Benitez, The Mirror comment: ‘A squad built for the Championship wasn’t dismantled quickly enough, nor the wage bill — £97m at one point — reduced to an acceptable level.’

To make such a big claim as that, surely The Mirror should be backing up what they are saying.

At exactly what ‘point’ under Rafa Benitez did the wage bill reach £97m?

Below are the wage bills for the past three years that are available via the official Newcastle United accounts.

In 2013/14 the Newcastle United wage bill was £69m.

Then 2014/15 it dropped significantly to £57m (Cabaye left in Jan 2014, followed by Ben Arfa, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Gosling, Debuchy and Shola)

Before then rising to £66m in 2015/16 (Wijnaldum, Mitrovic, Thauvin, Mbemba, Doumbia, Saivet, Shelvey, Townsend added)

So how on earth can the wage bill have risen by 50% in this past year when Sissoko, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Marveaux, Obertan, Townsend, Wijnaldum, Janmaat, Cisse and Cabella all left – as well as the likes of Thauvin, de Jong, Krul and others going out on loan?

Newcastle shifted many/most of their big earners after relegation, so even though 12 players came in, it is very hard to believe that the Newcastle United wage bill went up (Ritchie, Gayle and one or two others might be on big money but Wijnaldum, Coloccini and Sissoko would have been on more), never mind claiming that somehow it increased by half as much again!

Even if that £97m claimed figure included pension contributions and Social Security costs it is very difficult…impossible, to believe.

For 2015/16 that total cost (wages, Pension contributions and Social Security payments) only totalled less than £75m, so to claim it went up even £22m after relegation under Rafa’s management is beyond belief.

If The Mirror are sticking to their claim that this £97m figure is correct, they at least have to give some explanation/reasoning as to how this huge leap occurred.

Taken from the last three available seasons of official NUFC accounts:

Newcastle United Wage Bill: 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016

Wages £66,335,000 (£74,668,000 if adding Social Security costs and Pension contributions)

Newcastle United Wage Bill: 1 July 2014 – 30 June 2015

Wages £56,909,000 (£65,087,000 if adding Social Security costs and Pension contributions)

Newcastle United Wage Bill: 1 July 2013 – 30 June 2014

Wages £69,300,000 (£78,297,000 if adding Social Security costs and Pension contributions)

The Mirror – Simon Bird:

‘A squad built for the Championship wasn’t dismantled quickly enough, nor the wage bill — £97m at one point — reduced to an acceptable level.’

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