Mike Ashley once again released a PR ‘exclusive’ through Sky Sports at the weekend.

The story being that the NUFC owner would ‘donate £20m’ to the Newcastle players if they win the FA Cup this season.

This leading to much amusement at what other unrealistic bonuses could be offered, such as winning the Premier League, or the Champions League, or the Great North Run before scoring a double hat-trick at Swansea.

This PR announcement came against a backdrop of a row that had lasted all summer, with Mike Ashley having offered the Newcastle players a bonus scheme for this Premier League season that was way below what rival clubs have incentivised players with.

The offer on the table was £1m if they finished 17th and avoided relegation, which worked out on average at less than a week’s wages for each player.

That amount would then increase by £1m for every position above 17th.

The Newcastle players though were refusing to accept less than their rivals and a month into the season there was still no agreement.

However, agreement has now been reached.

Miles Starforth (of the Shields Gazette) has had the inside track on this story from the start and he has revealed that a phone conversation between Mike Ashley and Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles saw the bonus scheme eventually agreed.

On Wednesday morning he reports that the agreed deal is the same as what was on offer previously but that Newcastle players will share £4m if they avoid relegation in 17th place and then still an additional £1m for every position higher.

The Premier League payout at the end of the season sees the 20th placed club get £1.9m extra for finishing bottom, then for each place above they get an extra £1.9m.

So roughly speaking, Mike Ashley and the Newcastle players have agreed that the squad will receive half of the extra money the club receive depending on their position…plus the £20m for winning the FA Cup.

Now the players would receive the same £20m if they win the Premier League (cough cough) as they would the FA Cup.

I would happily settle for either…

  • Steve Smith

    Bonuses in “normal people” jobs are usually around 15% if applicable. Ashley just got the players to accept half that.

    If you pay peanuts…

    • Jimblag23

      Hmm I wouldn’t mind some of those peanuts 🥜

      They will also be getting other bonuses, for example Jamaal will have just received a delightful clean sheet bonus and most likely a goal bonus too.

      • Steve Smith

        Me neither, but comparative/relative peanuts.

        The clean sheet and goal bonuses are a standard part of the salary now though. If something is the norm then it stops being an incentive.

    • steve

      ‘Normal people’ don’t get a bonus for achieving the bare minimum.

      • Steve Smith

        Sorry, are we really defending Ashley’s miserly approach to running our club here?

        • steve

          No, but I’d rather save the criticism for when its deserved. The players earn enough without massive bonuses for scraping by.

          • Steve Smith

            Being paid enough and being paid what people in the same field as you/what you’re worth are two separate things.

            I wouldn’t trust the performance of a 500k job being undertake by a person being paid 50k because “it’s enough”.

            You pay a person what they’re worth otherwise you’ll either get a short changed results or that person will just go to where they will get paid fairly. Or both.

          • steve

            If the players were looking for a bigger bonus for finishing 10th I’d be in support, but not for avoiding relegation. I’m sure very few clubs in the league are paying bonuses for 17th.

          • Steve Smith

            I would imagine Brighton, Huddersfield and those in the positions between 15-17 will be, possibly a few others. That’s a quarter of the league.

          • Kneebotherm8

            The financial difference between finishing 17th and 18th is mega bucks,as we all know,so any owner,not just ours,would naturally pay big bonuses for a 17th place finish.

          • steve

            Chelsea’s players shared £5 million for winning the league last year, ours will now receive that if they finish 16th, that certainly isn’t being short changed.

          • Steve Smith

            It could be argued that with how they ran away with the league that Chelski players should have been expected to finish on top. Until a couple weeks ago (i.e. when we started hearing about alleged behind the scenes bonus disputes) 15th would have been an overachievement for us.

            We should consolidate our premier league status first. Then we can look at setting the bonus objectives higher.

          • steve

            Nonsense, they finished mid table the season before.

      • Kneebotherm8

        Staying in the premier league in 17th place,financially,is the pot of gold and any higher placing is,merely, a bonus.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Hope he got it in writing

  • Alex

    Seems that, when you bypass Penfold, negotiations are concluded rather quickly.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Penfold decision time🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

    • Clarko


  • MadToonFan&VitalAshleyDroveOut

    Dear me, I think most of us can only dream about money like this.
    I do like the quote ‘against a backdrop of a row’
    I was once presented with a new contract, of which I flatly refused to sign, although there was no argument or prolong arguing. As professional football players, would there be arguing? Semantics I know, and with this regime; I could well see this happening, especially as Ashley still seems to know or learned nothing new about running a football club! Maybe more like ‘against a backdrop of negotiation’ yet not as catchy headline is it 😉 Anyways, bring on Stoke!

    • Jimblag23

      Is this a letter you’ve wrote to yourself?

  • Lord

    Any danger of these increased bonuses risking us violating the Financial Fair Play rules?

  • Kneebotherm8

    So is that Lascelles to be shipped out at the earliest opportunity? a la Nolan,Barton etc. and Hughton for backing the players bonus demands,at the time.

  • TwinFire

    What a difference a week makes. Back to back wins and a player getting more money out of Chubs McGee. “You get more money if I get more money”. Fair enough I guess.

  • Hughie

    Obscene. How about donating it to the Bobby Robson or Alan Shearer Foundations?