Like many football fans I spent most of 31st August glued to Sky Sports news for updates on the final day of this most recent of transfer windows.

I started the day with hope of at least two new faces through the doors at St James Park.

Rafa himself had been quoted as saying he would even hope for three of four – but realistically expected two new faces.

This was after all a team on the rise, back from The Championship at the first time of asking and as Champions, with a world class Manager running every football related detail at the club. Rafa kept his side of the bargain moving on players and making space in the squad, as well as on the wage bill.

I watched expecting news of arrivals, instead it was the same old story. Excitement and expectation turning into disappointment. But should it really be a surprise?

I started to look at every transfer window in the Ashley era to date, for this purpose I have listed the windows for the past five years – 11 transfer windows.

Following a time where Newcastle United had just beaten Chelsea to a 5th place finish in the Premier League, at the same time Bournemouth had just finished 11th in League One, with Southampton 2nd, Leicester 9th, Watford 11th, Burnley 13th and Crystal Palace 17th in The Championship.

These are all clubs who have spent more than we have in recent windows, these are all teams who know they cannot compete with Man City, Chelsea, Man United etc… However, they know what to do to survive in the Premier League and back their Manager to do so.

Bournemouth sign a defender for £20m, Southampton hang onto a defender with a £50m price tag, Leicester hang onto a star winger despite his desire to move on, Watford spend £18m on a striker, Burnley spend £15m on a striker, Crystal Palace sign a defender for £25m…

We’ve made mistakes; Fraser Forster allowed to leave for £2m, not strengthening in summer 2012.

Cabella, Riviere, Thauvin – long contracts for average French players.

we have also some business to be proud of; £30m for Sissoko, £3m for Best, £12m for Debuchy.

My overall thoughts are that in 5 years a positive net spend of £74 million tells its own story, only made worse by the fact Steve McClaren spent £75,000,000 across his two windows and Rafa has still made a profit on his transfer dealings of £10,000,000 across his two windows…..

WHAT COULD RAFA BENITEZ DO WITH A £75,000,000 NET TRANSFER BUDGET OVER TWO PREMIER LEAGUE WINDOWS????

So I hear you saying you can’t compete Mr Ashley, I hear you saying that you are not a wealthy man… but this business of yours, which I affectionately know as Newcastle United, needs to back Rafa Benitez like it did Steve McClaren!

Ashley transfer window summer 2012 (Net spend £1.7m)

Players   in                          

Vurnon Anita (6.7m)

Players out

Peter Lovenkrands (free), Fraser Forster (2.0m), Alan Smith (free), Leon Best  (3.0m), Danny Guthrie (free)

Ashley transfer window January 2013 (Net spend £11.7m)

Players   in     

Mathieu Debuchy (5.0m), Yoan Gouffran (2.0m), Mapou Yanga Mbwia (6.7m), Saido Haidara (2.5m), Moussa Sissoko (2.0m)

Players out 

Demba Ba (7.5m)

Ashley transfer window summer 2013 (Net spend -£0.7m)

Players   in       

Loic Remy (loan)

Players out 

Danny Simpson (free), Steve Harper (free), James Perch (0.7m)

Ashley transfer window January 2014 (Net spend -£18.0m)

Player   in   

Luuk de Jong (loan)

Players out     

Yohan Cabaye (18.0m)

Ashley transfer window summer 2014 (Net spend £23.0m)

Players   in   

Jamaal Lascelles  (4.0m), Karl Darlow  (4.0m), Manu Riviere  (6.0m), Siem De Jong (6.0m), Jack Colback (free), Remy Cabella (12.0m), Ayoze Perez (3.0m)

Players out     

Dan Gosling (free), Jamaal Lascelles (loan), Mapou Yanga Mbwia (loan), Hatem Ben Arfa (loan), Karl Darlow (loan), Mathieu Debuchy (12.0m), Shola Ameobi (free)

Ashley transfer window January 2015 (Net spend -£8.0m)

Players   in           

Players out

David Santon (3.0m), Mapou Yanga-Mbwia (5.0m), Hatem Ben Arfa (free)

Ashley transfer window summer 2015 (Net spend £46m)

Players   in         

Gigi Wijnaldum (14.5m), Aleksander Mitrovic (13.0m), Chancel Mbemba (7.0m), Florian Thauvin (12.0m)

Players out 

Remy Cabella (loan), Mike Williamson (0.5m), Jonas Guttierez (free), Ryan Taylor (free)

Ashley transfer window January 2016 (Net spend £29m)

Players   in

Seydou Doumbia (loan), Andros Townsend (12.0m), Jonjo Shelvey (12.0m), Henri Saivet (5.0m)

Players out 

Florian Thauvin (loan)

Ashley transfer window summer 2016 (Net spend – £29.3m)

Players   in     

Matz Sels (5.0m), Dwight Gayle (10.0m), Matt Ritchie (12.0m), Jesus Gamez (free), Isaac Hayden (4.0m), Grant Hanley (5.5m), Mo Diame (5.0m), Ciaran Clark (5.0m), DeAndre Yedlin (5.0m), Daryl Murphy (3.0m), Achraf Lazaar (3.0m), Christian Atsu (loan)

Players out 

Florian Thauvin (loan), Gabriel Obertan (free), Andros Townsend (13.0m), Fabricio Coloccini (free), Steven Taylor (free), Papiss Cisse  (5.0m), Manu Riviere (loan), Remy Cabella  (6.3m), Moussa Sissoko  (30.0m), Gini Wijnaldum  (25.0m), Siem De Jong (loan), Daryl Janmaat (7.5m)

Ashley transfer window January 2017 (Net spend £0)

Players in

Players out

Ashley transfer window summer 2017 (Net spend £18.9m)

Players   in

Christian Atsu (6.2m), Florian Lejeune (8.7m), Jacob Murphy (12.0m), Javier Manquillo (4.5m), Mikel Merino (loan), Joselu (5.0m)

Players out   

Tim Krul (loan), Achraaf Lazaar (loan), Grant Hanley (3.5m), Siem De Jong (3.0m), Manu Riviere (free), Daryl Murphy  (2.0m), Vurnon Anita (free), Yoan Gouffran (free), Florian Thauvin (9.0m)

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



  • Steve Pearce

    The story of more desperate articles to fill up space until just before the next match!

    What is in the past stays in the past – for it is another country and they do things different there…

  • Leazes Ender

    2017 value of entire squad £118m

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Confirmation off Clarko required
      😂😂

      • Leazes Ender

        You do know that is ‘Wor Mongo’ don’t you?

        • Wor Lass

          Thank God our family disowned him years ago!

          • Leazes Ender

            Well fleckman is his elder brother so I guess its a broken family.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          I didn`t know i was wondering where he`d got to

    • cmrowley

      What was it when Ashley arrived? (genuine question).

      • Clarko

        That squad value is not accurate.

      • Leazes Ender

        I can remember that Ashley Placed the club at tenth every season up until this one, so thats the best way to look at it…. this season we are positioned by the owner at 15th

    • Clarko

      Not accurate.

      • Leazes Ender

        Near enough to assess bonehead.

        • Clarko

          Do you think Colback (£4.50m) is more valuable than Hayden (£3.60m)?

          Do you think Diame (£5.40m) is more valuable than Merino (£2.25m)?

          Do you think Gamez (£2.25m) is more valuable than Aarons (£0.68m)?

          Are any of the following valuations true?
          Gayle £9.00m
          Shelvey £9.90m
          Lejeune £4.50m
          Lascelles £4.50m
          Woodman £0.45m
          Atsu £4.50m
          Merino £2.25m
          Aarons £0.68m
          Hayden £3.60m
          Mitrovic £9.00m

  • steve

    I thought they were all Charnley’s signings? Or is that only when it suits the agenda?

    As much of a disaster as McLaren’s reign was, the signings made during his time weren’t too bad. Wijnaldum was sold for big profit, Thauvin didn’t work for whatever reason but we didn’t look much and he looks a great player again, MBemba was our player of the season during relegation and Mitro was considered a massive coup at the time. Then in January Townsend was a big success in the short term, Shelvey is our most talented player and Saivet was an inexpensive mistake.
    By comparison Rafa’s success rate last year was poor

    • cmrowley

      You are missing the point of the article, it’s about backing the manager. What could Rafa do if backed the same way Schteve was.

      It’s also highlighting the paltry investment in the team over this time period.

      The article isn’t assessing the quality of the signings nor slating Schteve.

      I’ll assume you just missed this rather than create a strawman to argue with on purpose.

  • cmrowley

    Lewis Gibson?

  • Wor Lass

    According to many of the people who regularly post on here and the Chronic, that 5th place finish was just a fluke anyway. No way could Pardew be given any credit for deliberately engineering it in any way – it just happened because we were lucky and everyone else was cr*p.

    • steve

      Pardew was a victim of his own success, there was an element of luck that season in that we had very few injuries and suspensions because our first 11 was capable of beating anyone in the league but that only gave Ashley the encouragement that the trick could be repeated without investment.
      Without strengthening for the Europa League Pardew was set up for failure.

  • mentalman

    going by rafa’s transfer dealings so far he’d probably spend about 30 – 40 million of it on players who weren’t good enough

    • Kneebotherm8

      Still rather have the manager picking the signings,than Carr. Carr signed players in positions we were overloaded with.Whether they were good or bad(and he did sign some decent ones) we ended up with a lop sided squad that got relegated. Sissoko,Wijnaldum and the likes were sold for good profit,but it’s a false economy if we’ve ended up in the championship. Rafa’s creating a squad with competition in all positions,admittedly he’s made a couple of poor signings, but we’re not lumbered with automatic guaranteed places for the likes of those players mentioned above,they were moulded into prima donnas who gave very little for the team.

      • steve

        Rafa’s signings last year were extremely short sighted, with the exception of Ritchie and Hayden he signed a group of Championship players and put them on long contracts and big wages. That has left us with a number of players we’ve struggled to move on and is part of the reason for this year’s lack of signings.

        • Kneebotherm8

          Daryl Murphy and Hanley were bought with the intention of selling them,if promoted,nothing short sighted about that. You may even put Gayle in that category, but he’ll make a profit if/when sold. Gamez,Sels Lazaar look poor signings,but all signings aren’t guaranteed to be a success,just look at some of the dross Carr recruited.

        • Geordiegiants

          No they weren’t, he was told one thing by Jabba and had to do another. He made a couple of poor signings yes, but he was and thing but short sighted.

      • Geordiegiants

        Very true.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Kennedy Space Centre to Clarko
    We have a problem !
    👽👽

  • Steve Pearce

    How I wish that was Ashley’s heed in that photograph…