I am increasingly seeing talk of the ‘Newcastle United TV Jackpot’.
The north east media constantly referring to this when talking about Rafa’s transfer kitty, or rather lack of it at the moment.
It usually goes along the lines of ‘next summer will be when Rafa Benitez gets access to the Premier League TV Jackpot’ but until then he will have to manage with buttons.
The thing is though, clubs such as Brighton and Huddersfield aren’t waiting for this ‘TV Jackpot’ to come along.
Their owners understanding that if they were to stand a chance of competing this season, to then give them a platform for future seasons and ongoing access to the ‘TV Jackpot’, they had to spend some of this season’s Premier League/TV money before they actually received it.
This allowed them each a net spend of over £40m per club, whilst Rafa was left scratching around with a net spend of £11.5m.
The talk of any ‘TV Jackpot’ is of course a myth really, as the way it is used is to suggest that once you start banking this cash, it then means you have some big advantage over the competition.
The reality though is that every Premier League club gets this cash and indeed with Newcastle very likely to finish bottom half of the table, the truth is that when it comes to next summer, Newcastle United will actually receive LESS than most of their competitors from the TV deals.
All that the TV cash does is buy you a ticket to stand a chance of competing, it isn’t a miracle moment when you are suddenly at a huge advantage to everybody else.
In fact, next summer, assuming we have no relegation to deal with, Newcastle would really have only a ‘TV Jackpot’ advantage over the three promoted clubs.
Though having said that, with Wolves spending £16m on a single player this summer, I think it is clear that at least they would heavily invest (if promoted) and do at least what the likes of Brighton and Huddersfield did in this last transfer window on promotion.
With Newcastle we have a badly run club that repeatedly failed to look at the long-term and wasted opportunities to grow the club, such as when finishing fifth in 2011/12. Instead stockpiling money and panic buying when relegation threatened – in both January 2013 and January 2016.
The advantage Newcastle United should have isn’t a ‘TV Jackpot’ that everybody gets, it should be significantly more cash through other routes, especially the commercial revenue which is no better than what it was when Mike Ashley took over 10 years ago. Whilst other clubs have increased theirs substantially.
It is dangerous to think that once access to bigger TV cash is there, that it will automatically make the club’s situation ok, even if Ashley is still here.
That Premier League broadcasting income was there year after year before and yet the club was dabbling with disaster time after time.
The cash has to be made available at the right time for the right people to spend.
We have already seen the last two transfer windows with Mike Ashley undermining Rafa Benitez, the manager having made the club a transfer surplus of almost £30m so far, thanks to the £40m surplus Newcastle United officially announced after the summer 2016 window.
It is gutting/comical to think that in the two windows before Rafa Benitez arrived, we had the combined clown talents of Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley, Steve McClaren and Graham Carr largely wasting most of an £80m+ net spend. With the likes of Mitrovic, Saivet and Mbemba now not even able to get a game under Rafa Benitez.
What could Rafa have done with an £80m+ net spend this summer?