When it comes to the trend of Premier League January transfers, Mike Ashley is fighting a brave but lonely battle.
Every team, top and bottom, is looking to strengthen this month to improve their prospects.
However, the ‘principled’ Newcastle United owner is refusing to add to the fuelling of the transfer inflation we are seeing.
Despite grand promises to back his manager with three or four signings and to land a £20m striker, instead only 21 year old short-term loan player Kenedy has arrived.
The fact that this refusal by Mike Ashley to pay for the essential signings is happening when all transfer records are set to be broken, makes it far far worse.
Back in 2009/10, Premier League January transfers totalled just under £36m for the 20 clubs involved (Newcastle were in the Championship.
By 2016/17 that had grown to over £236m.
It has been an ever growing graph of cash been spent by Premier League clubs, with only the odd bump.
In January 2014/15 there was a slight drop of £10m on the previous January but actually Newcastle played a significant part in the biggest leap in the upward trend.
In January 2010/11 there was a massive £173m rise on 12 months previous and that was of course when Liverpool bought both Suarez and Andy Carroll, as well as selling Torres to Chelsea.
Those three transfers accounting for the vast majority of that increase. Of course Mike Ashley also stuck to his ‘principles’ back then, despite pocketing £35m for Carroll he refused to buy a replacement, with then the embarrassing move in the February to bring in ageing free agent Shefki Kuqi, arguably the worst player many of us have ever seen play for Newcastle.
Having stockpiled cash over a number of transfer windows and significantly reducing the quality of the squad with a lack of investment in players, Mike Ashley helped play a major role in the near £60m leap in 2015/16. Over £30m was spent by Newcastle on Shelvey, Townsend and Saivet in January to try and save the team from relegation but it was too little too late.
During Mike Ashley’s time at Newcastle, he has made a £30m profit over the course of all the January windows, more than every other current Premier League club, with of course all but a couple of those having a net spend, not profit.
Last season’s figure of £236m+ on Premier League January transfers is already guaranteed to be smashed and it is just now a case of by how much.
As well as the likes of Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal etc paying out massive money, at the bottom end we have seen the likes of Southampton, Huddersfield, Brighton and others all spending very decent money.
Now we are just waiting on Mike Ashley making good on his (latest) promises to Rafa Benitez…
Official Premier League January transfers spending figures: