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:

£35,959,939 2009/10

£209,290,543 2010/11

£67,403,948 2011/12

£123,393,426 2012/13

£128,774,398 2013/14

£118,190,978 2014/15

£177,502,227 2015/16

£236,681,957 2016/17



  • Paul Patterson

    Until this money bubble bursts (and it will) we simply have to compete.
    I’m not talking about competing with the oil states that Ashley foolishly bangs on about, but £20m on a striker shouldn’t be beyond the realms.

    • Mrkgw

      Agreed. Ashley though, is using his words as an excuse to spend even less than ever before. The man is a disgrace. How in this world did we get saddled with him. Unbelievable.

      • Peter Stabler

        better ask John Hall how that happened.

    • Steve Smith

      Why would the bubble burst?

      Tv money keeps increasing. New fans keep being drawn into the game.

      Only today it’s been announced David Beckham’s new team has finally got the go ahead. That’s only going to pull in more interest.

      The bubble won’t be bursting for a very long time and as long as Ashley is here we’ll struggle to even stay in sight, never mind compete.

      • Paul Patterson

        I just can’t see where we go from £350k a week players. It’s unsustainable long term. £50k a day is beyond obscene.

        • Rich Lawson

          It’s hateful,and for all their money to many of these people have no idea what constitutes acceptable public behaviour or ”sportsmanship” on the pitch.To many foreign mercenaries now and not enough put back into the lower English leagues to develop youth.How can the FA and League just suck up TV money but let the likes of Hartlepool and others face extinction ?

          • Peter Stabler

            We should have the best grass roots infrastructure in the world given the income the pro game generates – the FA is shameful.

      • Rich Lawson

        David Beckham did a superb deal to purchase a franchise in the future at a knock down price when he signed for LA Galaxy in 2007 but there has been enourmous resistance to it in Miami.He’s just making more money not giving anything back to football.

        • Lhc

          The mans a complete toss pot who portrays himself to be something he’s not.

    • Rich Lawson

      It must burst at some point,given the paltry viewing figures Sky have for football, new subscriptions and advertising surely can’t fund this.All their money seams to do is push up prices for average players fees/ wages and kill the English lower leagues development ?

  • Geordie Pete Moore

    Question is ” Are we 01 day 11 hrs away from losing Rafa ?

    • Mrkgw

      I suspect so. There is only so much someone with a reputation like Rafas will take. He could easily walk into a top club. Why work for a loser that shows him such disregard.

      • Rich Lawson

        Honestly,I think he is playing the long game here and will tough it out to see Ashley off and eventually take us on to greater things.He is professionally in a no lose situation as no one can criticise him for the lack of owner/transfer support and what ever happens his standing in the game is unaffected.

        • Peter Stabler

          If I prayed that is what I would be praying for, the far distant sunny uplands after the oaf with Rafa and a decent budget.

        • Guest 2

          And he doesn’t want to have to pay 6 million for breaking his contract. Unless someone comes in to buy it out then short of punching fattys face in and getting fired, I don’t see a way out for him.
          Unless he follows the KK route, which it appears he would be justified in once again following.

          • Rich Lawson

            The contractual break clause no longer applies when he enters the last 12 months of his contract.That may show some relevance to the ”Rafa’ offered contract extension ”stories on here last week ?

          • Guest 2

            He confirmed a break clause if relegation happened. Never seen it reported anywhere else what you suggest.
            Then again, I suppose the clause still stands if we go down again.

          • Rich Lawson

            I’ve followed his contract with interest and seen the 12 month thing stated a couple of times in the more reliable media outlets.Rafa’ seems to be a careful and quite complicated man.NUFC with the right owners has the potential to be a career ending triumph for him with maybe another 5 years. But as you state only if he stays ?

          • Kneebotherm8

            I’ve read that it was a three year deal with the first two years having a penalty clause for both parties.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Exactly,he’ll enter the final 12 months and walk if Ashley is still in place…..win win for both of them because Ashley wants Benitez out.
            This talk of an extended contract offer from Ashley is smoke and mirrors……..he’ll be able to say….”Well I tried to keep him but he walked out on us”….the fckn lying,conniving individual that he is..

    • Paul Patterson

      I think loyalty will keep him here until May.

      • mentalman

        i think money will

        • Jezza

          It’s got nothing to do with money. Rafa could walk into another job on at least the same salary any time he wants.

  • TheFatController

    Clearly Ashley doesn’t want to add to the £140m debt his ‘stable finances/costs under control/5 year plan’ economic policy has seen amassed.

    At least shepherd and hall had the improved stadium to justify their debt against, which is still bringing in much-needed revenues today. Alongside additionally a few cup finals and champions league runs to add to the memories, because as they say, ‘you can’t take it with you when you pass away…’

    What has Ashley’s debt building created revenue streams in…?

    • Paul Patterson

      What sort of idiot has a debt of whatever, but doesn’t try and get it down- IN TEN YEARS?
      This notion that he’s some sort of financial saviour is a total myth. The financial position should be so much better.
      We are financially stable yes, but this is despite Ashley not because of him.

      • Guest 2

        Exactly mate.
        The stadium mortgage was structured to be paid off by 2016. Instead, we now have 144 mil of debt, despite 29 mil having already been personally repaid to him since relegation 1.
        Financial stability comes from PL tv revenue, not anything fatty has actually achieved.
        He saved his own business from interest payments to external lenders, but also threw out the opportunity of reducing capital debt along with it.
        Simple reason is – he’s guaranteed all of the money back if a sale ever does happen – along with the 29 million he’s already had.

        • TheFatController

          I think that guarantee of repayment on sale is looking very much like is is no longer guaranteed…

          • Guest 2

            Aye. No sale, no money.

            No more investment. The writing is on the wall.

      • TheFatController

        Only stable because the debt is owed to himself.

        But we are not financially well run, because we make huge losses every time we are relegated.

    • Guest 2

      I’m so glad the club is being ran efficiently and in a financially responsible way.
      It has brought so many benefits to the playing squad and the club’s success…
      LOL, aye, the Emperor has no clothes alright.

      • Jezza

        Yes all credit to Mike Ashley. Think back to the dark days of the mid 90’s when Kevin Keegan was running amock with the club cheque book and we were turning up at St James’s Park to watch over-priced, over-paid players like Shearer, Ferdinand, Ginola and Asprilla dragging in win bonuses every week and we were all left wondering if Newcastle could ever become balance sheet champions. We must all be eternally grateful to Mr Ashley for ensuring we will never return to that rotten state of affairs at our club.

  • Rich Lawson

    Good to know Ashley is taking a firm moral stand on this one and refusing to let all that Sky money influence our transfer policy !

  • ghostrider

    I’d be disappointed if we start paying stupid transfer fees for players not worth it.

    I don’t give a monkeys about clubs paying 75 million for this and that player so we should somehow at least pay half that for average players.
    The worlds gone stark raving mad and people just won’t open their eyes and see it.

    I’m sick of the old ” ohhh it’s the going rate now.”
    It’s not at all.
    Listening to people say ” ohhhh a striker for less than 20 million is just below average, we need strikers upwards of that just to get a small return.2
    Garbage……GARBAGE for crying out loud.

    The elites are sorted out. they simply play pass the parcel and nobody generally loses out.
    the chasing clubs are the losers. Those who try to keep up and realise later that they have a team of mercenaries on their hands, all on unsustainable wages on long contracts who won’t budge.

    Liverpool paying 75 million to make their defence no better than before.
    But guess what?
    They recoup their money by selling players like Coutinho for a laughable transfer fee.

    Mike Ashley, stick to your guns and buy what you know the club are capable of sustaining.

    • Coble’s Return

      To paraphrase the old saying – “if you always pay what you’ve always paid, you will always get what you’ve got”.

      Yes, the top end transfer fees are ridiculous, but then so is pretty much every other financial aspect of EPL football. You can be as sick of it as you like, but the market for players has moved swiftly on since the club bought the likes of Cabaye and Sissoko (how much would they have cost at today’s prices). If we are prepared to take the big money for our best players, we have to accept that sometimes we are going to have to pay out the big money to replace them. The owner can’t have it both ways and expect to continue to feast at the top table.

      This is exactly why he put the club up for sale. He can’t or won’t compete as things stand, which is understandable, but please don’t try and claim that you can poach a decent striker for a bargain, nor defend the man for his lamentable efforts to sell the club.

      • ghostrider

        I disagree 100% with the replacing players stance.
        As for putting the club up for sale. I think he’s just fed up of the bitterness to be honest. the bile that keeps on giving as and when he doesn’t produce the good but subsides to a whimper when he does.

        I’d be sick to death of that and give out what I deemed fair and not a penny more to a section of ungrateful fans.

        A good manager can turn good players into great players and average players into decent players.
        Some players are naturally gifted but very few.
        Most players are generally coaxed into being better players and guess what?
        It doesn’t mean a manager has to spend 30/40/50/100 or whatever millions on players just to compete.
        Average managers and coaches pay high end money to create a ready made team instead of a steady build.
        Then they just add as and when things don’t work out.

        Rafa Benitez is bang average in terms of coaching players into better players.
        None of our players are any better than their potential suggests they should be. In fact most look worse.

        The only issue I have with Mike Ashley is in why he tends to keep managers too long when he can see how bad they are for this club.
        He needs to offload this waste of space before we get relegated.

        Rafa Benitez talks the talk and that’s his lot.

        • East Durham Mag

          Just blowing in the wind again. Faaaaarrrrt.

      • mentalman

        clubs with decent scouts and coaches can poach decent players for a bargain, unfortunately i don’t think we have got either for this

      • thewildchimp

        The problem is that the big(ger) clubs dictate the prices now. PSG can easily chuck hundreds of millions for Neymar, since every Parisian kid is gonna want a Neymar shirt, and the parents will buy. Which inflates the slave market. We simply can’t compete with that. We could hire a few good players and upgrade over the course of years. However, Ashley thought he could squeeze through every year while pocketing the money and we have a chasm we cannot jump over in a single motion. His ‘penny-pinching’ ways will soon have to end and he want’s off the boat.

    • TheFatController

      So, summarizing your points, you’re advocating an approach that is employed by loads of clubs already?

      Clubs refusing to spend big money on players that aren’t any better than the ones they’ve got and wouldn’t give their all?

      Isn’t that the, admittedly enforced, policy of every lower league club?

      • ghostrider

        I’ll tell you what I’m advocating.
        It’s getting a manager that can also coach football players to become better football players and actually play football how it should be played for 90 plus minutes.
        I do not want a lopsided team that consists of a small section of sickeningly overpaid players who care more about their hair style than what they produce on the pitch.
        I want players that are desperate to learn from a top coach and who are desperate to play for this club with a fair wage with added bonus for their efforts to the positive of it.

        I’d rather sit in the championship or league 1 or 2 with a squad of players that love the club and can build back up under a manager that enhances their talent than have the club fork out 30/40/50/100 million on players that promise a fleeting glimpse of their talent before the mercenary actions kick in for which we get feigned injuries or simply gutless performances until they leave.

        This squad that we have, under a good coach/manager would be a revelation compared to what Rafa is doing to them.

        • TheFatController

          You’ve just gone on a completely different tangent with that answer from your original point.

          Fantastic! Carry on…

        • Danimal

          At least you should soon have the opportunity to enjoy what you’ve described in your middle paragraph. Although you seem to be the only person who enjoys the current moribund state of affairs. Pass me some of those happy pills please.

          • Jezza

            Don’t feed the troll, lads.

          • Danimal

            Love it.

    • joe mac

      you really are embarrassing!

    • nufcslf

      Phuque oph and shut up you tit.

      • ghostrider

        I’m trying to ascertain what old world words they are that you use.

  • Ken Forster

    I can’t believe how any self respecting Manager can stay in post when the owner appears to go out of his way to undermine him, and I’m not talking about Rafa, Lee Charnley must be absolutely desperate for his pittance of a wage compared with any of his counterparts. As the man supposedly in charge he should either say something or resign assume he actually lives round here so he should be even more ashamed of his performance. Ashley is responsible but his puppet Pinocchio should also carry some responsibility.

    • Guest 2

      Lives in Gosforth. He wont resign as he knows he won’t get another job in football – and he’s hidden away during his entire career spent at NUFC.
      He’s clearly an over promoted stooge, but when you follow Llambias the bar was already lowering on standards and capability.

      • Geordiegiants

        He has moved after the HMRC raid at his house.

        • Guest 2

          Well, if I was the ‘Feds’ I’d be looking for a caravan in Cambois, with a newly planted vegetable plot…

          • Geordiegiants

            He is the vegetable plot!

  • Nut

    Lol stories out there that we are going after Batishui, don’t folk realise that’s a no go now we have already loaned a player from Chelsea. Unless we sent him back we could never loan Batishui as the rules forbid more than 1 loan from the same parent club.

  • Peaky Magpie

    Brace yer selves lads they are listening to offers for Merino.

    • Rich Lawson

      Oh ! But surely he hasn’t played recently because he has a minor injury,must be the same physio’ Mitro’ has then ?

      • Peaky Magpie

        I joked with Moose,Nut & Wor Lass this would/could happen…..and I really was only joking…

        • mentalman

          papers are all over this at the minute. Bilbao are looking to splash the cash Man City have just given them

          • Geordiegiants

            For me he is nowt special, he looked different class when he first came, but he has looked lazy his last few appearances in my opinion.

      • thewildchimp

        Gotta take care when doing those stretches!

  • Jimmy

    Can’t be true merino ?

    • Peaky Magpie

      According to SSN

      • Jimmy

        Unreal mate , what a club we have

      • thewildchimp

        They’ve hooked him with Bilbao last year, too. Probably only a story, the lad is on a 5 year contract with us.

  • Mal

    The problem is Ashley wants to get top price for his sales but won’t pay the going rate for purchases. We want £15m for Mitro (who can’t even get on our bench) but won’t pay more than £15m for someone who’d walk straight into the team. Doesn’t make sense.

    • Geordiegiants

      It does to the fat sweaty bstard.

  • Geordiegiants

    Shefki Kuqi the worst player we have had???? We have got Mitrovic, Joselu, SloMo at present who are just as bad, then we have had numerous other Carr failures. He is amongst the worst but I’m not sure if he is THE worst.