A week or so ago, I wrote an article highlighting the individual run-ins of the Newcastle United relegation rivals. In it, I somewhat confidently stated that we would be alright, due to the fact that our rivals, which I class as every team from 9th down, have a hard finish to the season.

This group of teams include: Everton, Watford, Brighton, Bournemouth, Swansea, Huddersfield, West Ham, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Stoke and West Brom. Now, if we are assuming Alan Pardew has finally relegated West Brom (they are eight points off safety) that leaves two spaces to fill.

This weekend couldn’t have gone any better if we had cherry picked the results ourselves.

Watford and Bournemouth got heavily beaten on Sunday, while on Saturday Brighton, West Ham, West Brom and Palace were beaten and Swansea held Huddersfield. We of course did our job and dispatched another rival in Southampton and then Manchester City completed the round of good cheer on Monday night with a 2-0 win over Stoke.

So, after the first group of fixtures everything went according to plan. I’m not going to bore everyone with the next two sets of fixtures but if you care to look at them, every team around Newcastle either plays each other or has a ‘top’ club to face, while we have to contend with Huddersfield at St James Park, hoping for a similar result as against the Saints. In beating Manchester United, Southampton and the draw at Bournemouth, we have firmly put this survival challenge in our own hands.

This is key for me, as I’ve stated in the last few weeks that nine points from what was nine games left before Southampton, would be enough for safety. Put simply, if we get to 38 points there won’t be three teams getting near that total.

We are currently five points clear of the drop and our goal difference is a full ten goals better off than those in the bottom three, making it a theoretical six points we are clear of trouble. The teams down there will be aware of this and the result against Southampton will have given us a great psychological boost over the rest. At this stage of the season 5/6 points is massive, especially when you look at the form guide of the teams in the bottom three.

Once again, the point that can’t be overstated is that Rafa Benitez has got a Championship squad, sparsely populated with Premier League quality, on the verge of Premier League safety. That is as good a job as is needed in a first season back up from the second tier. However, it’s only worthwhile if in the summer we build on what was done last May, with that great day against Barnsley when we clinched the title, and Rafa Benitez told all the fans to go away and enjoy the summer after positive talks with Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley.

Those positive talks proved to be false and the owner once again moved the goalposts, pulled the rug and stopped what momentum Benitez and the team had built up. Meaning that we have been needlessly sweating on a Premier League status that should have been sewn up months ago. Only the belated additions that arrived in the form of Martin Dubravka and Kenedy have given us a shot in the arm and provided the quality that Benitez wanted way back in August.

Rafa (provided he got a couple of quality players) had confidence in the side he had to stay in the league and since the two lads arrived in January, the likes of Mo Diame, Matt Ritchie Dwight Gayle and Jonjo Shelvey have instantly looked better, more productive and better quality going forward, takes a hell of a lot of pressure of the defence. Funny what a bit of trust and confidence in the manager can do.

If only I had confidence in Mike Ashley learning and doing what’s best for the progress of the club and not himself. History has repeatedly not been good to Newcastle United on that score.

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  • Rich Lawson

    No !

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Rafa spent £47m in the Summer and by and large the players he bought do not get a game Murphy, Merino being expensive signings. Ashley will be wondering why spend twelve million pounds and ten million on players and not pick them. Through in the full back who never plays Joselu and Atsu being on the bench it is only the centre half getting a game out the £47m spent. Ashley must think why bother giving him the money if they not getting a game would you.

    • Damon Horner

      They do get games. It’s a squad and there has not been that reliance on young players this year which Murphy and Merino are. Arguably Joselu and Atsu might be out of their depth but then again, Rafa might have told Ashley that yet still needed to rely on that level of signing.

      If Ashley wants a return on every penny the club invests despite apparently loosening the control to the manager otherwise he won’t spend then you better get ready for relegation. Ashley is a lot of things but certainly not that stupid.

      • grantham mag

        When comes to running a football club he is VERY STUPID.!!!!!!!

        • FatParosite

          Ashley relies on 50 thousand who are more stupid.

        • Damon Horner

          I’m not his fan either but he hasn’t gone as far as withholding transfer funds until the manager can prove a return on his investment, that’s a road to “screw you” from most managers. He doesn’t care that much as long as we stay up and are making money.

    • mactoon

      With the exception of Lejeune (16) the players bought in the summer have had between 22 and 27 appearances. That’s not as bad as you paint it

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Correct but when Rafa has everyone fit they do not get in the team. Murphy failed to make the bench the other week.

        • TheNutJob

          the question is did Rafa sign him. age, potential, fee.
          it all smacks of Cabella, Thauvan, wingers that were bought to sell on, only it backfired big time but that was the clubs policy

          • mentalman

            would rafa put up with having players forced on him, surely a manager of his stature would walk away

        • Ram Kishore

          There are 23 squad members.. squad gets rotated

          • Kneebotherm8

            You’ll never get that through to the trolling halfwit………no player at any club should be guaranteed a place in the team just because the manager signed him……….we’ve had that in Mclarens relegation season when certain players,signed by Carr,were guaranteed a place in the team no matter what………we ended up with lacklustre,heartless performances by our “superstars” culminating in relegation…………..we never want to return to those days..

          • Ram Kishore

            Just like how pardew can mismanage really talented bunch into idle players

          • Kneebotherm8

            Benitez lets no player get into the comfort zone………great management and that’s how he gets the best out of the squad…

  • mactoon

    As long as the club is up for sale I doubt Ashley will invest in permanent signings, the January window showed that. And I wouldn’t expect him to say Rafa can have every penny from money raised by the club in the summer as this would include TV money that he will simply not release. Expect loan signings and nothing more.

  • kingfisher

    “However, it’s only worthwhile if in the summer we build on what was done last May,”
    If anyone thinks Ashley will release sufficient funds to compete effectively in the Prem next season then if they’re not on medication, they should be!

    • Clarko

      Last three seasons:
      Newcastle €223.31m spend, €98.43m net spend.

      • kingfisher

        As Shearer said Clarko: Ashley has spent an average of £4 million per season duringhis tenure. Not enough for Whitley Bay, let alone N.U.F.C.

        • TheNutJob

          Clarko does off to the Enterprise when he doesn`t want to answer a question
          😂😂

          • FatParosite

            Just block him man…. Bishop worker bee…

          • TheNutJob

            No, i like having a laugh

          • Leazes.

            block him for gods sake

          • Wezza147

            Well I’ve blocked him at least. Does he even read what he types? I cannot believe people like this are actually denying that Ashley takes money out of the club.

          • kingfisher

            🚀🚀🚀

        • Clarko

          He has spent £144.00m on the club, Newcastle have spent €421.37m, with a €74.88m net spend, on players as of December during his ownership. Total net spend would be around £144.00m + €74.88m, a lot more than £4m per season.

          The fan base just comes across as stupid when complaining about spend, he has spent money, complain about something valid.

          • kingfisher

            That’s what I said Clarko.Nobody says he hasn’t spent money, but by his own addmission, not enough !

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            Above you agreed he spends what is generated by the club. So you then agree/predict he will spend this summer since the club will have generated >100M this year?

          • TheNutJob

            won`t happen

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            You could be right. I think you saw my prediction a couple of days ago. I guess we will see. For the sake of the club, I hope I’m right.

          • Jezza

            He spends maybe 2% or 3% of what is generated by the club. He pockets the rest of it.

          • Clarko

            No, he’s spent a reasonable amount. You saying he hasn’t or taking a quote out of context holds absolutley no validity.

            West Ham spending (since Ashely bought Newcastle):
            Total spend = €388.47m
            Net spend = €84.46m

            Newcastle spending (since Ashley bought Newcastle):
            Total spend = €423.43m
            Net spend = €76.88m

            *(Dubravka loan fee added from previous numbers, Kenedy and Slimani fees still absent)

            Plus West Ham have had an additional years worth of PL TV money valued at ~£116.6m). Ashley has spent enough.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            I generally agree with you but I think the problem for most is that he spent mostly in 3-4 windows out of 22 (or whatever the number is) and it has been fairly austere otherwise. Many seem to not even remember the few windows of spend b/c it has been awhile and failure/relegation has turned since then. The key to me is to follow the liquid cash. He spends when the club has it and doesn’t when there isn’t any. I do not think looking at 10 year totals or averages (as Shearer did) or believing the financial goals of the club have not shifted multiple times during his ownership do not consider the whole story.

          • Clarko

            In 7 of the 11 seasons Newcastle have spent more than €25m (that’s a lot of money before the TV came into action), the “3-4 window” comment isn’t really true.

            “Many seem to not even remember the few windows of spend b/c it has been awhile and failure/relegation has turned since then.”

            ^That’s my point, there are plenty of valid reasons to complain about Ashley, spending isn’t one of them.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            We are making the same point and I’ve made it repeatedly for years. ‘Net spend’ is a difficult thing because the timing of payments isn’t all up front (see Sissiko’s deal) but with that caveat, the net spend is not £25M and that is the issue for many. The net spend being a positive number over 10 years is due to the spending in a few windows. In particular, the 2 windows just before the most recent relegation had a lot of spend. That skews the averages and totals. Also, there is the clear outcomes that show what was needed to be spent. I personally think he spent enough but had some bad coaches and bad luck. Thus, some of his other decisions offset his financial ones and spoiled the whole.

            On here is the first I’ve really seen people say MA should have dipped into his own pocket more. People can have that opinion and there is no argument against it and I can respect it. Regardless of what I might prefer, I can be fine that he hasn’t done so and they cannot have an argument against me and they can choose to respect that opinion or not. There is no ‘correct’ truth to be found… just differing expectations and opinions.

          • Clarko

            Again the statement, “the net spend being a positive number over 10 years is due to the spending in a few windows” just isn’t true, 8 of the 11 seasons have had a positive net spend.

            “On here is the first I’ve really seen people say MA should have dipped into his own pocket more”, I don’t know where you’re from, where you live or what you do in your spare but I would estimate that 95% of the fan base believe Ashley hasn’t spent enough.

            “People can have that opinion and there is no argument against it”. People are entitled to an informed opinion, the majority are uninformed, they complain about lack of spending when they don’t have the slightest idea of how much Ashley, Newcastle and other clubs spend. There is absolutley an argument, I provided one earlier, he has spent enough.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            95% of the fan base thinks he siphons massive amounts of club revenues into his own pocket. Other than maybe some sort of funding of executive expenses, salary, etc. this seems almost a comical idea to me. You can read the club’s income statements and account for the money. This is the money I think most fans thinks he should be spending. It just that this money doesn’t exist.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            NUFC public reports… I trust these numbers mean something to you:

            The “Profit on players sales”:
            2011-12: 6.5M
            2012-13: 10.6
            2013-14: 14.0
            2014-15: 17.1
            2015-16: 3.7 (my estimate)

            Player wages:
            2011-12: 64.1M (68.7% of rev)
            2012-13: 61.7 (64.3%)
            2013-14: 78.3 (60.4%)
            2014-15: 65.1 (50.5%)
            2015-16: 77.9 (59.4%)

            In context, I said they can have the opinion he should spend more OF HIS OWN MONEY (I’m not yelling… just trying to highlight the clarification). There is no ‘right’ argument to that. He didn’t have to provide an interest free loan and he doesn’t have to sell some personal asset now to fund a transfer. That is my opinion. If someone think he should be required to do this, I cannot understand the rational basis but they can be informed and still have that belief.

          • Clarko

            I don’t know what you’re trying to argue in your “profit on players sales” section. For example the 2012-13 number of £10.6m, that is the profit they made on the the players that they sold, those players being Ba, Forster and Best, that is not the net spend, the net spend for that year (according to the public report) was £28.7m-£11.1m = £17.6m. I am talking about spend and net spend.

            Again the player wages section is complelety irrelevant to what we were talking about.

            People can want Mike Ashley to spend more, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t spent enough which is what this argument is based on, he has spent enough!

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            If you take the profit on sales and the amount of player amortization, it is about equal most years. The player amortization is the transfer fee divided by the number of years the contract is for… not exact net spend but financially actually more relevant in many ways. In the year before relegation, the numbers changed. We didn’t sell near as much and bought a lot. Considering that the contracts were mostly over long terms, the increase in amortization is significant.

            The players wages show how he was working costs off the ledger and the general quality/experience level of the squad. Our ratio to revenue has been one of the lowest. It did bump back up a bit the year prior to relegation.

            All shows the financial landscape has not been static during MA’s reign. We agree… he has spent money. Surely we can agree… some years he has spent materially more than others. We agree…he has likely spent enough. He should never have had Carver as a manager and he stuck too long with McClaren. These guys temporarily ruined his financial turn around. We certainly agree there are things to be upset about during his time as overseer but complaining he hasnt spent any money is an uninformed comment/reason even if the likes of Shearer is saying it.

          • Clarko

            I agree. First two paragraphs are off topic, but I agree.

          • kingfisher

            You say Ashley has spent enough, but (by his own admission) he says he has’nt.So one of you is wrong, and considering Ashley tells lies it must be him 😁

          • Clarko

            And there we go, you are confronted with actual evidence and you just ignore it, I even addressed the “quote”. You’re wrong and you know it.

          • kingfisher

            So Ashley never said that then ? So that means the Gaurdian is lying? Ashley would have sued the gonads off them if he had’nt said it. Ashley is a business man and of course he has put money in, but in his Sky interview he said ” I cannot and will not put any more money into this club”

          • Clarko

            You start your comment by asking a question that has nothing to do with anything, you ask another question based off the first answer being yes. That’s how silly you’re being.

            This isn’t about viewpoint, you believe that Ashley has spent “not enough”, I provide you with numbers that suggest that he has spent enough and you just ignore it. You’re uninformed, ignorant and biased.

          • kingfisher

            Clarko.ASHLEY has said he hasn’t spent enough, what part of that statement do you not understand ? You seem to think that your views are always the right ones and you’re not prepared to listen to anyone elses views.You would give an aspirin a headache.🤕🤕🤕

          • Clarko

            YOU CAN’T READ!

            “You saying he hasn’t or taking a quote out of context holds absolutley no validity.”

            Ashley didn’t say hasn’t spent enough, the article/interview you’re referring to came from John Carver you absolute moron.

          • kingfisher

            Clarko,I was brought up to believe that once somebody resorts to name calling then they have lost the argument ! I’ve discussed the subject rationally, never been abusive to you and put my point of view forward,hoping for a reasoned and informed discussion,and you call ME a moron !

            I respect your point of view, but it’s obvious you don’t respect anyone elses , and that’s where we differ !We could argue all night but we would just go round in circles, and at the end of the day, life’s too short.Enjoy the rest of your night 😁

          • Clarko

            When someone states:

            “Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley admits: I should have spent more on players !
            Straight from the horses mouth, no argument. Fact!”

            And it turns out that none of that is true, I believe that person is an absolute moron and I think we both know that my beliefs are justified judging by your response, you absolute moron.

            You haven’t discussed anything, all you have done is constantly blurt out “ASHLEY has said he hasn’t spent enough”, when he hasn’t, you lied, nothing rational about that.

            Where we differ is in the IQ department, you respect my views because my views are well thought out, informed and researched, your views are the very opposite, lies, stupidity and ignorance. Dummy.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            Actually, on this post, I am on your side and, in the end, it is the more important point. A respectful discussion with differing ideas is interesting and can be mutually beneficial…Iron sharpens iron and different perspectives are heard even if not accepted.

            Enjoy your evening. 🖖🏼

          • kingfisher

            Well said ! Some people can’t have a normal discussion without being abusive.Cheers 😁😁👍👍

          • Jezza

            He’s just winding you up to provoke a reaction, marra. Don’t rise to the bait. He’s loving it. Don’t give him the satisfaction. Just block the troll.

          • Lakeland Mag

            It’s not even fun baiting Clarko, his stats heavy posts are usually just sterile and dull. At least you can have a laugh at the nonsense some of the other trolls spout on here, but he’ll just try and bore you into submission, then resort to the schoolyard style tactics by name calling when he begins to lose ground in the “debate”.

          • Jezza

            Clarko and all the other trolls are all one and the same. There’s only two of them posting under multiple ID’s. Two brothers to be precise. Clarko, bobbi fleckman, ghostbuster, Monkseaton, Martin Rooney, Ben Jones, John, Mike Adam, Mark Potter etc are all the work of those two brothers. They live in Manchester, at least one of them works in a S****s D****t shop, they are both season ticket holders at Old Trafford and Tory voters.

          • kingfisher

            Thanks for that Jezza.👍👍He would start an argument in an empty room !

          • Jezza

            That’s precisely why he comes on here. To stir things up and start arguments. He’s got nothing better to do in his sad empty life.

          • kingfisher

            Yes, it’s people like him who spoil it for the rest of us Jez.Everyone has their own views, and sites like The Mag provide a platform to discuss and debate those views and hopefully have a few laughs along the way, but people like him just argue for arguing sake and then become abusive when anyone dares to disagree 😁👍

          • Jezza

            I completely agree, marra. I blocked all the different ID’s used by those two trolls a while ago and it had made using this forum a much more pleasant experience.

          • pjinbenton

            And let’s have a look at how happy West Ham fans are at their nett spending

          • Clarko

            Their anger is not centred around net spend, up until January the complaints were few and far between, they’re mad about the stadium move, failure to move seating, marches being cancelled, the badge change, the racist remarks made by the head of recruitment and the performances on the pitch.

            The more you know.

          • Chuck D

            Have West Ham spent more than £20m on a player?

          • Clarko

            That has absolutley nothing to do with the question, has he spent enough? He has.

      • TheNutJob

        try the last 2 Clarko

        • Clarko

          That would be cherry picking.

          • Damon Horner

            surely that’s no different to you choosing the last three seasons?

          • Clarko

            Keep scrolling down.

      • Cockneytrev

        The big thing is,,,, Did the manager pick who was bought?
        You spout off facts and figures you sad troll,,, it means nothing ,,your not even a Newcastle fan,,
        Ashley hoop licker,,,👅👅

        • mactoon

          Money has been spent and money has been recouped by selling players. You are right to ask if Rafa picked who was bought, I think not as a list of names is presented to Charnley who then goes out to acquire the players. I doubt Joselu, Slimani and others were Rafa’s first choices

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          You spout off facts and figures!

          It appears you are not keen on facts or figures, you like myths and lies!

      • thewildchimp

        On players, or total?

        • Clarko

          That’s how much we have spent on players.

          • thewildchimp

            Sorry, a bit tired, so I’m asking silly questions…
            Nevertheless, he gave half that money to McClaren and Carr, and they have wasted it. Benitez inherited a few decent players and we still have gaps that need to be plugged. Ashley won’t have any excuses this summer.

          • Clarko

            €115.05m of that was spent by Benitez.

          • thewildchimp

            Considering that we got relegated and promoted again – that’s almost nothing. We had to reshape the squad twice.

          • Clarko

            No, it’s not nothing, it’s €115.05m, that’s how much he has spent.

            The reshaping the squad comment is just silly, a silly way to try an excuse whatever it is you’re trying to excuse. Look at the Southampton game, two January loan signings and Lejeune… He’s did an awful lot of reshaping from the team that was played in the Championship (sarcasm)…

          • Chuck D

            Average net spend per season under Ashley £4m.

            Anyone can throw figures around.

          • Clarko

            The figures from transfermarkt suggest that we have a £6.20m average net spent under Ashley, which is a reasonable amount, as argued further down the page.

            Yeah, it appears anyone can throw figures around, but that’s all you have done, regurgitated a number you heard on MOTD, with no accompanying reasoning or explanation, well done.

    • mactoon

      I think the game changer is that while Ashley has the club up for sale I doubt he will release funds to enable Rafa to get the calibre of players he wants. I can see players being sold in the summer with loan players being brought in to replace them. With Ashley it is all about the health of the bank balance.

      • kingfisher

        Good point mactoon.Let’s hope that we stay up and Ashley sells up straight away so the new owners have enough time to sort things out before next season starts.

  • FatParosite

    Make no mistake Rafa is getting his silver. Ashley will NOT invest. Ashley will NOT show ambition. This will go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on until Ashley leaves. Those that pay Ashley money every week should remember that.

    • kingfisher

      100% right Fat !!

  • kingfisher

    Quote from The Guardian 2015 :
    Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley admits: I should have spent more on players !
    Straight from the horses mouth, no argument. Fact!
    I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Mike Ashley hasn’t spent any money, the problem is ( as he says above) he hasn’t spent enough!!

    • TheNutJob

      the only money spent in 11 years is what`s generated by the club,
      Fatty hasn`t spent a penny

      • kingfisher

        Agreed Nutty, spot on 👍👍👍

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          No, he’s wrong

      • Clarko

        He has spent £144.00m on the club.

        • Alex

          I presume you mean the purchase price et al. That’s like buying a house, then selling it later as the market, in general, strengthens. What he hasn’t ever done is maintain and improve the house.

          • TheNutJob

            you would be right on that, as far as further investment in players he hasn`t spent a penny

          • Clarko

            No, Alex isn’t right. He purchased to club for £134m, including the purchase price he has spent ~£278m on the club.

            You don’t know what you’re talking about.

          • TheNutJob

            No he hasn`t

          • mactoon

            Ashley paid £134 million for the shares to own Newcastle then put an interest free loan into the club of £129 million. That’s a total of £263 million

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            He also lent another £15m via his St James holdings company so £144m is the loan.

          • Clarko

            No, you presumed wrong, he purchased to club for £134m, including the purchase price he has spent ~£278m on the club.

      • Jezza

        True and even then he’s only spent a very small fraction of the money generated by the club. He has pocketed most of the club profits.

        • Wezza147

          Exactly and the Ashley apologists/trolls flock to any post about him taking money out of the club and make excuses and play dumb. Ashley is a proven (in court) liar. He certainly does take money out of the club. Where is the 75m TV money for this season? I think we know where.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            He’s not ”pocketed most of the profits” the real liar is Jezza.

  • Antenociticus

    To answer the question in your headline.
    He wont believe he’ll be leaving. . .

    • Leazes.

      I don’t see any link between the headline and the article at all.

      • mactoon

        To be fair once you submit an article the title may not be the one you submitted with it. The editor can put a different title to it.

  • mactoon

    To answer most of the questions asked by this article I would ask if Rafa has been allowed to buy his first choice players in each transfer window. The answer to that has to be a resounding no. For some reason Ashley has managed to secure the services of the best manager during his tenure and is constantly refusing to purchase the players he wants. If he could only buy the two or three players Rafa has asked for during each window it could be so different but instead we are scrapping around the bargain basement for the likes of Joselu and injured loan signings like Slimani and Sturridge which means Rafa is left to take the flak when he basically has to get the best out of players he probably didn’t even want.

    I see no difference in the summer when, if Ashley is still in charge Rafa will be hung out to dry again. Loan deals and nothing more on the hope that Rafa will be able to keep the club in the Premiership while maintaining a healthy bank balance.

    • Mike

      Agree 100%

    • mentalman

      It all depends who his first choices are, without knowing we just have the media garbage to go by and depending on who you believe the first two choices for striker were Batshuayi and Sturridge. one a tad unrealistic and another we’ve dodged a bullet on

      • mactoon

        But they are his choices regardless of what we think. He should be allowed to get the players he wants so he can be judged on that basis.

        From a press conference, “We gave a list on January 1 to Mike Ashley. We have given a list with A, B and C options…we have to wait until 31st January, then we will see.”

        I bet an injured Slimani wasn’t one of his first choices.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          We enquired about Slimani at the start of Jan, Leicester wanted 25m, sale only. Slimani was not so keen, neither were we. Time goes on and it works but we need him to play.

  • Stephen Paylor

    In the summer if we can land Kenedy and of course adding Dubravka the real essential is in the number 9 and 10. Gayle, Joselu, Ayoze and dare i say it Mitrovic are just not players that would be described as top 8 premier league players. With a few likely to leave such as Colback, Saivet, Sels, Gamez, Haidara and at least one or two of the forwards named i think the club will bring in maybe 40 million plus and drop 200k a week off the wage bill. It only then seems logical that the signings of Kenedy, Dubravka would be added to a striker, LB and a number 10 so maybe 80 million spent. 40 million net spend in the current financial climate of the PL is very average. I expect a 9 and 10 of maybe 20m each, 20 m kenedy, 4m Dubravka and a 15m LB

    • mentalman

      why would we buy kenedy and another lb when there are other positions which are a bigger problem

      • thewildchimp

        They should’ve bought Kenedy for 15m last summer, play him for two or three years and sell him for 30+m. If Ashley did business like that, for all the time he has been here – we would be able to accommodate at least half the squad of top-class players now. Instead, we buy quality young players, never play them, and sell them for less money than we paid for. Other, smart clubs operate like Chelsea. They’ve done to us basically what we did to Fulham with Mitro.

        • mentalman

          Chelsea wouldn’t let Kenedy leave last summer. We did try that with the whole purple player thing, unfortuantely we bought a few duds and had managers who wouldn’t buy in to it

          • FatParosite

            There is the rub: “managers who wouldn’t buy in to it” Ashley has finally cottoned on to the idea that to make wealth from the playing squad you have to have a manager that will improve the players. 10 years to discover that… Like lightening Ashley.

    • FatParosite

      Reduce your dosage…

    • mactoon

      Good luck with getting Ashley to release £80 million for transfers regardless of what we bring in from player sales and TV money. I fear any money from player sales will go into the club accounts and Ashley will release the minimum amount of money to fund loan deals at best.