Newcastle players still fighting for £9m in bonuses
Last summer saw the Newcastle players in dispute with Mike Ashley over the level of bonuses that would come their way in the Premier League.
Normally players wanting more money would get little sympathy from football fans but that wasn’t the case this time.
The Newcastle squad just wanted a bonus scheme comparable with rival clubs in the top tier.
The dispute dragged on right into the new season and it was just one of the many ways in which Mike Ashley was doing the exact opposite of helping Rafa and his players step up into the Premier League.
It was more than four weeks into the Premier League season when agreement was reached, following a phone conversation between Jamaal Lascelles and Mike Ashley (see below).
So moving forward to the present and four matches left to play, what have the Newcastle players got to play for when it comes to bonuses for the squad?
Well the agreement saw £4m paid to the squad if they finished one place above the relegation zone and then an extra £1m to be added for each extra step up the league.
Technically, Newcastle could still finish as high as 7th and as low as 18th but with Burnley (7th) 12 points above Newcastle and Southampton (18th) 12 points below, neither is going to happen.
So currently in 10th (which would pay £11m in bonuses), Newcastle could realistically finish as high as 8th (Everton four points ahead but Newcastle with a game in hand), or as low as 17th (Swansea eight points below).
If Newcastle finish in eighth it would be £13m going to the players and if 17th it would be £4m, so for personal cash the NUFC squad have £9m to play for.
It is a win-win for Mike Ashley, as for each place up the Premier League you finish, each club gets an extra £1.9m.
Let us hope the Newcastle players will be picking up that extra £13m at the end of the season.
The Mag – 13 September 2018:
Mike Ashley once again released a PR ‘exclusive’ through Sky Sports at the weekend.
The story being that the NUFC owner would ‘donate £20m’ to the Newcastle players if they win the FA Cup this season.
This leading to much amusement at what other unrealistic bonuses could be offered, such as winning the Premier League, or the Champions League, or the Great North Run before scoring a double hat-trick at Swansea.
This PR announcement came against a backdrop of a row that had lasted all summer, with Mike Ashley having offered the Newcastle players a bonus scheme for this Premier League season that was way below what rival clubs have incentivised players with.
The offer on the table was £1m if they finished 17th and avoided relegation, which worked out on average at less than a week’s wages for each player.
That amount would then increase by £1m for every position above 17th.
The Newcastle players though were refusing to accept less than their rivals and a month into the season there was still no agreement.
However, agreement has now been reached.
Miles Starforth (of the Shields Gazette) has had the inside track on this story from the start and he has revealed that a phone conversation between Mike Ashley and Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles saw the bonus scheme eventually agreed.
On Wednesday morning he reports that the agreed deal is the same as what was on offer previously but that Newcastle players will share £4m if they avoid relegation in 17th place and then still an additional £1m for every position higher.
The Premier League payout at the end of the season sees the 20th placed club get £1.9m extra for finishing bottom, then for each place above they get an extra £1.9m.
So roughly speaking, Mike Ashley and the Newcastle players have agreed that the squad will receive half of the extra money the club receive depending on their position…plus the £20m for winning the FA Cup.
Now the players would receive the same £20m if they win the Premier League (cough cough) as they would the FA Cup.
I would happily settle for either…
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]