When it comes to Premier League clubs and their transfer records, nothing sticks out quite like Newcastle United.
Whilst it is now 13 years since Newcastle’s with Michael Owen, every other Premier League club last season had broken their own records within the past year or two.
With all the extra cash via the TV deals agreed every three years, this has been reflected in rising transfer records at every club, with the exception of Newcastle United.
Whilst £20m or more has been banked from each of the sales of Carroll, Cabaye, Wijnaldum and Sissoko, Mike Ashley has refused to allow NUFC to go beyond the Owen price tag which was paid two years before he bought Newcastle.
A slightly different angle has seen the excellent football365 site show when each Premier League club competing next season, broke their club transfer record the last five times.
Every single one of the other 19 PL clubs, including the promoted trio of Wolves, Fulham and Cardiff, have all broken their record at least four times since we reached the year 2000, Newcastle have only done it once, that Michael Owen transfer of 2005.
Here are the football365 stats for NUFC:
Warren Barton – £4m (June 1995)
Les Ferdinand – £6m (July 1995)
Faustino Asprilla – £6.7m (February 1996)
Alan Shearer – £15m (July 1996)
Michael Owen – £16m (August 2005)
For comparison, their stats on the two clubs promoted with Newcastle a year ago.
Christopher Schindler – £1.8m (June 2016)
Laurent Depoitre – £3.5m (June 2017)
Aaron Mooy – £8m (June 2017)
Steve Mounie – £11.5m (July 2017)
Terence Kongolo – £17.5m (June 2018)
Shane Duffy – £4m (August 2016)
Mat Ryan – £5m (June 2017)
Davy Popper – £10m (August 2017)
Jose Izquierdo – £13.5m (August 2017)
Jurgen Locadia – £14m (January 2018)
So since Newcastle ended up from May 2016 competing in the same division(s) as Huddersfield and Brighton, the other two have both broken their club transfer record five times each.
The big thing for me isn’t the size of their current transfer records, although Huddersfield’s is now higher than Newcastle’s and Brighton’s £14m is the most Mike Ashley has ever allowed to be spent on any player, it is the rate of progression. Just look at how Newcastle progressed back then under Kevin Keegan, the NUFC club record broken four times in 13 months!
Both Brighton and Huddersfield in these past 22 months, kept going up and up with successive transfer windows.
Investing to try and get promotion back in 2016, then showing ambition in 2017 to try and build on their promotion and survive, then 2018 looking to build even further on that.
After overseeing a second disastrous relegation in only his eighth Premier League season, Mike Ashley was desperate enough to allow Rafa Benitez to spend sensible realistic money in summer 2016 on building a promotion squad.
After that though…it has all ground to a halt.
No buys allowed in January 2017, a minimal net spend of only around £15m in summer 2017, then no buys allowed once again in January 2018, with only £4m spent so far in this window.
I have little doubt that if Brighton and/or Huddersfield can stay in the Premier League, just like other smaller but ambitious clubs such as Bournemouth and others, they will keep investing in their team/squad with realistic progression.
As for Newcastle United if we are still stuck with Mike Ashley…?