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Newcastle United selling best players will be a disaster

3 years ago

When Newcastle United sold Les Ferdinand for £6m in 1997, we were told that it was a great deal for the club.

To get £6m for a 30 year old was said to be great business…but whilst the then NUFC owners, Hall and Shepherd forced through the sale, they forgot one or two minor points.

Les Ferdinand was one of Newcastle’s best/key players and had just scored a combined 49 goals with Alan Shearer in the 1996/97 season, helping the club to finish runners-up in the Premier League and qualify for the Champions League for the first time.

Rather bizarrely, Newcastle then brought in three even older players (Rush, Barnes and Pearce) who were supposedly bargains, Alan Shearer picked up a bad injury, and the team fell apart.

That 1997/98 season has been partly/largely covered up with that 3-2 win over Barcelona but the reality is that it was a disaster.

NUFC went from second to thirteenth in the PL and exited the Champions League even before the final group game was played.

With Les Ferdinand, surely never a better example of knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing, for the Newcastle United owners.

Selling your best players will only take you in one direction.

The only exception to the rule is predictably Kevin Keegan.

He chose to sell Andy Cole midway through the 1994/95 season, fans were shocked.

However, he had a plan.

Keith Gillespie arrived as part of the Cole deal, whilst Keegan and Newcastle brought in Ferdinand, Hislop, Barton and Ginola the following summer (1995).

Newcastle United of course could and should have won the Premier League that season. What a brilliant team though and another example of Keegan’s brilliance at NUFC and longer-term planning.

Now some Newcastle fans are claiming that selling Matt Ritchie for £15m could be a good move with the money then reinvested etc.

How can that be a positive when Newcastle have got so few quality players.

Ritchie’s attitude and workrate alone is enough to want to keep him.

Rafa has said previously that the winger is an example and inspiration to the rest of the team.

Newcastle United should not be selling any of their best players and if Mike Ashley is forcing Rafa Benitez into a situation where he needs to sell before he buys anybody half decent, it is absolutely shameful.


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