Rafa Benitez and his transfer budget have dominated the thoughts of both media and fans since the season ended.

With Newcastle finishing far higher (10th) than expected, as well as being on live TV far more times than all but a handful, clearly the season’s revenues will have been higher than expected.

So plenty of room for optimism on how much the manager has to spend, until you then wake up and remember it is Mike Ashley in charge, so no guarantees.

With only the time sensitive (to buy at £4m the deal had to be completed by the end of May) signing of Martin Dubravka so far, fair to say that supporters are waiting for the window to really kick into life.

An ‘interesting’ update on Monday from the Chronicle, who claim that Rafa Benitez is set to have over £75m to play with over the course of the summer.

However, I think their calculator must be on the blink…

The Chronicle:

‘Rafa Benitez has made acquiring a proven top-flight forward his priority this summer, though the Newcastle manager is working within a limited budget.

The Spaniard expects to be given a similar kitty to last summer – when United had a net spend of £46m – and he then hopes to recoup more than £30m from potential player sales to reinvest in his squad.’

That ‘£46m net spend’ seemed just a ‘little’ high, so I had a look back to last summer and this was the transfer activity in terms of players bought and sold.

Incoming buys summer 2017:

£6m Christian Atsu

£8.7m Florian Lejeune

£10m Jacob Murphy

£4m Javier Manquillo

£5m Joselu

£33.7m Total

Outgoing sales summer 2017:

£10m Florian Thauvin

£1m Kevin Mbabu

Claims of anything between £2m and £4m Siem de Jong

£2m Daryl Murphy

£3,5m Grant Hanley

£18.5m/£20.5m Total

So even taking the lower Siem de Jong figure, we are still only looking at a net spend of £15m at the most last summer, not the mythical £46m the Chronicle have come up with.

A £2.7m loan fee was paid for Mikel Merino but with Krul, Sels, Lazaar and others going out, Newcastle would have also collected money from loan deals last summer.

In October, it was confirmed that Mikel Merino’s deal had now become permanent. However, in Germany it was reported that this deal had been structured so it was always going to be a permanent deal triggered by a token number of games played, the arrangement meaning that Newcastle had only had to pay that initial £2.7m last summer and wouldn’t have to pay the permanent £6.5m fee until the following summer (2018).

So in actual fact, Newcastle may already be on a net spend of £10.5m (£4m Dubravka, £6.5m Merino) this summer, with none of us having realised it.

Who knows how much Mike Ashley is allowing Rafa Benitez as his basic transfer pot this time but let’s hope it isn’t based on that £15m from last season, or else we have almost spent up already! With players needed to go out to help finance others coming in.

On that front, the Chronicle claims are also not quite believable.

I can easily see Newcastle selling players this summer for a total of £30m or more, especially if Mitrovic goes – as expected, but what will Rafa get from that?

No signs at all of Mike Ashley changing his policy of selling players and insisting//allowing other club to pay for the transfer fee over a number of years, so if say £30m of players are sold, then it might equal only £10m or less for Rafa Benitez to spend this summer.

I really really hope that the Chronicle’s guesstimate of £75m to spend does prove to be correct, even though their workings out leave a lot to be desired.

As always though with Ashley, I live in hope (of things changing) but fear the worst.

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  • TheNutJob

    If Rafa was getting £75m he would have signed a contract,
    Ryder most likely got the figure off the tea lady

    • Peaky


  • Billmag

    Jack it’s pointless quoting them lot from the Chronicle they haven’t got a clue, do they ever try to get an interview with Penfold of course they don’t they just second guess everything.

  • Paul Patterson

    Mitrovic will be sold for £25m+ and Rafa will get £15m of it to cover signing. wages, agents fee’s.
    As for £75m, I’d like to think so and that a genuine push made to build the squad this summer with real quality, but history tells me other wise.
    Expect three more signings, one probably around £20m, quite a few sales, a dip in form mid-season and then panic loans in January to arrest the slide., then Rafa walks at the end of his contract . .

    • TheNutJob

      £25m for Mitro, dream on Paul

  • jon

    If as has been suggested rafa gets 20% of sales figures then surely he is due that same 20% over the last 5 years. Sales in that period were 151million so rafa should receive a little over 30 million plus the 20% for any current Sales, say another 10 million. It has been reported that Ashley will allow him 40 to 50 million so that along with the 20%s makes a tidy sum that rafa could probably work wonders with.

  • mactoon

    At the end of the day no one can second guess how much Ashley is going to free up (and I find it hard to believe The Chronicle reporter has inside information) but I seriously doubt he will release anywhere near £40 million and he doesn’t have previous history of releasing money made from player sales available for transfers, he usually sells them so late in the window it’s too late to use the funds. This together with the recent spin on last years accounts showing a £90 million loss which he made public at the same time the transfer window opened doesn’t make me confident Ashley is going to make much available.

    • Clarko

      ‘he doesn’t have previous history of releasing money made from player sales’

      No, he does. Go and read the article ‘I’m going to start by defending Mike Ashley, now I don’t like doing this any more than you do but…’ posted on June 8th.

  • Clarko

    ‘So even taking the lower Siem de Jong figure, we are still only looking at a net spend of £15m at the most last summer, not the mythical £46m the Chronicle have come up with.’

    It’s not ‘mythical’, it’s factual, the accounts, look into it.

    • Gallowgate Dave

      Educate us…

      • Clarko

        I just did.

        • Gallowgate Dave

          How insightful.

          Your beloved transfrmarket has a figure of £44 million gross spend and £24 million net for last season so I’ll ask again….educate us?

          I have engaged with you because whilst you are immeasurably arrogant I’m genuinely interested in how you have arrived at that figure. I was hoping for a better answer.

          • Clarko

            I didn’t ‘arrive’ at that figure, if you had bothered to read my first comment you would know exactly where that figure has come from dummy.

            You refused to read my comment before replying and then just expect me to repeat myself only for that to be ignored. Ten words, that’s all you had to read and you couldn’t. You’re immeasurably stupid.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            “It’s not ‘mythical’, it’s factual, the accounts, look into it”

            You’ve made a statement that I believe is false as I’ve read the accounts and can’t see how you’ve arrived at your conclusion. You usually quote transfrmarket which completely contradicts you on this occasion too. Being called a dummy by you is a rite of passage on here but insults don’t improve your weak assertion. Don’t be offended at me calling you arrogant, it’s not an insult, just an observation. We can try one more time and you can genuinely try to enlighten me (I am actually interested) or i’ll just conclude your point isn’t valid. Which do you prefer?

          • Clarko

            ‘I’ve read the accounts and can’t see how you’ve arrived at your conclusion’

            Well then you haven’t read the accounts well enough have you? Would you like me to read it for you?

            ‘Subsequent to the Statement of financial position date the company has committed to a further maximum net spent of approximately £46m (2016: net surplus of £40m) in respect to changes to the playing squad’

            Do you want me to explain what that means as well?

            It means Newcastle had a net spend of £46million on transfers during the 2017/18 campaign.

            Are you happy? Do you understand everything?

          • Gallowgate Dave

            And do you believe everything you read verbatim?

            A realistic analysis of player purchases/sales last season (source transfrmarket and common sense) would not reach anywhere near like £46 million net. No doubt that statement inserted in the accounts includes signing on fees, agents fees and wages which is disingenuous as they won’t have subtracted the wages we saved by player sales and also the wages would be due to be paid over the number of years of the contract not upfront, some of which players will even be sold prior to the end of their contracts no doubt. For someone who seems to delight in calling people’s intelligence into question you are fairly naive to have been fooled by such an obviously see through statement included into the accounts designed to massage the truth by not spelling out exactly what that £46 million was made up of. Whilst I’m not disputing it will be factual in one sense we both know there is no chance it was net spend on transfer fees and is deliberately designed to paint a rosier picture of club spending.

          • Clarko

            It’s factual, you cannot lie in the accounts, you cannot be ‘disingenuous’ in the accounts. In that same quote I gave you it mentions that Newcastle had a net surplus of £40m for 2016 (summer window), was that ‘disingenuous’ too? Or is that number real because it makes Ashley look greedy?

            It’s very easy to get to the £46m number when you consider when players like Thauvin and Merino actually transferred clubs. Thauvin actually made his move permanent to Marseille 3 games into his second loan spell, that would have been in August 2016 not July 2017 like transfermarkt suggests. Merino made his transfer permanent in October 2017 not July 2018 like transfermarkt suggests. Once that is taken into account the net transfer spend according to transfermarkt is €42.9m and that’s without the Slimani and Kenedy loan fees being included (€3m-€5m). No signing on fees, no agent fees and no wages.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            To use another Clarko-ism:

            “Where do I say the accounts are lying?”. I’ll refrain from calling you a dummy for misquoting me.

            As it happens you can actually lie through your teeth in the accounts, the accountant would just be risking their accreditation from whichever professional body they belong to. Assuming that’s highly unlikely I don’t actually believe the accounts are lying and I even stated “I’m not disputing it will be factual in one sense”, I just wouldn’t be surprised if the truth had been distorted due to the lack of communication and trust I have in Ashley. To be fair your explanation is interesting and could be correct given the Thauvin and Merino transfer timescales, just a shame I had to put up with your usual mix of arrogance and insults to actually find out your thoughts, could have been a more interesting exchange. If you re-read my replies 3 of the first 4 were genuine curiosity and it was only the last one where I was exasperated by your replies and had to assume you knew nowt as your explanations/replies were so poor. You probably don’t care but you do yourself no favours on here.

            For the record I don’t think Ashley spends nowt or asset strips the club (unless you count the free advertising, Gallowgate land and possibly overpaying Sports Direct for the merchandising), I just think he’s a disinterested, absentee landlord with a history of poor appointments of acolytes picked on loyalty not ability. I also think he lacks the inclination and the vision to implement a proper strategy at the club to help us grow financially and more importantly on the football field.

          • Clarko

            Nowhere did I say that you said they lied in the accounts and nowhere did I misquote you, the only quote I used was your use of the word ‘disingenuous’.

            ‘If you re-read my replies 3 of the first 4 were genuine curiosity’

            Yes and you were a c**t in all 4 of them. Below is your response to the comment ‘I just did’ which was my first interaction with you on this matter and you decided to respond with the following:

            ‘Your beloved transfrmarket (being a c**t) has a figure of £44 million gross spend and £24 million net for last season so I’ll ask again (being a c**t)….educate us? (being a c**t) I have engaged with you (c**t) because whilst you are immeasurably arrogant (c**t) I’m genuinely interested in how you have arrived at that figure. I was hoping for a better answer (you’re a c**t).’

            You’re the arrogant one and you “insulted” me first and for the record I don’t care about what you “think” about the club, Ashley or me, you’re massively uninformed on all three of the subjects, as proven.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            “It’s factual, you cannot lie in the accounts”. That is a very clear implication from you that I said/implied the accounts are lies. It’s not impossible but I think it’s highly unlikely that an accountant who is clearly going to be under public scrutiny by the nature of the accounts they are submitting would outright lie. You couldn’t directly quote me as I didn’t say it but I don’t think you can deny your implication in good conscience. You may even be correct though, I thought you gave a plausible explanation about the spending but you cannot blame me or anyone else in our natural instinct to distrust Ashley, frankly he’s earned it.

            I did chuckle at the rest of your response and you have a point. Maybe I’m a natural c**t or maybe you just bring it out of people. If I can admit to being c**ty with you let’s agree you are hugely arrogant to people on here and my hostility is born of reading your interactions with other posters. Unlike Ghostrider (drivel) and Monkseaton Magpies (rabidly pro Ashley, won’t address any legitimate criticisms of him) though I do read some of your replies with interest including the one above and I am interested in an opinion that differs to my own.

          • Clarko

            Nowhere in that quote did I say that you said they had lied in the accounts, nowhere did I misquote you saying that they had lied and nowhere did I imply that you said that they lied, it was just a general statement, ‘you cannot lie in the accounts’.

            I can and have been arrogant to other posters but that is always a response to the other posters being ignorant, rude or arrogant themselves.

            Just for reference I’m not for or against Ashley, I do spend the majority of my time “defending” Ashley on here but that’s because there is a lot of misinformation being spread and a lot of unwarranted complaining about Ashley going on.

  • Desree

    Reported 75m? Season tickets must be on sale

    • mactoon

      at a 10% increase..

  • Lostprofit DBC

    Could be a case of well done Rafa. Unlike other Windows, due to the point he is at in his contract, he’s been able to use himself as a bargaining tool. Every penny in the club could in fact be right, that of course includes the prize money.

    • mactoon

      That’s one way of thinking about it. Here’s another, Ashley withholds transfer funds as a bargaining tool to get Rafa to sign a new contract on his terms.

      And your comment, “that of course includes the prize money” if by that you mean the £123 million surely you don’t believe all of that will be made available for transfers?

  • SuperDesHamilton

    Season Ticket renewal properganda season in full flow

    • Leazes.

      They don’t really need it, nobody goes to SJP for the football these days its just a place to escape shopping trips for a couple of hours and maybe catch a glimpse of a star International player in the opposition team…,. there’s the flags of course ‘Where there’s Unity there’s Always a Victory’ brilliant….laughed myself hoss at that.

      • Rich Lawson

        The flags are a well meant but pointless gimmick to stir up support,be more fun if they put a totally ambivalent quote on them from Karl Marx or whoever to see who could win a prize at half time for guessing the author or just as a general annoyance.

      • pedrodelgardo

        Just lads doing what they can.

  • Rich Lawson

    Did i miss something,has he signed a new contract over the weekend ? Surely he gets nowt until he does,I know that ‘cos I read the post on here ?

    • Leazes.

      Congrats on remembering one of the rules…. the chronicle has forgotten that one.

  • Desree

    Any season that we have spent money, at least one if not two key signings are made within first two weeks of the window.

    Demba ba and cabaye, wijnaldum mbemba, debuchy sissoko, Shelvey Townsend.

    Porkins has no intention of spending!