Nothing new there and especially not when it comes to Newcastle United.
However, I have just had a thought, memories flooding back…
When Newcastle United were promoted just over a year ago, hopes were high amongst supporters.
A promoted team with renewed momentum, a top class manager in charge, plus surely with Premier League cash back on tap we would be seeing Rafa get a realistic budget to upgrade the squad.
Of course, we all know what happened next.
The 2017 summer transfer window started off slowly and never really got going.
Signings were made but it gradually dawned on Newcastle fans that this wasn’t the window when they would see anything close to the 2005 club transfer record being broken.
Rafa Benitez made clear that promises had not been kept, once again, by Mike Ashley.
Media sympathetic to the club, or trying to be even handed/looking on the bright side…., explained the lack of investment something like this.
That the return to the Premier League would allow Newcastle United to compete once again in the transfer market BUT it would be delayed by a year, as this was a transition time and of course all the money from the 2017/18 PL season isn’t paid up front, it comes in various instalments.
So with Mike Ashley not willing to spend any money before it is in the bank, we just have to wait until the next summer (2018), or even January (2018), for the ability to compete once again in the transfer market thanks to ‘Premier Legaue riches’ returning.
January saw widespread reporting that the club had made clear Mike Ashley was backing Rafa Benitez with a £20m striker signing to help ensure no relegation worries.
In the event, Ashley didn’t allow a single buy in January 2018 and instead Rafa Benitez had to rely on the last minute loan of crocked Islam Slimani too ‘play’ up front, that deal only happening because Leicester’s owner block Slimani’s loan move to West Ham once he heard about it – Karren Brady having upset him previously with something she wrote in The Sun about him.
Never mind we were told, just wait until the summer and Newcastle United will be competing in the transfer market once again.
Here we are and only 15 days before pre-season starts and we are actually in a worse position than was the case in May!
Slimani, Haidara and Gamez have all gone, no great loss there, but Kenedy has gone back to Chelsea without seemingly any effort at all from Mike Ashley to try and buy him.
Luckily we have kept Martin Dubravka as even the fat controller wasn’t stupid/spiteful enough to deprive Rafa Benitez of that.
All of the mood music put out by the newspapers about Newcastle United’s approach to this transfer window, is depressing to say the least.
All of it suggesting a similar transfer budget to last summer with the lazy addition of the usual ‘if Newcastle sell these players Rafa could have loads more cash to spend’, even though this conveniently ignores the fact that any player sold sees Mike Ashley wanting to take payment in instalments over a matter of years, meaning Rafa would be lucky to get any more than 20% or so to spend now, of any players who leave this summer.
The media are happy to swallow the ridiculous excuse planted by the club in advance of the transfer window, the accounts for 2016/17 showing a big accountancy loss but the reality being that Mike Ashley only had to put in £15m to cover the shortfall that Championship season. The other reality being that actually the accounts were positive moving forward, as for 2017/18 and future seasons, the club were due a big surplus thanks to Ashley’s way of doing the transfers, with big instalments due from the sale of Sissoko and many others in recent seasons.
With Mike Ashley it is always ‘Manyana’….later, tomorrow.
Meanwhile clubs such as Brighton and Huddersfield are already very active in the transfer market once again, keen to build on their transfer investment last season, hoping to turn themselves into clubs that can regularly compete in the top tier and become stable clubs.
Meanwhile at Newcastle United there is total silence and hope is a four letter word.