As of now (Sunday morning), we now have 18 days remaining until summer transfer window deadline day and much work needs to be done.
Since we beat Arsenal 2-1 at St James Park on 15 April and confirmed PL safety, 98 days have passed and our progress has been to sign a freebie midfielder from relegated Swansea. We have retained Martin Dubravka and Kenedy from last season and added Ki Sung-Yueng, hardly a statement of intent that we intend to kick on and maybe go for Europe or have a bash at a cup this coming season.
Most clubs (the ones with active transfer policies) have identified their targets and already got some of them through the door, allowing their managers to work with them for a full pre-season. Not at this club. What a chance it was to have that elusive striker on board for the trip to Ireland to bond with his teammates, get in and amongst the goals and build confidence.
Instead, we have an owner who is in dereliction of duty to his own club/business interest. It’s in the clubs best interests that the owner, while he’s here, makes us as competitive as possible. The current business model of selling players for high prices and only taking part of the payments up front, is a cracking boost to the other club, but severely hampers our chances of signing anyone.
Take Aleksandar Mitrovic, the biggest sale set to happen this summer. If he goes, he goes for around £20m. That’s fine…but that £20m needs to be provided IN FULL for a replacement or replacements. If Rafa wants four players for £5m each, one £20m striker, or add it to a bigger pot, then that’s what he should be allowed to do.
There’s no wonder Rafa is stalling on a new contract with this sort of buying/selling practice. He’s made profits for the owner (I’ll refrain from saying Newcastle United) and he’s hit his football related targets. Far be it from me to advise a well-respected, successful football manager, or a billionaire businessman, but I’d suggest Ashley starts changing his model or for Rafa to tell him to truck off.
I’ll leave it to the boys at (Newcastle fan website) NUFC . COM to highlight where we are currently at in the transfer window, the following is taken from their match report against Chelsea on the last day of last season-
“Sadly, it wouldn’t be Newcastle United without a close season polluted by scare stories and doubts over our future direction and personnel.
To move past that sideshow quickly and concentrate on the real business of improving the squad would be a welcome bonus – anything else risks diluting our progress and losing our momentum.
Screw this up and it looks like sabotage.”
Bang on. Absolutely bang on.
That’s where we currently are, getting by with a manager doing his job admirably with his hands tied behind his back, players playing above themselves for him and with the owner sabotaging our future and prospects.
The team will always suffer under this regime with the transfer policy currently in place. In Mike’s World ambition is put in the box marked ‘To Go’ and Profit, Mike Ashley, S****s D****t in the box marked ‘Top Priority’. If the outcome means sticking it up the Geordies for calling me names, all the better.
I can tell you now, Rafa won’t stick around beyond next summer as a consequence of that mindset.
Furthermore, you can reference the shirt prices going up, the season ticket prices up 20%, free advertising for S****s D****t, the Strawberry Place land sale, etc. Its all negative and creates a feel bad factor. It’s Ashley saying ‘You’ve got your Rafa and the positivity of last season’s end, but stuff you lot, I’ll bring my wrecking ball to the party.’
It is 18 days, we’ve got just 18 days. Expect the bare minimum or less from the owner, after all, he’s got lots of previous when it comes to p*****g on Newcastle fans’ bonfires.