Stoke fans have been reacting to the news of their club’s interest in Matt Ritchie.

The Potters are reported to have offered a ‘staggering package’ to land the Newcastle winger.

As well as a £15m transfer fee, they have also allegedly offered a wage package of up to £80,000 a week.

Little wonder that Stoke would be interested in Ritchie, a player who registered astonishing stats in terms of being involved in goals as both Bournemouth and Newcastle United were promoted from the Championship.

The relegated club have already shown their intention to get instant promotion with the purchase of Nigeria’s 22 year old World Cup star Oghenekaro Etebo and the signing of Benik Afobe.

Interesting to read what the Stoke fans are saying about the potential Matt Ritchie signing, the overwhelming reaction is that he is a no-brainer in terms of ability, though concerns from some about the financial side of things…

Stoke fans react via their top Oatcake message board:

‘Shaqiri will not be here next season , so it is the clubs job to find the best player , in that position , that is available. Matt Ritchie would probably be top of that list , the club should be applauded if this comes off.’

 ‘I wonder why Newcastle want to get rid?’

‘Because they need the funds.’

‘Rafa is under pressure to build a better squad but Ashley has pulled the purse strings…ultimately it means selling your best stock.

If I was Newcastle I would snap Stoke’s hand off.’

I can see Rafa going elsewhere given the chance.’

 ‘It’d be big money but we’d struggle to find someone with a better record at this level. Going off his history on Transfermarkt he’s not missed any games through injury for several years either (touch wood)

In his promotion season with Bournemouth (14/15) he was involved in 33 goals (15 scored and 18 assisted) in 51 games

In Newcastle’s promotion season (16/17) he was involved in 26 goals (16 scored, 10 created) in 42 games

That level of return near enough mirrors Liam Lawerence’s contribution when we last went up. Lawrence won Overall Championship Player of the Year and got voted into the 07/08 PFA Team of the Year too.’

 ‘Be a great move if we signed him, no need for financial concern and owners to be applauded.’

‘1- he’s not worth £15 million

2- £4 million a year is ridiculous

I have no idea what the club are doing, seems a bit of a panic to me, he’s a good championship player yes but that’s all he is, £10 million max and should be on far lower wages, if he wants more then move on, don’t get desperate and be ripped off for a bang average player.’

‘Each player has a market value. Obviously it’s not good to overpay for a player. Now that we’re in the Championship, it is even more of a risk. £77,000 per week is a hell of a lot of money for a player who turns 29 in September.

‘Would you also be moaning if we offered £30k a week and he turned it down.’

‘We’re not talking risks here. It’s good, solid money on top level Championship player, which will give us a good, fighting chance.’

‘These kind of deals are okay if we promote this season or next but not if we’re still in the Championship in 4-5 years time.’

‘If we don’t do these deals then we probably will still be in the Championship in 4-5 years.’

‘You’re assuming that there is a wide player that we want, who is available, and better than Ritchie, that we can get for £10m.

There has to be some benefit to having multi-squillionaire owners, and if that involves them splashing their cash, it’s not really for me or you to question.

We paid £18m for both Imbula & Wimmer. We’ll never get worse value than that, ever again.

The owners seem to be very serious about getting back up. That’s what we all wanted, was it not.’

‘We have to do what it takes to get some players, players like Ritchie that will make the difference. I’m not concerned about this fee/wage deal as we’re not doing this for everyone. We can also probably afford it.’

‘If we get Ritchie, sign another striker and a wide man and hold on to Butland then we’re as good as promoted.’

‘If true, it’s a staggering contract.

However he is a quality player so if we can get him in it would be brilliant news. Sign players like this and keep the best ones we already have ie Bauer and we won’t be spending to long in the Championship.

Come on Stoke!’

  • Paul Patterson

    If he goes, good luck to the lad, he’s been great for this club, you can’t turn that kind of wage down at 29 years old. A bit galling that we can’t compete with Stoke in the Championship when it comes to wages. £80k will be more than what we are currently offering and £15m is nigh on our transfer record . .

    • Fireman Sam

      It’s not so much ‘can’t’ it’s a case of Mike Ashley flat out ‘refuses’ to compete

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      It’s not a case of competing with Stoke wagewise. He wasn’t to play every game, Rafa sees an area where hi can get a better player AND Richie’s wife is fed up with living inin Newcastle.

      • Paul Patterson

        Fair enough, however I don’t think moving to Costa Del Stoke is the answer . .

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          It shouldn’t be but the Stoke players tend to live with the Cheshire set (new money division) amongst the Manchester and Liverpool players. Stoke’s training ground is not a long drive and even a very quick train ride for them.

          Wives are a problem for Nufc players, the lads are attracted to a big club, full house and a party town with 000’s of student girls out on their Monday / Tuesday off. Wives don’t always see the same attraction after a while.

          Nufc should only buy single lads.

          • Peter C

            That would be a little bit limiting, don’t you think.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It would be a little limiting, yes. Every football agent in the world should be telling the players to not get married until the twilight of their career. They’ll enjoy their lifestyle far more.

          • Peter C

            Yes, and shorten their careers.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            But, what a banging career!

          • Peter C

            Have you heard the story of the two bulls,standing in a field. I’m sure you have, but I’ll remind you anyway.

            The young bull says to the old bull. see them gorgeous cows in the next field, lets run over and [email protected] a few, the old bull replies, no, lets walk, and [email protected] the lot.

            I would have longevity, over brevity, anytime of the week

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            We’ll, the story backs my theory, don’t marry one of them

          • Peter C

            Have you seen, Peter Beardsleys wife.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Obviously, Some have to go early, to be fair.

      • paul mclaughlan

        Does she? My employer knows Ritchie really well and has never reported this.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          I’m surmising the possible options. Sorry if that came over as a claim of fact – it’s just an issue NUFC have had over the years. Players love it for a while but wives are not so keen.

      • Billmag

        Howay Bobbi Stoke and Newcastle really have you ever been there, I can’t have that at all.

        • Peaky

          I lived about 25 miles away in the Staffordshire Moorlands and only went into Stoke twice….it’s horrible…he would probably end up living in the “footballer belt” of Alderley Edge,Prestbury,Wilmslow etc as it’s only a short commute.

          • Billmag

            Peaky we used to go to Uttoxeter races with the punter’s club, staying at the Stakis Hotel in Hanley, we only went a couple of times because the younger lads wanted better night life.👎👎

          • Peaky

            What was the nightlife like ? If you’re ever down that way again I must admit it’s really nice at Leek,great pubs and friendly locals….I only moved recently,still in The Peak District but closer to Sheffield now.

          • B Davies

            Stoke fan…..

            Most Stoke fans don’t even live in stoke!

            Your right…most players live in the “golden triangle” in Cheshire. There’s also beautiful villages and locations 360 degrees around and about Stoke like Leek as you mentioned.

            The money for Ritchie seems bezerk but by all accounts looks like its going to happen.

            I hope you guys can get rid of that heinous t##t of an owner. Like to see you do well next season. Always liked the magpies from the shearer days.

          • Peaky

            Yeah you guys deserve to see better after Pulis,Hughes & Lambert….at least you have an owner who will spend unlike ours….good luck for next season and at least you won’t have to suffer The Stadium of Light….only thing I can never forgive Stoke for however is….Joselu…..😂😂 If it does come off you’ll be getting a good un in Ritchie…

          • B Davies

            we are lucky we have a rich stokie as an owner who wants to make amends.

            soz about Joselu….😂

            Everyone is dangerously confident we’ll bounce straight up.

            And how we managed to get that Etebo i’ll never know. looks an absolute baller.

            Good luck. If you can keep Benitez and get a decent owner in you could challenge the top 6 for a trophy/europe i’m certain.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            You’ll be getting a cracking Championship player in Ritchie and someone who can cut it in the Premier League too, albeit obviously not as effectively. That being said I don’t want him to go, he’s still one of our best players, and I’ve no confidence in Ashley sanctioning a proper replacement on top of what else we need. 80k per week wages is steep though, your owners are obviously gambling on an immediate return. Joselu on the other hand is a hard working pro but whatever fee is agreed for Ritchie probably needs to factor in that you owe us a few quid in compensation for that deal!

          • Billmag

            Tough league mate just have a look at the Villa & Norwich that went down with us.

          • Billmag

            Any race tracks near there mate without looking at maps.

          • Peaky

            Aye that’s the thing….still Uttoxeter about 35 miles then Haydock 45….doable if youre in a coach or mini bus back n forth.

          • Billmag

            Cheers bud.👍👍👍

          • Peaky

            If you stick to Uttoxeter races I would also highly recommend Ashbourne…..beautiful place and only 14 miles…it’s in the Derbyshire Dales and it’s where they have that famous Shrove Tuesday football game every year between the two local parishes that lasts for 2 days…

          • Leazes.

            Same for other clubs…. if you play for Man United the odds are you won’t get a house in Longsight…. or for Sunderland you probably will get a house in Newcastle.

          • Peaky

            I used to take the dogs for a walk near Alderley Edge then go into Wilmslow for a coffee….the money around there is bordering on obscene….Aston Martin dealer on the high street and the only place I’ve seen a McClaren (not Steve) on the roads….and as for the house prices 😳😳😳

          • Leazes.

            Ah the Darras Hall and Ponteland of the south!

          • Rich Lawson

            Haven’t you just sold a house there,was it to a ”well known ” player ? If so did you get cash or was it on the ”Monkseaton” 5 year plan ?

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          I’m just guessing at reasons but Stoke may not be a great place but Stoke footballers do not live in Stoke. They live in Cheshire with the new money Cheshire set along with the footballers of Manchester and Liverpool clubs. The WAGS community extends nicely and it becomes the place to be.

    • Leazes.

      Hre’s on £45k

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Matt`s 29 so if he`s offered a major rise in salary he`ll be off even if it`s the Championship.
    Fatso will soon be getting £10m off Mikel, £7m off Chancel plus £15m off
    £32m in & he`s spent £4m.
    Merino`s replacement is here, will Mbemba be replaced, NO. will the Fat Lad spend £20m on a winger NO. As for the £25m Striker, that`s pie in the sky

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Yet, you decline my bet? You don’t seem to back your words up.

  • Wor Lass

    He`s been terrific for us – 100% committed in every game and he`s bagged some crucial goals – but if he wants to move on then good luck to him. The problem with any dealing like this is the usual worry that the money comes in but Fatty doesn`t sanction using it to enable Rafa to kick on.

  • Wezza

    80k a week? That is more than any of our players if the wage Shelvey on is actually 70k. Says a lot that a championship club outspends and has a higher wage structure. What a rotten regime.

    • mentalman

      shows me stoke were over paying their existing players and are taking a gamble to get out of the championship

      • Wezza

        Yeah taking a gamble like we did paying Lazaar, Gamez and D Murphy over 115k a week each. I laugh when I see our alledged wage bill for the championship.

  • ghostrider

    If Ritchie wants out for family reasons or location issues then it’s a no brainer to just accept that he’s away.
    I like the lad and he’s done fairly well for us, so he goes with my blessing and no ill will.

    I’ve said it on here, time and time and time again…it’s not Ashley that’s the major hiccup at Newcastle, it’s the north east itself. It simply does not attract top players and even when it does, most are quickly homesick or wanting a move closer to the capital, or basically much further south.

    This is generally why we end up with mercenaries and Ashley knows this. It’s why we can’t afford to go gungho even if we could afford it.

    The likes of Ritchie, at least gave his all, like many players we have, so he leaves with his head held high and a pat on the back.

    However, Newcastle United move on in whatever way we do, because that’s how it is and always will be, no matter what.

    • Slim_Newcastle

      There maybe a small amount of truth in the fact that Newcastle might be quite far north for a lot of players. However if we had an owner who ran the club in the manner it deserves I’m sure there are plenty of top class players who would come. A thriving NUFC backed by an owner who wanted to break in to the top 6 even (let’s be realistic). Backed by 52 thousand (and the potential for more with development) Geordies wouldn’t be an attractive proposition for all but maybe the elite (which we’d struggle attract anyway). Pay them enough they will come. If location is such a big issue let’s shut up shop now and move to Cheshire. Smells like one of numerous cover stories fabricated to excuse the clown of an owner to me..

      • ghostrider

        I totally agree with your thoughts on – pay them enough – they will come. But that’s just the problem – especially now.

        Years ago under Keegan, this club was doing just that and it worked. It was fantastic. Players came. Top class players came, because Keegan and Hall promised a ride in the fast lane to success and players wanted to be associated with Kevin Keegan, European footballer of the year and many player’s idol.

        However, we can’t compete on that level again….or I should say, we can’t compete at that level under Ashley who is not stupid enough to try and chase the hares by offering massive transfer fees and wages to entice players to come to the north east, because they missed out on their main aim clubs, who simply had too many….so….come to Newcastle for big wages until they can make a swift exit once a club comes calling.

        Sad but true.

        It’s all about trying to get players that actually will play for the club, unconditionally, almost…and generally those players are the next best who require a coach to make them better.

        Either that or an oil rich oligarch or a Sheikh to actually make it a non issue with mercenaries, because they all would be from that point on but at least play and be top notch due to mammoth wages, etc.

    • gallowgate26

      Location issues? Richie is from Gosport in Hampshire and lives in Darras Hall with his family. Am I missing something?

      • ghostrider

        Yep. Did you read what was said/

    • Tino11

      “It simply does not attract top players”

      McDonald, McDermott, Ginola, Ferdinand, Asprilla, Speed, Woodgate, Milner, Cabaye,

      I’d say the lack of current ambition is what is not attracting players, we’ve had no trouble in the past.

      • Peter C

        You left out Keegan, I nearly included Michael Owen to the list, but on second thoughts, maybe not

        • Tino11

          I was going to put Keegan but he always had a love for the region so no doubt ghostpooper would say that is why he joined.

      • ghostrider

        Let’s talk about ambition.
        What should we be doing in order to be ambitious considering who we are and where we are against the elite teams?

        Oh and Cabaye was an Ashley buy.

        • Tino11

          Yes I know he was, he was also cheap though and just used us a stepping stone, a lot of our players in the past didn’t feel like they had to move to another club to ‘step up’.

          Ambition for Newcastle United is simple, the Youth Academy and Training Facilities should be on a par with most other PL clubs, ours are currently lacking.

          The aim should be to constantly improve the squad in the short term and the long term, this includes buys for the youth and reserve teams. With the amount of TV money currently in the PL, which is far, far higher than it was under the Hall Regime, there should be a minimum of 40 million available every summer window, with a further 15-20 million available in January windows if the club is in a relegation threatened position.

          The wage ceiling should be increased to 100k for the top earner(s), only 1 or 2 players would need to be paid that much (a striker for instance), this is still below several PL clubs and below the 120k a week we paid Owen over 10 years ago.

          The aim should be to finish in the top 10 season after season, with good cup runs also aspired to. After reaching that goal over a few seasons the aim would then be to break in to the top 8.

          All of the above is achievable with the money the club currently gets, it decides to take installments for players sold but pays upfront for players bought, there is no reason if it is done sensibly why we can’t pay for some of our signings over installements also, like most other PL clubs. Anyone would think we do it that way to make the accounts look a certain way.

          Pushing for top 6 would then depend on how much further ambition the owner would have, it would take additional investment.

          • ghostrider

            Great post and I totally agree with your sentiments.
            I’d certainly be more happier with that.
            All I argue is that Ashley is a lot of things.
            He’s stingy and shrewd. He’s much more untrusting and is a million miles away from being in tune with the club and fans in terms of, go for it success would look like.

            He needs to trust and have that trust returned, just as much as a manager and players need to do likewise and likewise have Ashley to give it and take it.

            A monster was created from earlier on in the Keegan return of the messiah time. We all know it and Ashley’s tried to rectify it on a few occasions and been stung as much as his own sting hurt others.

            However, what you’re saying in your post is exactly what should be happening…and maybe it will. Maybe it just might..but we still have to be careful that we don’t stray too far from that unless we’re solidly going forward.

            Let’s hope we get some better additions in the vein you speak of.

    • Peter C

      You couldn’t be more wrong, the main problem is Mike Ashley, he’s more than happy to sell at the highest price, but won’t put his hand in his pocket to buy anything of any quality,

      He’s got a bargain basement mentality, when it comes to spending his money.

      Yes we all like a bargain when we can get one, but as the saying goes “You always get what you pay for” quality costs. In the long run, it’s more cost effective and worthwhile. (Maybe You Think This Axiom Doesn’t Apply In A Footballing Sense)

      It’s probably the years and years of selling his own products, that’s made him this way.

    • Peter C

      What more could you want, the North East has nearly got the lot. Newcastle is only minutes away from the most gloriously beautiful countryside, an unenviable coastline, with some of the best beaches in England, a wealth of history, Northumberland has the most castles of any county in the country. Besides, a nightlife which is legendary, not just in this country, but also abroad. The North East has something for everyone and caters for all tastes.

      The only thing that we don’t have, is a genuine top class football team, to go everything else, and the with the genuine top class supporters, Newcastle United has.

      Which other set of fans would’ve put up with such a situation we have now, and for decades, going back to the 1950’s.

      • ghostrider

        I’m with you. I absolutely agree that Newcastle United and the north east surrounding areas is a luxury.
        The issue isn’t about the City, the landscape, etc….it’s about the elites claiming the spoils and the stigma made by the southern media about the north east being some kind of downtrodden region that’s more like a person stood in an ice cold concrete jungle with over expectant fans who just won’t leave you alone…etc….etc…etc.

        That’s what southern media does. It sort of gives credence to the historical elites and the recent elites, plus the obvious bright lights of London, which many foreign players are coaxed into a belief that London is actually England….if you get my meaning.

        The thin g is, top footballers are sold the Hollywood like dream of glitz and status of the capital or the stand out dreams of the major trophy winning teams further north but not too far north.

  • Slim_Newcastle

    It’s no big secret the money paid these days is crazy. However it’s called ambition. Not surprising that most of us toon fans find it an unfamiliar concept.

    • Peter C

      You are so right !

  • Mxpx

    Gonna say that I am not against selling Ritchie as he’s been struggling a bit with his groin and if this will be slowing him down taking the money would be shrewd however holding out for 18m isn’t a bad idea either as I imagine his wages are a bit less than shaquiri who will be leaving for 12m not against doing a swap either