Here we are again, who would have thought it…..

Every day I wake up with that hopeful excitement that when I check my phone, there will be a sensational breaking news Newcastle United headline coming out of St James Park.

I am sure that is a common disappointment that many endure at all clubs at this time of year. Last year, when promotion was secured and seemingly positive times were ahead, we were all left a little flat on what was a less than positive summer window. We had in Rafa, a manager with at least a decent track record in the transfer market. Atsu became a Toon player and in Florian Lejeune was a player that seemed to be a real decent signing. Merino on loan, Manquillo and Murphy secured – they were signings that held promise but certainly did not set the Tyne alight with passion. We were outspent by almost everyone and even teams in the Championship, which just seemed expected by the end of the window.

Heading out that summer were also some big earners and overall, after the banked instalments on the deals for Sissoko and Wijnaldum and others from previous season, something close to break even or not too far off it. I have forecast last season’s wage bill to have been somewhere close to £65m including payroll taxes and coaching staff. The January window brought some improvement with three loan signings. Dubravka and Kenedy in particular proved to be vital. Mitrovic heading out on loan, maybe cancelled out by the largely impactless Slimani.

All things considered, I see the club having operated on a total cost of much less than £100m and maybe a £15m maximum net transfer spend. I know many might argue with this but I am a logical person and I have thought this through and simply can not accept the club had a net spend (on transfers) of anything more last year.

The simple numbers are an estimated approximate £115m maximum in costs last season and an estimated £180m in revenue. Of course, that leaves a £65m net surplus after all factors are considered. This is also against a backdrop of the previous year where close to a balance was achieved. Many reported on a £30m plus profit (on transfers in 2016/17) as is also shown on transfermarkt – but it fails to record that the deals for Sissoko and Wijnaldum were paid in instalments.

The financial records show a huge spend on wages in the 2016/17 Championship season which points to mismanagement. From a base wage bill at that point including all of the players that headed out on loan, I am guessing we ended up still paying large chunks of their wages. So to simplify this, the club lost £30m in the promotion year but made £65m last year.

We entered this summer with what should have been around £35m in cash on hand, assuming the negative of the previous year has been addressed. The current season will see us forecast another £180m £in revenue with an estimated wage bill including payroll taxes, coaches and youth players of around £65m. For clarity on where I get this (wages) estimate, ***see the notes at the bottom of this article. Some may be off a little but it is simply a guide and I am confident it is within 10% of accurate overall. Club operating costs are always within £30m I believe, so we have a less than £100m predicted spend.

In terms of transfers, we can already add in (this financial year) more than £10m from Sissoko and Wijnaldum (and others) instalments. Sales of Mitrovic, Sels, Mbemba and Merino have generated close to £40m depending on how the payments are made. The current spend is a maximum £18m assuming fees for the loan of Kenedy, as well as the Muto signing is completed. That is £50m in and less than £20m out, so a 30m surplus. Add to this the £35m cash on hand at the start of the season and before we even begin to think about the £80m surplus for the coming season, we still already have a £65m balance and that includes the loss of the championship year being paid back.

Does anyone here think we will net spend £145m from this point this season? It seems even spending £20m on a player young enough to be sold on in a few years for at least a similar amount, is even off the table. Nothing makes sense anymore at Newcastle United. Not even to those that try to see the glass as half full.

(***Estimated current weekly wage per player per week for this season.

(Shelvey 80, Diame 40, Lejeune 40, Lascelles 60, Gayle 40, Joselu 25, Ayoze 30, Dummett 25, Kenedy 40, Ritchie 50, Dubravka 35, Darlow 25, Elliot 20, Clark 30, Woodman 15, Yedlin 30, Manquillo 20, Sterry 10, Lazaar 25, Atsu 30, Murphy 20, Aarons 10, Muto 40, Armstrong 10, Ki 40, Saivet 40, Hayden 25, Schar 25, Coaching staff 120, youth team 20

(Close to £1m weekly or £52m annually, plus payroll taxes etc close to £60m annually.)

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  • Samuel Brown

    This is probably the most logical assessment I have read in while and even perhaps slightly dampening down the amount of profit made. I say to fans of other clubs, if we were ambitious, NUFC could easily spend £100m and still have cash left over, and people fail to understand how, even when taking wages into consideration. It’s a long wait until next year to gain more clarification on the accounts for the past year, and no doubt they will be manipulated!

    • Leazes.

      I’ll clarify something for you….. you are blocked!

      • Stephen Paylor

        I’m not even sure why you come on here Leazes.

        • Martin Rooney

          cos he’s a mackem wind up merchant

        • Billmag

          He’s a dinosaur Stephen.

      • Tino11

        Leazes surely the cooment above and the article are anti-Ashley, they are saying there is much more money to be spent than we have been told?

        • SuperDesHamilton

          He’s so paranoid it’s really affecting him. Leazes wants to be centre of attention. Just ignore him he says nothing at all other than block

      • SuperDesHamilton

        What an absolutely horrid little man you are

  • Leazes.

    You are missing a brain!

    You write like Kevin Lee…. because you are Kevin Lee…..WUM Enemy of United!

    This is what you wrote in a previous article…… I’ll remind everyone before they give you the attention you constantly crave…..

    This is what you wrote WUM….


    …..that is what I said. We all know Yohan won’t be here to start next season so take the money now and get his wages off the books. We can use the next 4 months to at least try and get used to playing without him which for sure will what we will be doing next year Personally I would like to see Marveaux and Bigirimana given more games too. Marveaux is the same age as Cabaye”..


    • TheNutJob

      Not like you to get so upset

      • Leazes.

        What’s the point of having a block button when Van der Velde bloody well helps the troll post articles?

        • TheNutJob

          the mags getting worse, trolls everywhere, spoiling it for the genuine posters

          • Leazes.

            No there’s not trolls everywhere it two people!

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            Real fans everywhere. The militants on the Mag are in the minority.

          • panther

            i think youll find as usual you are wrong

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Monkseaton the Lamdmark Liar

        • SuperDesHamilton

          If their wasn’t a block button then your life would have no meaning

    • Albert Stubbins

      An eloquent assessment.

    • Stephen Paylor

      Yes i did want Cabaye sold at the time. He wanted out, it was January window and we were safe enough in the table. I was still under the illusion at that time the money would be reinvested. I was wrong.

  • Leazes.


  • Paul Patterson

    Regardless, Ashley will be massively in profit this time next week . .

  • Ben Jones

    Rafa asked for money in January and a contract offer was put infront of him which he refused so he was told to wheel and deal with who didn’t want in the squad (Sels, Mitro, Mbemba etc), same applies now, same contract offer, same refusal, same wheel and deal conditions (Sels, Mitrovic, Mbemba who I wouldn’t be surprised if they were forced by the club ‘if you’re not going to play them then here’s your money’), the extra funds are sitting in NUFC accounts and will help facilitate a buyer at the back end of the season, so long as we stay up

    • Peter C

      Which is looking less likely, by the day.

      Finished 10th last season, more by good fortune than anything else.
      Didn’t have many long term injuries, and on the main, had a settled side, and settled formation.

      Struggled, for whatever reason on the run up to Christmas, had a run of good of form in the New Year, a 5 game winning run, which effectively maintained our Premier League status.

      The teams which finished in the bottom part of the league last year, and below us, have invested heavily in new playing staff, ie Huddersfield, Brighton and particularly West Ham, that’s not to mention the teams which have come up from the Championship.

      Saying up, looks precariously optimistic. Lightening invariably, doesn’t strike twice in the same place. So I would say currently, we are a good each way bet, to be relegated, if we don’t strengthen.

      And that means spending some money, now, as in January, our fate maybe already have been sealed.

      • Ben Jones

        We’ve got rid of players Rafa wouldn’t use this season and seldom used last season and replaced them with, so far, 5 of Rafa’s targets who presumably he will use this season(or at least has plans to) every positive element of last seasons 10th place has been retained, everything points to us having strengthened from last season and I still believe there’s more to come

        • Peter C

          One of the 5, is a returnee on loan from last January, Kenedy, one other, is a loanee from last Jan, Dubravka who’s become a permanent signing.

          These two individuals, made a substantial impact, and probably meant that we stopped up. So we really have only made 3 new signings, one of them a centre half, who makes up for the centre half, we’ve lost, probably for the whole of the new season.

          That doesn’t say to me, that we’re in a stronger position, than last season.

          And as I mentioned, the 10th place, could be considered as being a bit fortunate, we could’ve quite easily of been relegated, on the other hand.

          I genuinely hope, you’re right, and the squad is added to, but that business, should of already been done.

          The sooner players arrive, the sooner they settle in to a new environment. With our start to the season, we can’t afford, a long settling in time.

  • ash1001

    OK, I am probably heading for a ‘slagging off’ by some on here, but what the hell, after over 60 years through thick and thin of supporting NUFC, here my take, and money is not going to be mentioned, cos I am sick of listening to be been this amount and that amount.
    Ashley during his spell in charge of our club has forked out fair amount of cash, but do not think at the time he was thinking of the fans etc, it was more about what could be gained for him.
    Now hes issuing promises etc that are broken before the ink is dry, fans build there hopes up, the manager opens discussions then the picture changes i.e Mitro was going to be 20 million up front, now its probably 22 million over his contact period. so Rafa gets nothing, Ashley pulls the plug on academy/training centre improvements, saying he cannot afford to finance it yet offers 60 odd million to bale out House of Fraser. My Opinion, Ashley is having fun at our expense – big time.
    And now for Lee Charnley, have know him from the beginning of the Fans Forum meetings, did not trust him them, and even less so now, always remember one of the Fans Forum members had to be restrained from decking him one in the toilets after a meeting for some thing he had said. My Opinion, Charnley is not bothered one jot about NUFC other that he gets paid each month. seem to recall a certain Financial Officer of the club leaving to go work at the airport, and he was a great guy, but did not want any part of what was happening at his club.
    The hangers on at NUFC – liaison officers etc like Charnley are more interested in a pay packet than the morals of the job they have.
    Finally, Rafa, love the guy and accept that he has made mistakes, all managers have, including the great Fergie and Wenger, thats part of the job, but does he hell deserve the messing around that he gets at NUFC. At present he seems pretty powerless to do anything, those above dictating moves etc. and as things stand can seeing going before the season starts.
    The only people with any honour at our football club, is Rafa and his personal staff, that man deserves a medal the size of a frying pan for putting up with it all.

    • Wezza

      “Ashley is having fun at our expense – big time.”

      Spot on.

    • FatParosite

      Charnley has neither the power nor the intellect to be in a position to make decisions. He is there to meet out Ashley’s instructions and deliver messages. He is a separating conduit between Ashley and Rafa. He works directly according to Ashley agenda and does not even go to the toilet without passing it by Bishop’s office. Getting angry at him is akin to getting upset at the floor because of gravity. There are so many who do not see this and as such Charnley fulfils his job title as lightning rod.

  • Wezza

    ‘Does anyone here think we will net spend £145m from this point this season?’

    Good grief no.

    Your estimated wages are more or less what I have – a bridge too far from the 112M championship season wage bill and massive wages those thought to be on.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    You will find the wages will be closer to £90m. You have omitted pension payments, bonuses. Rafa and his coaching team are in the region of £8m. We started last season overdrawn at the bank by £8m and that was with £23m of season ticket sales in the bank so effectively in real terms we were £33m overdrawn. You are at least £30m out on wages as I have said above. However If Rafa had signed a contract perhaps a further loan could have been injected into the club.

    • Stephen Paylor

      Coaching team are included at 120k weekly or around 7 million when taxes are included. I can not see how 100 million is possible. I think the above list might even be on the high side.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      “you’ve ommited a bunch of $h!t I just made up. explain yourself!” – MonMug

    • Martin Rooney

      I doubt there’d be any further loan, and him signing a new contract doesn’t make any impact to the one he’s got.
      What I don’t understand is that he does have the protection of a publicly professed working condition that he has all the money the club generates at his disposal for what he wants. As it’s been filmed (twice) any lawyer would have no difficulty getting a judge to agree that his role became untenable. Therefore deserves compo for leaving under the strain his, the business face, being undermined, by his line managers.
      What is likely is that he has been told what the money is and how that is impacted by every action e.g. if there is £100m available that translates in to

      £60m on transfer fees for 5 players
      £5m on players agents
      £2m on clubs agents
      £5m on signing on fees
      £15m for bonuses for the playing and coaching staff
      a total of £97m

      That leaves the players wages at £50 grand a week each for the 5 new players coming in unfortunately £100m doesn’t go far.

      Another thing that a lot of people don’t realise is that when a player is sold the price paid has to include VAT so 20% goes to the tory govt, who knows what the actual price paid is. Take Mitro the buying clubs outlay is £22m and the selling clubs income is £18.3m. A big difference to what the toon gets to contribute to player costs buying or wages.

      matterless targeting the likes of Rondon is not good whether is RB, MA or CL he’s not a good footballer

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Can have what the club earns… not alot when paid in installments, we pay all upfront, and the club is apparently in debt to… Ashley. That is the trump card. On paper its spun it has no money to spend unless Ashley chooses to do so. Ultimately Rafa has been played between the lines where Ashley has stitched him up better than he could with KK.

      • HarryHype59

        Here’s a radical idea! Why doesn’t the owner follow the standard practice of other clubs and allow players to be bought on staggered fees?

        This would be funded by future income streams from players we have already sold. It would allow Rafa to bring in better quality players as cash flow issues are eased.

    • TheFatController

      What I like about you is, you think life is ‘ideal’ – that people will come round to finding out ashley is ok.

      Perception is reality. Even if he was really nelson Mandela and sheik Mansour rolled into one, reality is he’s hated.

      So he should sell up and give up. Who cares now if he’s the best or worst owner ever, he’s not wanted and that’s the reality and all that matters.

      Perception is reality, he’s perceived as bad for the club – he really should accept it, whether it’s fair or harsh, and move on so everyone can have their lives back

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        One problem no one wants to buy us not even for £350m.

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Monk if you said grass was Green I’d go & check, I’ve found you out

  • HarryHype59

    I think there is consensus that the club is in profit! The question every one asks is why is the manager not backed adequately?

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    It’ll all be academic in 2019-20 if we are relegated and Rafa walks.

  • Martin

    I doubt we have banked £40 million for the players sold. Probably more like £10 million if paid by instalments although in a properly run club it would make no difference as we would also pay in installments.

    • London_Mag

      Are we getting money in for players who we sold in the past on installments like Sissoko wheres taht dosh?

      • HarryHype59

        Fair point, see my answer to Martin above.

    • HarryHype59

      I made this point several times in the past! Selling on instalments isn’t an issue if players can be bought on the same terms. Insisting that players are bought upfront whilst accepting staggered payments, creates cash flow issues and limits funds available to Rafa.

  • Jonas

    he likes to buy businesses that are struggling, I kept wondering why he wouldn’t be interested in Villa or the mackems who have been and are in a desperate state, and cheap – but the reason is obvious, partly due to those two clubs having notoriously historically disloyal followings (neither would get 20,000 after 11years of him) he just wouldn’t be able to make money out of either of them.

    Which is why he’s here. He’s making money out of it. Otherwise he’d have f**ked off years ago.