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Newcastle United claim Mike Ashley wanted to break transfer record this summer

6 months ago
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Newcastle United have claimed that Mike Ashley wanted the club to break its 13 year old club transfer record this summer.

The official Newcastle United Fans Forum minutes have been published on Friday night and say that the owner gave his blessing to trying to sign players ‘well above and beyond the club’s current transfer record.’

Considering that 2005 Michael Owen fee was £16.8m, Newcastle fans are seemingly expected to believe that Mike Ashley would have allowed Rafa Benitez to buy £20m+ players…

The minutes stating: ‘The club explained that several more players were pursued, some of which were well above and beyond the club’s current transfer record.’

Taking into account the fact that  Newcastle didn’t even pay £10m for a signing in the summer, it is very difficult to believe that Rafa Benitez would have been backed with £20m+ signings but couldn’t identify anybody he wanted over and above £10m and who was willing to come to Tyneside.

The minutes also revealed (see HERE) that since the last accounts Mike Ashley has taken money out of the club, though no figure was put on this amount.

Newcastle fans sceptical as to just how genuine this claim is, about going for £20m signings, when the summer transfer activity was so shockingly unambitious, AND Rafa Benitez made clear how unhappy he was at the transfer activity.

Newcastle United Fans Forum minutes:

Summer Transfer Window

When the club enters a window, its aim is to come out of it stronger. The club brought in seven players (five on permanent deals and two on loan).

The club was pleased to secure the manager’s number one transfer target, Salomón Rondón (The club explained the release clause fee is just part of a deal, with wages over the period of a potentially long contract and agents’ fees factored in. A loan agreement was preferred) – and also Yoshinori Mutō, a player the manager wanted in January 2018.

The club brought Kenedy back on loan and brought some Premier League experience in Ki Sung-yueng and Federico Fernández, plus Fabian Schär to add competition, and then also secured Martin Dúbravka on a permanent deal.

The collective view, including that of the players, is the squad is stronger following the summer transfer window. The club explained that several more players were pursued, some of which were well above and beyond the club’s current transfer record. For a number of reasons, the deals were not possible despite the money being available for these players.

The club explained the challenges of the transfer window and stated that several clubs simply did not want to sell their players, or that the players did not want to make the move.

The club discussed a number of other striking options <names withheld from Fans Forum minutes>, some of which were well above and beyond the club’s current transfer record, however ultimately the club pursued Salomón Rondón at the manager’s request. The club’s preference with Rondón was for a loan deal.

The club confirmed it had been in the market in this position and wanted an offensive leftback to provide competition for Paul Dummett. The position remains on the club’s radar for the January transfer window.

Discussions with the manager are on-going (for the January window). The club would ideally like to secure exciting, high-quality young players who can make a difference, rather than focussing on quantity of players.

The club confirmed that there was money available for the right players. Players have to benefit the club not only in the short term, but also the medium-to-long term.

The club also explained that it would be easy to pay sometimes highly-inflated initial fees quoted by clubs but there is a responsibility with the club’s long-term health in mind to spend intelligently.

The club confirmed that it did not set out to make a profit (in the summer window).

The club also explained the difference between profit and cash flow. The deal for Aleksandar Mitrović was given as an example, with money coming over a period of four years. In terms of this financial year, the club’s income in relation to trading for summer 2018, when comparing cash going out and cash coming, is about net £2m; far from the profit being reported.

The rest of the money comes in over future years. The club made it clear that money was available to spend in the summer transfer window

The club explained that it usually opts to pay up front in full in order to get the best deal possible. It then accepts dated payments to maximize what is received. During planning for the summer window, the club discussed with the manager about the possibly of being able to match up against incoming payments in future years, where appropriate. For example when signing Mutō the club offered two options. One was to pay in full and one was dated payments. The club will always do the deal that is in the best interests of the club.

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