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Opinion

How is the Newcastle United wage bill so high – Surely these numbers don’t add up?

7 months ago
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With the release of the latest set of Newcastle United accounts (late again) it’s been looked over by most fans of the club with ultimate scepticism, much like anything that has been done by the owner over the last 12 years.

The one thing that did make my ears prick up was the mention of the Newcastle United wage bill coming in at £93m and it SHOULD raise a few eyebrows.

Let’s take our highest earner Jonjo Shelvey. He is widely reported to be on £70,000 a week which is just over £3.6m a year and if you take our captain Jamaal Lascelles and speculate that he’s on £50,000 a week (£2.6m a year), the figures look a bit odd.

With the rest of the squad falling below (often well below) these two earners, it makes you question how that figure of £93m is correct.

I could understand it if we were talking about the likes of Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and his sky high £250,000+ a week wages, the top four clubs’ wage bills are astronomical, but with the highest paid player on £70k as a maximum, it’s all a bit of a stretch.

My suspicions were aroused by looking back a decade or more.

I daydreamed back to 2005/06 (pre-Ashley) when we had top strikers Michael Owen and Alan Shearer on the payroll and thought immediately that the facts simply don’t stand up.

Let’s not forget, Owen was on £110,000 a week and Shearer contractually had to be the best paid player at the club.

That’s well over £10m a year on two players alone and with the likes of Albert Luque, Emre, Nobby Solano, Scott Parker, Shay Given, Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer getting paid, you could certainly see where the money was going. But in 2019?

It’s no wonder all the high earners were quickly shipped out.

Back to the here and now,surely it’s impossible for our wage bill to be as high.

You can’t have two players on £110k or more a week in 2005 and the highest earner in 2019 on £70k without alarm bells ringing.

So how is the Newcastle United wage bill as high as £93m some fifteen years later when every basic equation suggests it should be nowhere near that?

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