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Newcastle United competing for £16m bonus

5 months ago
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Monday night saw final confirmation that Newcastle United were staying up.

Fulham losing 2-0 at home to Burnley and Scott Parker’s team falling through the trapdoor back to the Championship.

The Cottagers joining Sheffield United and Sam Allardyce’s West Brom who had already booked their demotion ticket.

So, Newcastle United now with nothing to play for?

Not quite.

Here is how the Premier League table looks on Tuesday morning, the morning after the night before when Fulham made their exit:

If you look closely, Newcastle United can now finish anywhere between twelfth and seventeenth (hypothetically NUFC could even finish eleventh…but as that would also involve a 26 goal turn around in goal difference with Villa, I have discounted that one).

With £3.2m extra for each place you finish higher in the Premier League, that means Newcastle United are playing for up to £16m (5 x £3.2m) extra revenue, the difference between 12th and 17th.

Whilst we all dream of a takeover one day, there is no guarantee that that day will arrive this summer, or indeed any summer! So, if you accept the most likely scenario is that Mike Ashley will head into his 15th season of ambition-free ownership, this potential £0 – £16m bonus could make a difference to the transfer kitty, or could indeed be the entire kitty…

Here are the six contenders and their remaining fixtures, then my predicted results:

45 points – Wolves (Spurs A, Everton A, Man Utd H) Draw, Lose, Lose

41 points – Crystal Palace (Southampton A, Villa H, Arsenal H, Liverpool A) Draw, Draw, Draw, Lose

39 points – Burnley (Leeds H, Liverpool H, Sheff Utd A) Draw, Lose, Win

39 points – Newcastle United (Man City H, Sheff Utd H, Fulham A) Lose, Win, Draw

37 points – Brighton (West Ham H, Man City H, Arsenal A) Draw, Lose, Draw

37 points – Southampton (Palace H, Fulham H, Leeds H, West Ham A) Draw, Win, Draw, Lose

Taking my predicted results into account, it would give a final league table (between 12th and 17th) of:

(Twelfth) 46 – Wolves

(Thirteenth) 44 – Crystal Palace

(Fourteenth) 43 – Burnley

(Fifteenth) 43 – Newcastle United

(Sixteenth) 42 – Southampton

(Seventeenth) 39 – Brighton

At my most optimistic, I could see Wolves potentially losing all three of their remaining matches, with Newcastle beating Sheffield United and Fulham, plus a draw against Man City. That could see NUFC maybe ending up twelfth and scooping the £16m extra, over and above seventeenth and survival.

However, my most realistic take is that fifteenth spot and a transfer kitty boost / total of £6.4m.

It would be nice / uplifting to see Newcastle United finish the season with a flourish, especially after such a shockingly bad eight or nine months in the main.

However, nothing would surprise you with Newcastle United, possibly even beating champions Man City and then losing to relegated Sheffield United and Fulham…

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