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Steve Bruce explains to Sky Sports how exactly Newcastle ‘broke all the rules’ with Joe Willock signing

10 months ago

Steve Bruce says an awful lot of things that don’t make any sense.

After over 25 months at Newcastle United, fans never now surprised at what he comes out with.

A week ago at the Steve Bruce pre-Aston Villa press conference, there was this question and answer below.


“You have got Joe [Willock] into the building now, can we expect any further additions before the window closes? Is defence maybe one area that you will be looking to add?”

Steve Bruce:

“Well, I’m never going to say never.

“I didn’t think we’d be able to buy Joe the way we did.

“We broke all the rules of trying to secure his signature.

“So I’m never going to say never.

“And if somebody comes along which can help us, then we will try and act.

“So far, you know, we have got a decent balanced squad.”

For pretty much any Premier League club these days, spending £20m+ on a player isn’t seen as such an extraordinary thing…but no journalist had then questioned further Steve Bruce on this ‘broke all the rules’ thing.

Ahead of the Southampton match though, today Steve Bruce has clarified to Sky Sports what exactly he meant:

“The budget wasn’t enough to buy Joe Willock but we managed to break all our transfer rules to buy him.

“I believe we paid for it in instalments, which isn’t the [Mike Ashley NUFC] policy.

“However, if there’s a loan deal to get then that’s what we’re looking at [if NUFC are to sign anybody else.”

So that old chestnut, Newcastle United out of kilter with pretty much every other Premier League club, where he still insists on Newcastle paying the whole amount up front when signing players, but when selling he allows the other club to pay in instalments. A process that obviously puts Newcastle in a far weaker position when it comes to wheeling and dealing. Especially when these future instalments never seem to boost NUFC’s transfer kitty…

However, Mike Ashley now finally accepting that he had to break his own ‘rules’ in order for the Joe Willock signing to happen BUT clearly this a total one-off, as not allowing any more buys this summer.

Mike Ashley could of course have put the money into the club himself to help buy the player(s) this summer, as most other owners do regularly, to help them compete in the transfer market and also invest in the infrastructure.

With at least ten first team squad players having come off the wage bill since the last previous signing (Jamal Lewis in September 2020) before Joe Willock, that should also have seriously helped the club finances.

Whilst the £6m+ Newcastle will be receiving from their 40% contract clause in the Adam Armstrong transfer, could well be paying the full initial instalment to Arsenal for Willock. Effectively meaning a zero net spend for Newcastle this summer.


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