One thing struck me earlier while I was writing about our international players and how they’d got along during this international break.
It was also a point which was touched upon by regular commenter Craig Chisholm. That point being that we do seem to have a lot of good players at the club. Good young players as well.
I happen to agree with that. You can see that we are getting more and more players called up for their respective countries. From the Faroe Islands and Northern Ireland to Holland, France and Argentina there is undoubtedly some talent in our squad which will hopefully stand us in good stead as we try and progress in the Premier League.
Unfortunately it wasn’t all sweetness and light and Craig went on to say that it doesn’t really matter as any player who pricks the interest of another club enough for them to roll up with a fistful of dollars will likely be sold. I happen to agree with this also.
Look at the form book. It doesn’t make for good reading does it?
However I don’t really mind this as such. If players are attracting the interest of other clubs then it means that they are producing the business for us. It’s a shame that it’s unlikely that we’ll keep them though, which leaves us in a bit of dilemma really.
We’ve been told that we are susceptible to big money bids. In a sense many teams outside the top couple of clubs are susceptible to big money bids. Nature of the beast and all that. It will carry on like that in fairness which is why many NUFC fans wince when a transfer window comes around. The fear of not selling anyone meaningful is at least equal to the fear of not buying anyone.
However there is a balance to be struck between cashing in your chips or staying in the hand. At what point do we say enough is enough and actually try to build a team around the players that we have rather than selling them on for a meaty profit? And why can’t we actually see some of the money brought in from said meaty profit?
You see again I’m getting back to this money thing. The sale of Andy Carroll should have brought about a decent enough summer budget. In the end we spent £600,000 all-in. Why? Could there not have been some form of balance struck somewhere along the line?
I’ve yet to meet one Newcastle fan who really expected the whole £35 million (£45 million if you consider the money received for Jose Enrique and Kevin Nolan) to be reinvested in the team. The general consensus, going off memory alone, was that about £20 million would be reasonable. Actually all of the money reinvested would be reasonable in my eyes, but that is just me talking as a fan.
Anyway, I’m getting off track here a bit so I’ll take it back to what I’m trying to say. Whether it be player sales or player purchases there needs to be a balance. That balance needs to address the debt as, quite simply, the sooner it is gone the sooner we don’t have it hanging over us (or thrown in our faces: “Sir Michael has put in xx amount of millions” blah blah). It also needs to address the fact that there is a football team out there that needs money spent on it frequently.
My primary concern is that the main priority is to the accounts and not to the team on the pitch. I’m not knocking it as we’ve got some potentially fantastic players for very reasonable prices, but there are still some glaring holes in our squad. This is where the balance needs to come into the equation.
I don’t buy this notion that the cash has been spent on wages for new players, or undersoil heating, new signs, lightbulbs or whatever. I really don’t buy that at all. To me wages are a running cost and shouldn’t be paid from one-off cash injections. The only sense I can make of that one is that the year one wages have been paid from the Carroll money and the rest will be absorbed once the likes of Alan Smith move on, but even then I still say that wages are running costs.
In the interest of balance I also don’t buy this notion that Ashley has pocketed the cash. Not directly anyway. I fail to see how he can pocket anything given the amount of money he is owed. At worst it has partially been used to pay him back a little bit, and we know he is taking some money back as I wrote about it not so long back. You can read it here.
Somewhere between those last two paragraphs there is a balance to be had. Things need repaying but the team needs improving. The fans aren’t stupid and they know this is the case. Does it really have to be tipped so heavily in the balance of the finances? And is it to the detriment of the potential of the team?
Hopefully you’ll find this a balanced article about, well, er, balance…