Get with the times: Why NUFC’s transfer policy must change

The Ashley regime has installed a clear transfer policy over the last ten years, with mixed results. Profit and re-sale value have usually been the main priority. With the new TV deal and transfer fees increasing dramatically, will Newcastle move with the times and secure the recruitment they need this summer?

Ashley’s usual transfer policy

The cornerstone of Ashley’s transfer policy at NUFC has been to scout and secure young talent from the continent, tie them to long contracts with the idea of a large re-sale fee. The worked well with the likes of Cabaye (sold £20m), Debuchy (sold £12m), Wijnaldum (sold £25m) Sissoko (sold £30m). However, for every success there have been flops like Riviere, Thauvin, Cabella and M’Biwa. It is also frustrating for fans having players who are not here for the long term and as such, become viewed purely as assets.

Derek Llambias famously said Newcastle would sign a ‘few purples’ (high quality players) and that was all we could afford. It was the job of Carr to get these players in at a low cost. Release clauses was also an avenue we explored to find a bargain.

The manager role was also switched to a head coach role with Graham Carr all but the director football. Two relegations and one top half finish suggests this policy has not worked on the pitch and a new direction is needed.

Rafa’s transfer ideology

One of the reasons there is speculation regularly that Rafa will quit is that this transfer policy goes against Rafa’s stance on new players. He has regularly said he doesn’t want players who view NUFC as a stepping stone and that experienced players are needed too for the dressing room. He also feels British players are important to help connect the playing staff and the fans and squad depth is pivotal to a long hard season. Vitally, he insists on the final say on all transfers and is effectively more of a manager not a head coach.

Why our old policy won’t work this window

Times have clearly changed. The new TV deal has meant that £17m gets you Harry Maguire, with Bournemouth set to spend £20m on Nathan Ake. To think that is higher than our transfer record shows how NUFC have really stagnated. If we have any hope of getting back in the top half, we need to invest in quality players and pay the premium. Hidden gems are great but Ashley has gambled and lost on this policy already; we can’t afford another relegation fight.

We have a large fan base and a world class manager. This will certainly help to attract players but to get to that point we have to at least match what other Premier league teams are willing to pay.

Ashley beginning to change?

Ashley has already moulded the policy last season to fit to Rafa’s needs. Ritchie, Shelvey and Gayle came in as a new British spine. Murphy and Gamez both were signed despite being over 30 and for the first time in a while we had good squad depth last year. Having four capable centre halves for once was quite a novelty for Newcastle fans…

Graham Carr leaving also strengths Rafa’s hand. Press articles will always link Rafa with a departure because of his pedigree. But the known facts are that he stayed when we went down, announced he is staying after one meeting with Ashley this summer and now the club structure is being changed to fit around his needs.

Until this is backed up with quality signings though, it is going to be a restless summer. Let’s hope Ashley realises his transfer policy needs to continue to keep up with the market.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Simon Riddlesden

Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.

99 thoughts on “Get with the times: Why NUFC’s transfer policy must change

  1. Sharpy letting Carr go is a bit of a mystery just like this so called Chinese take over.

    Georgio I know stupid of Sunderland not to hire Pardew and Carver! Just plain dumb

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  2. really who gives a **** how scum are going,we are not doing very well ourselves in this market crap,Rafa not happy which is a bad sign imo,wanting topay 8.5 mil in bits its a bloody joke,Jabba is full of ****,he says Rafa can have every penny made we only got 7.1mil for coming up is that the money he means??

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  3. I care mate because I don’t want Pardew back and I can see it happening. Ashley reverts back to old ways, same old, same old.

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  4. Ice: just a bit of fun with the Mackems, kicking them when they are down and God knows they deserve it. That banner, we were like a cup final to them and they even celebrated draws like it was the highlight of their season.

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  5. Also, Ice: I have banged on quite a bit about the need to pay in installments so I am not surprised they are haggling about it now. I mean, if Spurs pay for Sissoko in installments and we pay for LeJuene etc in cash, you will have a cash flow problem.

    We also will have a major money shortfall by spending a year in the Championship. I will be surprised if we broke even despite parachute payments because we had a PL wage bill still.

    So, we have some catch up to do and it will be a juggling act for Rafa. He will be able to spend every penny NUFC earn but most of that will be in the future. He will have to borrow against that future revenue and we we will have to:

    1. Pay in installments.

    2. Have a friendly bank manager, who will give us an overdraft.

    3. Sell some players

    4. Get a partner for Ashley in order to generate funds

    5. Perhaps have some creative financing where we can sell bonds based on future revenue – Man U and others did it.

    Or, Ashley to sells up.

    Saying Rafa should be given the funds and that they are there to be spent is simply not true as Ashley has said he isn’t loaning the money and that would be the solution right there.

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  6. There’s is another thing about the cash payments for transfers – that was Ashley’s old model. Now it is being run like every other football club that does not have a Sugar Daddy.

    Remember, Ashley was funding the transfers thinking Carr was a genius. He would buy low and sell high. Pay Cash up front, wait for them to become PL stars and then cash in and pay himself back from the windfall profit.

    It didn’t work did it. 2 relegations and 1 top 10 finish prove it. Now Ashley has given the club to Rafa and Charnley (after a failed experiment with Carr and Charnley) they must find creative ways to generate transfer funds if there is no more outside money.

    We simply cannot pay in cash anymore without outside money and that will not come from the Fatman, he has said so.

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  7. Eric Sykes:
    Ice: just a bit of fun with the Mackems, kicking them when they are down and God knows they deserve it. That banner, we were like a cup final to them and they even celebrated draws like it was the highlight of their season.

    i know mate,i enjoy it too 😆

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  8. What I am saying is that if Ashley is not willing to front the money, this is as much about accounting now as it is about finding the players. The situation is then acerbated by the crazy money other clubs are now willing to pay. All of them staking their future on PL future revenue. It will pay off for most, but some will sink into the abyss, despite parachute payments – probably the Mackems.

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  9. Ice – that’s a report in the Shields rag quoting an old report in the Sun who probably got it from last month’s Mirror who’d talked to Rafa’s neighbours dog.

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  10. georgio:
    Ice – that’s a report in the Shields rag quoting an old report in the Sun who probably got it from last month’s Mirror who’d talked to Rafa’s neighbours dog.

    Georgio: I think you are right and that is a rehash of an old Sun story. Aren’t there supposed to have been some strategy talks this week. I still think it is a difficult balancing act especially with the amounts that traditionally nothing teams like Bournemouth and Swansea are willing to shell out.

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  11. We still know nothing about anything NUFC related Eric.
    There’s a rumour Gouffran has to decide on his new puny contact by tonight (or what?) and several players have been training early and that’s it.
    All the rest is fans tearing their hair out for info and journo’s guesses.

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  12. Icedog:
    Mmmmmm Rafa is not at the club at the moment,not expected over the week-end

    Probably having a weekend with the family as training starts on Monday, followed by training in Ireland. Then they have the friendlies which, no matter how disparaging I have been about them, still have to be prepared for and travelled to. I wouldn’t read too much into this one unless you want to get a job at the Chronicle or a tabloid.

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  13. Rafa had a long running feud with Hicks and Gillett about transfer funds. I think there would finally be a fan mutiny if he quit so he has the upper hand and might, just might be able to squeeze something out of Ashley’s stones (hope I didn’t put anybody off their dinner with that description).

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  14. Guys, I said it before but I want to say it again, as I see it coming: don’t be surprised if Rafa announces leaving. He is not a person who put up with cheating. If he thinks he is betrayed, he will definitely walk away. No offence to Toon army, I mean Ashley.

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  15. I started believing Stem’s comment: Ashley may do this on purpose just to drive Rafa away without paying him the compensation.

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  16. Funrafa:
    I started believing Stem’s comment: Ashley may do this on purpose just to drive Rafa away without paying him the compensation.

    He is a sly swine there is no getting away from it,also has Rafa not said anything one way or another that’s my worry,he sees the rags as we do ?

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  17. We actually have a massive advantage over teams that have spent big in installments because Ashley has insisted on paying cash in the past. We have no debts to other teams so we have a blank slate. It seems Ashley has sanctioned paying in installments rather than cash so that gives us much more spending power THIS YEAR. And God knows we will need it if we want to compete.

    It is pretty simple really. If Rafa spends 100 million and we agree to pay all fees over 5 years we only have to pay 20 million this year. Works just like a car loan or mortgage – you agree to pay in the future so you can get more now.

    Now, teams like Eibar who are minnows might want the money up front because 10 million Euros is a massive part of their budget. But most top 10 clubs in the top leagues are used to installments and they are the ponds we should be fishing in.

    Sorry to flog a dead horse, but there are plenty of reasons Rafa could afford some of these players with massive headline transfer fees.

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  18. Icedog: He is a sly swine there is no getting away from it,also has Rafa not said anything one way or another that’s my worry,he sees the rags as we do ?

    Ice, I think Rafa did complain to those national newspaper, like Mail, independent which reported Rafa’s frustration last weekend. Otherwise these national newspaper won’t say so in such a definite way. Plus, Rafa has never come out to deny it, right? It is a warning Rafa gave to Ashley to see whether he really cares or not. So far it looks Ashley not care.

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