FOUR key areas Rafa will look to strengthen in January & the players he may target in each position

There have been some interesting articles released recently surrounding the potential takeover, explaining what may or may not happen in the transfer window come January.

The latest reports are that, despite the prospect of oil money coming into the club, financial fair play would limit our spend in the next window to between £50-£80m. It is has also been said that Ashley WILL in fact sanction some money for transfers even if a takeover does not go through by then.

Not £50m plus of course, but purely to keep us as an attractive proposition to sell, with it being in his interest as far as a potential sale goes to keep Benitez and the squad in a healthy position. The last thing potential buyers would want to see would be a club in free-fall or facing impending relegation.

So where do we need to strengthen and who may we target  in January, whether we are taken over by then or not:

Striker

Not bringing in a proven or quality centre forward was the main, and deserved criticism, of Ashley and co. this summer. Benitez has us well drilled, solid defensively and is squeezing all he can out of a committed squad, however – as the past week has shown – it is clear we lack the firepower to really progress up the table. Gayle was better on Saturday but big questions remain over his ability in the top flight, Mitrovic is clearly not trusted by the manager and although working hard for the team, Joselu appeared to be signed as a stop gap of sorts, showing once again on Saturday that he isn’t a 15-goal a season striker. A clinical forward is hard to find but United need to make this their priority this winter.

Potential targets with a takeover: Cenk Tosun (Besiktas), Willian Jose (Real Sociedad)

Potential targets without a takeover: Danny Ings (Liverpool – loan)

Number 10

Another problem position for Newcastle over the last few years has been behind of just off the striker. Perez fills the role currently and although he is another hard worker, he lacks the cutting edge to make the role his own moving forward. Rafa favours a 4-2-3-1 formation so this role is key to our success, especially when we already lack firepower up front.

Potential targets with a takeover: Tom Cairney (Fulham), Dennis Praet (Sampdoria)

Potential targets without a takeover: Lewis Holtby (Hamburg), Gabriel Pires (Leganes)

Left back

A position in the summer that was certainly a weak point for us, as loyal servant Dummett’s limitations have been there for all to see. Dummett is still injured and Manquillo has come in and performed fairly well and certainly above expectations. So although not as urgent as options going forward, longer term a quality left back would certainly improve us. That being said, Rafa will be delighted with our defensive prowess so far this season, conceding less than a goal a game in the Premier League, however he’ll want a natural left-back to give us ‘balance’.

Potential targets with a takeover: Luke Shaw (Man Utd – loan), James Milner (Liverpool)

Potential targets without a takeover: Matty Targett (Southampton), Kennedy (Chelsea)

Winger

I still feel there is scope for a real quality winger to be added to the squad. Ritchie has been excellent all things considered this season, chipping in with four assists. Atsu started the season well, and still looks decent business, but has faded and Murphy has not delivered yet following his £12m arrival. Aarons is still in the squad but time surely is running out for the youngster to finally make a real mark on Tyneside. A winger who offers more goals would be a welcome addition and take some pressure off our misfiring strike force.

Potential targets with a takeover: Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid)

Potential targets without a takeover: Adama Traore (Middlesbrough), Kamil Grosicki (Hull)

Who would you like to see come in this January? Let us know your thoughts on the areas you feel need strengthening and the sort of players you feel we could sign with and without a takeover.

(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.

165 thoughts on “FOUR key areas Rafa will look to strengthen in January & the players he may target in each position

  1. Whenever I click on the football stories in The Chronic I only ever see, underneath:

    1: A Lee Ryder horror mask and that is not only for Halloween.

    2. Robberies, rapes and felons.

    3. Somebody related to somebody in Geordie Shore

      (Quote)

  2. I got away from my main topic of possible Sunderland Managers. Get a grip Eric/Graeme:

    Little Jimmie Krankie
    Bigfoot
    The True Geordie

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  3. Gordan Strachan. I think I might have mentioned him already when I said Little Jimmie Krankie. Have they ever been seen in the same room together?

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  4. kimtoon:
    Tip for you all.
    NEVER EVER BUY FROM APPLIANCES DIRECT ONLINE. They are the worst company ever and robbing *******s. Wish I had read the many scathing reviews before buying from them.
    Won’t bore you with the saga but AVOID AT ALL COST.

    That doesn’t sound good mate,don’t know ins and outs but have you got in touch with head office of the company?

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  5. 5 Things I have learnt from International Breaks:

    1, It is going to be a hard 2 weeks. What can you really say about Joe Hart that has not already been said?

    2. And Joslelu and Perez? Anything else would be noise.

    3. That’s enough Ryder. Now you and John Gibson get down the pub to work on your livers and tans.

    Do I have to learn 5 things?

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  6. Icedog: That doesn’t sound good mate,don’t know ins and outs but have you got in touch with head office of the company?

    Customer services has a premium rate number and they keep you on the line waiting for an answer for 25mins plus every time you call. They also operate an E. message portal, not to be confused with email. You have zero proof that you have replied to them unlike emails, all you have are their messages to you! I bought a dehumidifier off them for £160 over two weeks ago it was delivered. Got it out the box and it was obviously used, marks and scuffs on plug and lead and when I lifted the filter off the back all the coils were bent and splayed ! After finally getting through got a surly woman who insists they don’t sell damaged or used goods, liars. She insisted I plug it in and run it for 24hours. I hung up and tried it, guess what, red light came on which means water container full !, it wouldn’t start or work at all. Rang back insisted they collect at no cost to me and refund as per my consumer rights. Then told to provide photos of damage and upload to their returns portal thingy, it doesn’t let you upload, surprise surprise.
    Got a couple of emails so replied so have some proof at least.
    Collection of goods arranged with dpd, I put photos in box with item and all refs and my details on box as have read reviewers say they claim they haven’t had stuff back!
    Collected a date late, driver had no returns note, I said they told me it gets put on at the depot, he rang head office and gave me a receipt which I scanned and sent to them last week.
    Yesterday they e.message me to say they have closed the case as have not heard from me ! another one of their tricks apparently.
    I reply to message insisting we have been conversing all last week so that’s not true and WHERE IS MY REFUND ?
    Get an apologetic reply , say it’s reopened and I have to allow 5 days for item to get to their depot and a further 4days to test the item!!!!
    Stalling tactics and total con artist, I’m not kidding people have lost thousands with this outfit. Trading standards and small claims have been used by loads of buyers.
    This should be a simple collect and refund, total frustration all around.

    Anyway stay away from this company guys

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  7. Kim whats the website address? There seem to be a few different companies that say appliances direct

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  8. RIP Batty
    He is laid to rest today.
    Very sad.
    My condolences to his family and particular his daughter Shannon.

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  9. kimtoon: Customer services has a premium rate number and they keep you on the line waiting for an answer for 25mins plus every time you call. They also operate an E. message portal, not to be confused with email. You have zero proof that you have replied to them unlike emails, all you have are their messages to you! I bought a dehumidifier off them for £160 over two weeks ago it was delivered. Got it out the box and it was obviously used, marks and scuffs on plug and lead and when I lifted the filter off the back all the coils were bent and splayed ! After finally getting through got a surly woman who insists they don’t sell damaged or used goods, liars. She insisted I plug it in and run it for 24hours. I hung up and tried it, guess what, red light came on which means water container full !, it wouldn’t start or work at all. Rang back insisted they collect at no cost to me and refund as per my consumer rights. Then told to provide photos of damage and upload to their returns portal thingy, it doesn’t let you upload, surprisesurprise.
    Got a couple of emails so replied so have some proof at least.
    Collection of goods arranged with dpd, I put photos in box with item and all refs and my details on box as have read reviewers say they claim they haven’t had stuff back!
    Collected a date late, driver had no returns note, I said they told me it gets put on at the depot, he rang head office and gave me a receipt which I scanned and sent to them last week.
    Yesterday they e.message me to say they have closed the case as have not heard from me ! another one of their tricks apparently.
    I reply to message insisting we have been conversing all last week so that’s not true and WHERE IS MY REFUND ?
    Get an apologetic reply , say it’s reopened and I have to allow 5 days for item to get to their depot and a further 4days to test the item!!!!
    Stalling tactics and total con artist, I’m not kidding people have lost thousands with this outfit. Trading standards and small claims have been used by loads of buyers.
    This should be a simple collect and refund, total frustration all around.

    Anyway stay away from this company guys

    What a bloody nightmare mate,hope all ends well for you

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  10. Kimtoon:

    I will change the subject. I bought a book by someone I thought I wouldn’t like. A guy from Bristol called Banksy. I bought it on purpose to challenge myself. His art is sort of brilliant. I don’t like graffiti but it is not graffiti.

    I bought it knowing that all of these pretentious art people love it. And I thought I would hate it. He draws pictures of monkeys and rats but his art is much more profound.

    One thing he said in the book is that the decisions of what is good and bad MODERN art are decided by about 400 curators and art dealers. They are the decision makers. Is a can of soup art? It is if they tell you it is.

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  11. Icedog:
    http://sportwitness.co.uk/newcastle-united-calling-off-deal-last-minute-related-shady-goings/
    Pleased we didn’t get involved in this deal

    dodged a bullet there alright mate.

    Eric, Banky’s art is very good and thought provoking too. He turned the run down Tropicana in Weston super mare into Dismal land a mockery of Disney land to rave reviews and endless queues revitalising Weston for one summer.
    He started as a graffiti artist here and inspired a generation and every summer we have upfest in my neighbourhood with thousands coming from all over the world to watch local artist spray painting boards and local shops and buildings. We have some amazing art work on local buildings now. Not everyone likes it of course but most do.

    Sham, good, spread the word mate, they aren’t even replying to me now 🙄 need to do a small claims I reckon.

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  12. kimtoon: dodged a bullet there alright mate.

    Eric, Banky’s art is very good and thought provoking too. He turned the run down Tropicana in Weston super mare into Dismal land a mockery of Disney land to rave reviews and endless queues revitalising Weston for one summer.
    He started as a graffiti artist here and inspired a generation and every summer we have upfest in my neighbourhood with thousands coming from all over the world to watch local artist spray painting boards and local shops and buildings. We have some amazing art work on local buildings now. Not everyone likes it of course but most do.

    Sham, good, spread the word mate, they aren’t even replying to me now need to do a small claims I reckon.

    The International Break. Time to talk about appliances and Banksy!

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  13. Now nobody laugh
    Scum played away to Grimsby tonight and had a great following,three yes three a husband and wife and small child,feel sorry for them poor souls

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  14. KIM defo small claims,will help if you had a report from trading standards or you have reported them to trading standards

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  15. Eric Sykes: That is a bit mad. Not sure if I like or dislike it! So, I guess it must be thought provoking. The other ones you posted also made me think the same way. I liked some, but not all. That’s probably the way it should be.

    defo, the car lot used to have a giant cat on it, like a devon rex breed, loved it, but was an ugly bugger lol

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  16. Icedog:
    KIM defo small claims,will help if you had a report from trading standards or you have reported them to trading standards

    yep I will do mate, pissed right off with that outfit, should of stuck to argos 🙄

      (Quote)

  17. HOW? How? How hasn’t he been arrested. He made a film FFS. How does nobody have a picture of him? Tinder have 11 billion pictures of c@cks and there is not a single picture of Banksy. How is this possible?

      (Quote)

  18. How do we have a one name striker and he is crap?

    Jose Luis. Joselu.

    Can we have Neymar (jr. but that doesn’t count)

    Ronaldo

    Christiano

    Ronaldinho

    Pele

    JohnTerry. 2 words but always said together.

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  19. We have good players in the past with 1 name (or 3)

    Shearer, Shearer, Shearer.

    Gazza

    Pedro

    Nobby

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  20. STEWIE THATCHER:

    Here’s a stat for you when you spew your bile about the rich paying all of the taxes.

    Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos have more wealth that the lowest 50% of Americans combined.

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  21. And Warren Buffett is a personal hero of mine so I have no issue with him having lots of money. He intends to donate his whole fortune to charity when he dies. A capitalist with a heart.

      (Quote)

  22. Spanish press is reporting Merino out for 2 bloody months! I’m reporting we might not score a goal before January.

      (Quote)

  23. georgio:
    Spanish press is reporting Merino out for 2 bloody months! I’m reporting we might not score a goal before January.

    if you have ever had a bad back you know it could be 2 years! I have a herniated disc from 15 years ago and I have never been the same. Saw an orthopedic surgeon and asked him if there were any exercises or stretching I could do to fix it and he said NO.

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  24. Kimtoon: the Banksy book I bought is called Wall and Peace. You would like it. People might be wondering why we are talking about Banksy. Simple really, I saw he was from Bristol and I know that you live in Bristol from your posts on here.

      (Quote)

  25. Here Stuart:

    Maybe people that have more money than they can spend in 50 lifetimes should give back to the country they made it in? These are bad examples because Gates and Buffett give a lot to charity and do good work for the Nation. Buffett should do more though. As I said earlier he plans to give away all of his money but he should do more now.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/08/bill-gates-jeff-bezos-warren-buffett-wealthier-than-poorest-half-of-us

      (Quote)

  26. Eric, It’s everywhere in Bristol mate, especially round here like. Got more galleries than you can shake a stick at up the road. No problem getting some art work for your new house like, but a nice bit of fish or cheap cut of meat forget it. Well not unless you wanna go to the artisan butchers like 🙄
    Lot’s of gentrification gone on here, one of the reasons I wanna move tbh, hard pushed to hear a Bedminster accent anymore 🙁

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  27. On Merino – the same Spanish press reported Mbemba out for months when in fact it was days. Rafa does say weeks although that could mean back for ManU. We’ll see but he is a long thin guy who could be prone to back problems. Fingers crossed.

      (Quote)

  28. Reports are saying Rafa will have 40M available to spend this winter. How much do you guys think he will actually get to spend?

      (Quote)

  29. Eric Sykes:
    STEWIE THATCHER:

    Here’s a stat for you when you spew your bile about the rich paying all of the taxes.

    Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos have more wealth that the lowest 50% of Americans combined.

    What’s your point?

      (Quote)

  30. funrafa:
    Reports are saying Rafa will have 40M available to spend this winter. How much do you guys think he will actually get to spend?

    It will be almost nothing! £10m max.

      (Quote)

  31. Talk that toon officials met in London to talk to Tosun and Turkish officials over Jan move,hope it’s right I quite like the lad

      (Quote)

  32. Icedog:
    Talk that toon officials met in London to talk to Tosun and Turkish officials over Jan move,hope it’s right I quite like the lad

    There’s a report that Spurs are interested. I think he would be mad to go there as Kane and Alli’s backup.

      (Quote)

  33. It is a really slow news day. The Chronicle are reporting that some random ex-Cardiff player (Nathan Blake) says they should sign Mo Diame. Absolutely no substance behind it, or anything from the club, he just thinks it would be a good idea. In other news, water is wet.

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  34. Eric Sykes: There’s a report that Spurs are interested. I think he would be mad to go there as Kane and Alli’s backup.

    money talks though mate. On the other hand reports a while back said he favours a Toon move, ice will be made up if he comes.

      (Quote)

  35. You bet I would be made up,a Big Al type player but sadly I don’t think Rafa would spend most of his budget on him maybe he can work some sort of swap deal with Mitro plus cash Ime keeping my fingers crossed,didn’t Spurs sign sort of back up for Kane from Swansea cannot remember his name

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  36. Olly has written an article on Wilshere today. Also the Chronicle have written an article saying the Toon have NOT expressed any interest so far. Another story about nothing happening. They may as well write that the Toon are NOT interested in Lionel Messi.

    What has Wilshere ever done to deserve so much attention? As Olly wrote he has not started a league game all season and yet it is front page tabloid news that he is left out of the England squad. He smokes a hookah and it is front page news. I am surprised they don’t tell us the time and place he takes a crap. He is not a bad player, but the press write about him like he is the England and Arsenal savior (that’s when they have room left after fawning over Rooney). He has scored a couple of decent goals but mostly he is a tidy player and not much more. The “moments of magic” the press talk about are few and far between and Beardsley would do something similar every game. That didn’t get Saint Peter’s ugly mug on the back pages. So, why? They had a similar obsession with Joe Cole who also did the square root of f-all.

      (Quote)

  37. I see Drinkwater has refused England call up,don’t blame him he would only get shown up playing with that shower,I never rated him international standard anyway

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  38. ERIC never rated Whiltshire cannot believe he has played for Arsenal,Howe kept dropping him when he was at B/mouth for Gosling

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  39. Icedog:
    You bet I would be made up,a Big Al type player but sadly I don’t think Rafa would spend most of his budget on him maybe he can work some sort of swap deal with Mitro plus cash Ime keeping my fingers crossed,didn’t Spurs sign sort of back up for Kane from Swansea cannot remember his name

    Llorente. They also have Jansen out on loan. I just don’t see him getting on the pitch much ahead of Alli, Kane, Son and Llorente. Plus he is cup tied for the CL. I think the tabloids make stuff up on normal days but they outdo themselves during the International Break.

      (Quote)

  40. Stuart79: What’s your point?

    The tax cuts for people who don’t need them and the offshore accounts is all over the news this week. It made me think of you because you think there is nothing wrong with these tax schemes. The funny thing is that these are all self made multi-billionaires who are also very philanthropic. Trump hates Bezos because he owns the Washington Post which is a bit left leaning. A sort of Guardian lite.

    Plus, it is a slow news day. As I said, The Chronic are resorting to telling us who we are NOT interested in. I can also exclusively reveal that we are not interested in Paul Pogba and Gonzalo Higuaín.

      (Quote)

  41. Eric Sykes: The tax cuts for people who don’t need them and the offshore accounts is all over the news this week. It made me think of you because you think there is nothing wrong with these tax schemes. The funny thing is that these are all self made multi-billionaires who are also very philanthropic. Trump hates Bezos because he owns the Washington Post which is a bit left leaning. A sort of Guardian lite.

    Plus, it is a slow news day. As I said, The Chronic are resorting to telling us who we are NOT interested in. I can also exclusively reveal that we are not interested in Paul Pogba and Gonzalo Higuaín.

    I didn’t say there “was nothing wrong” with them. I actually said blame the people who make the loop holes available not the people taking advantage of them. Bit of a difference – but you know that.

    I’m beginning to wonder about your ability to read, Eric. You same to go about your day making stuff up about me. I should be flattered I suppose.

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  42. Moyes to West Ham can’t work, can it? He has lost his mojo, and he really only had a half a mojo to begin with. He never won anything. Average finishing position of his Everton team was 9th, which is well, AVERAGE. They finished 5th once and then were knocked out of Europe before the group stage started.

    Relegated with Sunderland.

    Even Schteve won a title in Holland and Pards got to a Cup Final in order to embarrass himself with that dance.

    I know it is a bit strong for a NUFC fan to talk about winning trophies but it cannot possibly work out for Moyes at West Ham, can it?

    He is on a 6 month contract so the owners don’t even believe in him.

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  43. Icedog:
    Talk that toon officials met in London to talk to Tosun and Turkish officials over Jan move,hope it’s right I quite like the lad

    Ice – I wonder if the lads contract is up anytime soon?!.
    If they have travelled to London in an international break with the purpose of discussing his sale, then that suggests he’s either told them he won’t be renewing a contract or they need money & want to cash in while he’s in form and has a value.

    If they want £20m and he can come in and get 10-12 goals between Jan & the end of the season – and that keeps us comfortably in the PL, then it’s money well spent.

      (Quote)

  44. Sharpy17: Ice – I wonder if the lads contract is up anytime soon?!.
    If they have travelled to London in an international break with the purpose of discussing his sale, then that suggests he’s either told them he won’t be renewing a contract or they need money & want to cash in while he’s in form and has a value.

    If they want £20m and he can come in and get 10-12 goals between Jan & the end of the season – and that keeps us comfortably in the PL, then it’s money well spent.

    His contract is until early 2019,at least the lad is willing to come to the toon that’s a good start

      (Quote)

  45. Icedog: His contract is until early 2019,at least the lad is willing to come to the toon that’s a good start

    Ice – yeah so he’ll only have 1 year left at the end of this season. Which means they have probably discussed a new contract with him around now, as most clubs don’t want to run it down to 1yr left as they know the value goes down.
    If he’s told them he doesn’t want to negotiate as he wants to play in Europe, then they will be looking to cash in while he’s banging the goals in – CL or not. Do a swap with Mitrovic – or even loan him, i don’t care, as long as it gets this lad in.

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  46. I am still trying to figure out Moyes.

    So he turns up at the Mackems and after about 3 games announces that he thinks they will probably get relegated.

    How many games do West Ham have?

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  47. Stuart79: I didn’t say there “was nothing wrong” with them. I actually said blame the people who make the loop holes available not the people taking advantage of them. Bit of a difference – but you know that.

    I’m beginning to wonder about your ability to read, Eric. You same to go about your day making stuff up about me. I should be flattered I suppose.

    Stuart. The people who advise the Government on tax matters are the same people who take advantage of the loop holes they create.

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  48. More than half of our games have ended 1-0 or 0-1. We’ve lost 4 of the 6 results. That says absolutely everything!

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  49. If I have a billion dollars and decide to move it offshore to the Caymen Islands for tax benefits and some nutcase like Adolf Hitler or Kim Jong Un decides to start a war how have I helped my country by indulging in some tax evasion scheme?

    I live in the US and have dual citizenship. I moved here because my wife’s mother had cancer. I also have studied finance here and give back in part by paying my taxes here.

    It is a total sham, this offshore account lark.

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  50. I like Louis Hamilton. But is it right that he literally wraps himself in the Union Jack when he is actually a citizen of Monaco for tax reasons. Did he learn to drive in Monaco? Did he compete in Monaco to get the skills he has now?

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  51. It is like the NHS or school system. If the people with the money can just skip out on it and go private (pay no taxes) then the general level of health care or schools will not improve because the people with the say – the money – power- are not working to fix things. They have abdicated their responsibility and moved offshore.

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  52. Here’s another metephore for you Stewie: rich folk/****s doing this is like the dead beat Dad. Runs off with his secretary leaving his wife with the 3 kids and then does all he can through his advisors to avoid paying for his children.

    He uses the fact that it is legal and that he can as the excuse for doing so.

    You brought this up so don’t complain that I am stalking you.

      (Quote)

  53. Eric Sykes:
    Here’s another metephore for you Stewie: rich folk/****s doing this is like the dead beat Dad. Runs off with his secretary leaving his wife with the 3 kids and then does all he can through his advisors to avoid paying for his children.

    He uses the fact that it is legal and that he can as the excuse for doing so.

    You brought this up so don’t complain that I am stalking you.

    Tax avoidance is endemic around the world. Millions of tradesman take cash for a lower price so they can avoid tax. People don’t complain when paying cash if it gets them a lower price for the work – even when they know it will be tax avoidance. People can go and buy their cigarettes in Tesco if they want but when they go on holiday they buy thousands because it’s cheaper because they don’t pay tax.

    The reality is that most people do it, it’s just that they don’t get exposed on TV or by the Guardian. We can’t have one principle for one part of society and another for the rest.

    It’s basically politics of envy and rather hypocritical.

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