A damning new report from The Times’ Martin Hardy has emerged, revealing the financial crisis Newcastle United will be plunged into should we suffer a third relegation of the Mike Ashley era.
The piece claims that the first-team squad do NOT have relegated clauses in their contracts – meaning the likes of Miguel Almiron and Jonjo Shelvey will earn £80,000 per-week should we become a Championship side in a few months time.
The Times claim that the club avoided inserting these clauses into deals for incoming signings in fear of them being ‘put off’ – which is laughable when Mike Ashley’s ambition (or lack of it) and Steve Bruce’s appointment has left us stinking of a side that would be at risk of relegation.
Here’s a snippet from Hardy’s latest piece:
‘The financial cost of relegation to Newcastle United would be even more devastating because the club’s first-team players do not have relegation clauses in their contracts.
‘The Times understands that Newcastle’s policy has been to avoid such clauses to prevent potential signings from being put off. It means that Newcastle, who are only one point outside the relegation zone, would have to carry their full Premier League wage bill into the second tier next season, if they go down, with top earners such as Miguel Almirón on £80,000 a week.
In their most recent published accounts, for the financial year ending June 2019, Newcastle had a player wage bill of £96.8 million. Since then they have signed Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser.’
As highlighted above, our wage bill will now be well over £100m following the arrivals of Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, Wilson and Fraser. Combine that with the fact we’ve been missing out on matchday income and would need to spend upwards of £3m to sack Steve Bruce, it’s clear to see the financial mess we’d be plunged into should the unthinkable happen AGAIN under Ashley.
What’s also alarming is that The Times reveal that other clubs in and around the relegation scrap have clauses in place that see their weekly wage get cut by 40% in the event of relegation.
Not only is this extra motivation for the players of Fulham and Brighton in the fight for survival, it highlights how unprepared we are for the worst case scenario – which is quite crazy when you consider Mike Ashley sets us up every season to do nothing other than just about survive.
We might yet stay up, but his reluctance to pay off Steve Bruce is looking more and more of a costly error, with this one of the most avoidable relegation battles we’ve been in based on the low standard set by others and quality of our current squad.
What a complete and utter mess.