Mike Ashley, the man who rarely gives interviews, offered Sky Sports an interview where he reacted to the speculation around Newcastle United’s transfer business this summer. This interview offered little in the way of surprise yet, some parts left a sour taste in the mouth of a lot of Geordies.
The majority of the interview went as many would expect: Mike Ashley reinforced the fact Newcastle have little money compared to the other established Premier League teams and that they must remain self-sufficient and work within their means in the transfer window this season. Ashley claims the budget available to Rafa Benitez this season is “Not enough – very simple”. This of course is no surprise to us Geordies as the toll of relegation is finally hitting the club and stagnating potential progress.
The question of transfer funds available has clearly had a big impact on Newcastle this summer with Mike Ashley also describing Newcastle’s financial situation and lack of ability to generate revenue, commenting: “It’s not a secret, every penny the club generates he [Rafa Benitez] can have but it won’t generate enough”. Once again no real surprise here, however, it is the next few quotes which will irritate some Newcastle fans.
“I’m nowhere near wealthy enough to compete with clubs like Man City. I don’t have the ability to write a cheque for £200m.” Certainly this is true. Anyone can see that, however, why does Mike Ashley think we need £200m? This season, we don’t need to compete with Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea etc. Despite our limited spending power, we have recruited five players already this summer in order to help us survive in our first season back. Before the window, it was clear we would need 7/8 players in and despite the doom and gloom, we are almost there.
Right now, we could do with a striker, Lucas Perez maybe with a fee of around £13m quoted. Furthermore, a left-back and maybe another goalkeeper and our business looks all done. How much are these three players going to cost? We don’t need £200m, we just need enough money to allow Rafa to get the players he wants to bulk up and fill his squad and with 5/6 players ready to be sold once a bid comes in for them, the investment required from Ashley should be minimal and should mean our total net spend for this window won’t exceed £50m. A very small amount compared to other Premier League teams we should be competing with.
Yet again it appears that the hierarchy at the club may be out of touch with the current transfer market and the needs of Newcastle right now. The new sponsorship with Fun88 has brought in huge funds for the club and credit for securing the sponsorship is due to Lee Charnley however, it seems as though there is a lack of confidence in spending money to ensure we survive this season and this risk-averse attitude may negatively affect Newcastle this season.
Feature image credit: Joe89316