Date:Tuesday July 19 2011
Following up on recent articles, ToTT seeks to add further clarity to the muddy waters of this transfer window. Let`s take stock.
To get the dead wood out of the way, the transfer window started with the contract terminated for Shefki Kuqi, with a grand total of 23 minutes of normal time played since his arrival in February as Andy Carrol`s replacement. Those stats disguise his stunning contribution in added time, where he averaged 2 backward passes with a total of around 5 yards combined.
Also gone is Sol Campbell, who made 4 Premier League starts which resulted in 4 points in a 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea and a home win over Liverpool. Kuqi has been replaced by Ba whilst Campbell has not been replaced at all.
Perhaps the most contentious outgoing, after the youngsters, is that of former captain Kevin Nolan. Although Nolan has suggested that Pardew fought his corner, the manager has since come out as saying that he did not envisage Nolan in the Newcastle side for too long after his 30th birthday. Both faces of Pardew were obviously apparent.
Free signing, Ba, aside, the remaining newcomers have all been in midfield. All have French roots. Sylvain Marveaux has played 16 matches in 2 years, playing the full 90 minutes in just 6 of those games. Abeid has been packed off to the reserves tour of Holland whilst Cabaye looked promising against Darlo before being denied his USA visa.
It should not be forgotten that we have 2 more midfielders to add to the 3 in, Gosling and Ben Arfa who are like new signings. Gosling will be remembered for his few out of position minutes against Sunderland whilst Ben Arfa has overcome the injury that restricted him to 3 starts.
Pardew, in an epic Radio Newcastle interview, said the Carrol money was staying in the club. These free signings have been unbelievably expensive, with agents fees that apparently contravene the club policy laid out in May 2010 of dictating terms to those same agents.
An apparently off the record briefing suggested that "Mike Ashley has told boss Alan Pardew that he must sell to fund further purchases" according to the local newspaper, the Sunday Sun.
Those sales are definitely in the pipeline. In another interview, Pardew has spoken demeaningly of Nile Ranger, interpreted as implying that Enrique is persona non grata whilst Routledge is the subject of a bid from Swansea, who have managed to keep Neil Taylor despite our interest. As Pardew says, we can not compete with the biggest clubs and Swansea are currently the biggest club in Wales.
In the meantime, the esteemed Chairman, Derek Llambias, said "If we spent all the money on players this summer, what are we going to do in January if we need to bring somebody else in?" Pardew had clearly echoed his boss`s remarks with Llambias adding "We have paid good prices for them. They certainly weren`t free transfers, there are fees and wages to consider."
Just casting an eye back to the accounts, with a wage bill reduced in the Championship season, combined with a significant increase in income back in the Premier League, ToTT`s estimate of a £50m profit on last season (including the Carrol sale) remains unchallenged by the club (Wendy Taylor and John Irving are welcome to reply).
With the club`s policy of amortisation, Nolan shows a pure profit of at least £2m. If Enrique goes, he too shows a paper profit of between £7m and £10m depending on which speculation is to be believed.
As well as not being able to compete with Liverpool (who were totally stuffed by the Hughton memorial XI) or Arsenal (who Hughton`s Newcastle side beat at the Emirates) we are now unable to compete with the mighty Swansea over Naylor or Championship West Ham over Nolan.
The current financial year`s profit appears to be likely to exceed £25m.
Every cloud has a silver lining. It now seems that we can compete for Sturridge over a loan contract, yes you read right a LOAN contract. You wouldn`t believe how expensive loan signings can be after the club was almost made bankrupt over Marlon Harewood.
That just about brings us up to date. The Carrol money is staying within the club, or at least within the owner`s pockets. Our local rivals at the SoS have reinvested the Henderson and Bent cash as well as landing Larsson, over who NUFC could not compete. Other bottom half teams are yet to show their hands with prime target N`Zogbia set for Villa, with who we can`t compete.
The new club captain, Coloccini, has suggested that survival is again the priority. Perhaps with the level of negative net investment, he is being more prophetic than he realises.
If the words from the club are to be believed, this could be a long hard injury ridden season. Fortunately, as the Keegan tribunal identified, the current regime have a tendency to mislead the public and the press. There could be big signings after all.
We remain in the position that all will be revealed by August 31st. Pardew is left with the challenge of survival, having failed to get in that position with a free spending West Ham and modest Charlton. Thankfully, for him at any rate, Llambias and Ashley are providing him with the excuses that his track record suggests he needs.
Date:Tuesday July 19 2011
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