“Yes, he went in our helicopter. But the sooner the deal was done the sooner we could make our own moves in the transfer market. It was already very late.”
“We will spend in the summer. Every penny of the £35m will stay in the club.”
He also told the Sun:
“Mike Ashley has only ever put money into this football club. He has never taken a single penny out. And he won’t take a single penny of this £35m either – all the money will go to the club and we are already working on identifying transfer targets for the summer.”
Even sooner than that, just after the news came through that Carroll was a Liverpool player at the close of the January transfer window, manager, Alan Pardew said:
“The one thing I said to Mike yesterday was, ‘Look, if this boy is going to go, this money has to be reinvested in the team, all of it’, and he has assured me of that.
“For the Newcastle fan, that is the most important message I can give today, that all that money will be used.
“Could it have been used yesterday? Late last night, we made a couple of bids, but we were getting extortionate figures thrown at us. It was ridiculous.
“Were we going to pay an overhiked price for a lesser product than Andy Carroll? No, so unfortunately as I sit here now, I am weaker than I was yesterday because I had Andy Carroll maybe four or five weeks away (from full fitness).
“No, I am not comfortable with it, but it is what it is.”
Later, around the time when Cheick Tiote signed a very long extension, including a significant wage rise, on his contract (until the end of the 2016/17 season), the club made it more apparent that the £35 million would also go into things such as contract extensions like Tiote’s, and more recently even undersoil heating at the club’s training ground in Benton, to further dampen down expectation amongst some fans that all of the money would be spent on transfer fees alone. After Tiote’s extension was announced, the usually reticent Pardew once again brought up the Carroll booty, at times making it sound as if the club had signed a new player saying:
“Everybody involved with Newcastle was a little bit concerned after Andy’s sale, but Mike wanted to answer that and I think he’s done that in the best possible way.
“He’s targeted a player who has done exceptionally well in his first year and hopefully somebody we can build a side round. You’re always going to have players here where the bigger clubs are interested and we’re doing our best to secure the biggest asset we have at the moment.”
Then he added on Carroll:
“It was an exceptional situation in terms of the bid and the player’s experience. We hope we guard against that (with Tiote) with this statement.
“I’m afraid no-one’s never not for sale. That’s the truth of it but the difference between the two is that Cheik wants to stay here. Although Andy said that, he went.
Speaking of the club’s “surplus of cash” Pardew went on:
“You can harp on about the negative of Andy leaving but we’ve got a surplus of cash to buy in the summer and if I was in the dressing room at the moment I’d be thinking we’ve got a good side as we’ve proved since Andy’s left. If we can improve on that with signings like Cheik and some new players we could be a force next year.”
On the fifth of this month, Llambias once again returned to the subject, saying:
“I can assure everyone that not a single penny of the £35 million has left the club and neither will it. It is all going back in.
“We have acted early and we have got the players we wanted, but none of them have been cheap. We have paid good prices for them. They certainly weren’t free transfers, there are fees and wages to consider.
“It is our responsibility to make sure we look after the club responsibly. 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? We are using the money sensibly.”
Anyway, I will try to refrain from expressing too much of what my own feelings are on the subject, because the main point of this piece are to ask what yours are via our latest poll, with the quotes above serving as an ‘aide-mémoire’ on what Llambias and Pardew have said on record regarding the said £35 million.
So what do you think? Let is know your thoughts in our comments section and in our poll.