Newcastle United – News Roundup – 15 August 2009

Posted on August 15th, 2009 | 23 Comments |

Should I stay or should I go?
Should I stay or should I go?
Yesterday seemed a bit frenetic, what with Steven Taylor apparently on his way to Everton, Duff seemingly on his way to Fulham and the signing of Manchester United defender Danny Simpson on loan until January.

I think the signing of a new player, albeit only on a four and a half month loan, marks a bit of a turning point in the club sale saga. I suspect what it means is that Ashley is more or less resigned to failure (again) in his attempts to sell the club and is preparing to remain as owner until at least January.

I’m guessing we’ll see a new manager appointed shortly, probably Joe Kinnear if he’s fit enough. I just can’t see too many other managers being interested in working under Ashley with an extremely tight budget and with a short-term outlook on things. Red Adair would be a good choice.

As to the players that have gone, the list currently numbers nine – Owen, Viduka, Cacapa, Lovenkrands, Edgar, Nacho, Martins, Bassong, Beye – and if Duff and Steven Taylor leave too that’ll be eleven players who’ve gone and one who’s been brought in.

Personally, I’d rather we’d kept Steven Taylor, Duff, Bassong and Beye and got rid of Coloccini, Barton, Nolan and Ryan Taylor, although some or all from that latter group may yet depart. I know Barton’s not a bad player and should shine in the Championship but, sorry, I just think he’ll screw up again – either on or off the pitch – and as far as I’m concerned he’s too much of a risk. As to Coloccini, well, he simply hasn’t done it for us and I would love to see us get a decent fee for him and send him on his way (by invisible bicycle maybe).

The Mirror thinks that Tuesday’s and important day. They suggest that ‘sources’ from both the Moat camp and the Ashley camp have confirmed that Moat has five days from yesterday to earn his knots badge and tie up a deal for the club. The Times says the same thing in joined up writing.

The Mirror is also reporting that Joey Barton has been winding up his team mates. Apparently he’s been telling Steve Harper he’s crap and generally causing trouble by asking players “which one of you is getting dropped so I can play this weekend?” I have no idea if this is truth or rumour.

Alan Smith wants to give us ‘value for money’. According to The Chronicle he said:

We, as a team, have got to draw fans in.

They pay their hard-earned money to come and watch us, and if we’re going to get a full stadium at Newcastle, we need to be pushing for honours. It’s as simple as that.”

The thing for them is that they’re in the same boat as us – they don’t know one day to the next who’s going to be here, and who’s going to be gone.

All we can do as players is control what we can do when we cross the line.

If we can make them proud, then that’s all we can do.

We can take control of that – everything else is out of our control.

We’ve got a good, honest set of lads in there, and we can let our football do the talking, and give 110 per cent every time we go out.”

If you want something else to read, you could try Louise Taylor’s latest take on things in The Guardian.

Finally, The Shields Gazette is reporting that Mark Viduka is now ‘finished with the Premier League’ and about to start a new life eating pies or somesuch.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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23 Responses

  1. Out of those 11 listed, I think the majority weren’t worth keeping anyway. Bassong and Beye for me – the rest could leave…..

    The weakness is that there have been no (cheaper)incomings to bolster the squad.

  2. UTD111, I think you’re right about Bassong and Beye but I also think S.Taylor and Duff are more worth keeping than the likes of Coloccini, Nolan, Barton and R.Taylor.

    Although, as I said in the article, we could yet lose those people anyway.

    It has to be accepted if we’re to reduce the wage bill. I just wish it had been part of a proper long-term plan, with specific, cheaper targets to replace them.

  3. Just a thought-

    With all these players were selling like Duff and Gutierrez is sure to follow, who’s going to provide the crosses for our strikers? Considering that our first choice strike force is about 20ft tal between them were going to need crosses and all the wingers are being sold!

  4. “With all these players were selling like Duff and Gutierrez is sure to follow, who’s going to provide the crosses for our strikers?”

    I’m presuming Ashley, Llambias, Kinnear, Hughton or someone at Newcastle will buy – or most probably loan – some more players.

    Although not before tonight’s match of course, where we’re likely to be without Duff.

  5. Morning

    Reading one of the links from the Mirror you provided Hugh, this caught my eye rearding the Portsmouth takeover, sounds familiar…

    I’m not sure anout the Moat bid. Obviously we don’t know the details but if he is supposed to have american investors why is he going cap in hand to Barclays to try to raise additional funds to purchase the club? Could it be the american investors have pulled out, or didn’t exist and he is trying to fund it himself which it appears he is unable to do? Don’t think it leaves us in a very good position regarding his financial ability to support running costs, transfers etc. At least with Ashley we know he has continually put his own money into the club to pay our running costs. If Moat can’t do that I would rather he doesn’t buy us, Ashley keep the club but put in a decent manager not Joe Kinnear. David Jones name from Cardiff was being bandied about yesterday. I have always rated him as a manager and I think he would be a great choice, but he would have to be mad to leave Cardiff to come here.

  6. ‘morning Deb.

    For sure Moat needs to have enough money to buy and run the club but I can’t imagine he’d move forward with things if he didn’t think he had could afford it.

    What might have happened is that he’s got enough to pay Ashley, say, £70m and then some set by to support a rebuild and a few seasons in the fizzy while we try and get promotion. If Ashley will only settle for say £80m or £90m, Moat may need to borrow the difference if he still thinks the club’s worth it at that price.

    Or it could be the old cashflow problems. Maybe banks have promised certain funds but now they need to deliver, and perhaps there are problems or it’s taking longer than expected.

    But then again, who knows? I doubt anyone outside of the close circle of people dealing with the bids really knows what’s going on (particularly not the press!).

  7. True Hugh, we will just have to see how it all materialises. I just hope we aren’t ‘jumping out of the frying pan into the fire’ so to speak. Moat with little to invest in players that Alan Shearer wants and needs and a novice in charge sounds like a risky formula.

  8. Agreed Deb. I’m simply assuming that nobody would be daft enough to buy NUFC without properly considering what needs to be done (and how much it will cost) to rebuild it in the long term. I’m hoping Ashley was a one-off in that respect.

    I’m hoping that these bidders are cunning businessmen with good accountants to advise them.

  9. If the books are balanced, I’d have more faith in the unknown (new chairman, new DOF if appointed, new scouting system, and inevitably Big Al) of delivering the goods with or without a massive influx of cash for new players.

    It’s a case of better the devil you don’t know, because this window proves yet again that we’re reactive not proactive regards transfers. I would say it’s more luck than judgement that we managed to get Simpson. With more players potentially out the door are we going to panic loan/buy again? Just my opinion based on the farce of the last two years of course.

    Moat and Big Al will be the big players initially and it will be an unproven quantity but can it really get worse than we’re we are right now? OK then, I’ll get my League One ground guide book ordered….

  10. Slam, I’m not sure how much power the FA has in these situations but, even assuming they had some power, it would be difficult to make a case for asset-stripping because the players do need to be shifted to make the wage bill affordable.

    Ashley has seriously damaged this club but I believe that’s just due to incompetence rather than any deliberate attempt to asset strip.

    We also have to remember that he put £110m+ of his own money into the club to clear the debts (although I know it was in the form of an interest-free loan, but that’s still better than bank borrowing).

    That’s actually about the only good thing Ashley’s done for us. He had some reasonable ideas too about how he wanted the club to go but the woefully inadequate implementation of those ideas makes them somewhat moot.

  11. I accept that Ashley had good intentions when he bought the club.

    The problem now though that the Newcastle situation is exposing is exactly what you say, how much power do the FA have in these situations.

    There seems to be no governance going on and nothing to stop Ashley selling all the players and fielding a team of juniors and taking us down a few more divisions.

    This would not be allowed to happen in regulated business’s which have appointed bodies to regulate them i.e. Power, transport, broadcasting, finance etc.

    Personally I think the FA should be quite worried by recent events at Newcastle

  12. Try this scenario.
    Next year it is possible that Hartlepool could be the top team in the North East.If (Big If) they win promotion this year and Sunderland get relegated (quite possible) then they could sit above all the other north east teams (stir,stir).Perhaps then Toon could get a loan of some of their reserves for a few months

  13. The problem is at the present time, is not who buys the club, but how to keep enough players in the squad when we always seem to have so many injuries year on year. The current squad is getting smaller and smaller and we cannot relay on the youngsters even if they seem to be capable players . I fear we might well be turned over buy the bigger tougher championship sides .
    We are currently in real turmoil and the lack of managerial game plan despite the best efforts of C hris Hughton is not going to gets us out of this league for some time yet . However –ever the optomist may be a good win this afternoon

  14. toondog

    Lets hope we at least get a few more quality loan players to help bolster the numbers if permanent signings are off the radar. I think the biggest frustration is the complete lack of communication. I understand they can’t provide a running commentary to the fans, and nor should they but the odd statement confirming where we are at would do a lot to appease everyone. However if they can’t communicate with us it’s obscene that they are not communicating with their manager etc. If they would stop acting like the flipping secret service and just have some dialogue, at least Hughton could have some kind of plan.

  15. Slam Dunc says:
    August 15, 2009 at 10:37 am

    “Time for the FA to act and give Ashley a warning about asset stripping”

    Slam Dunc,

    How is Ashley “asset stripping” the club, exactly? I think you may be under some misapprehesion as to what is happening with the proceeds from player sales.

  16. Asset Stripping

    On another blog before I stopped reading it folks were going on about this and all the money from transfers going into Mike Ashleys pocket.
    Clearly they do not understand fully what these financial terms mean or what is happening.
    If Mike Ashley does not sell and doesnt put any more of his money into the club to meet wages then more will have to go.Also the lower the gates the bigger loss the club will make and , therefore, even more players will be out the door.
    Players are Assets yes,but cash in the bank is the most liqid of assets you can get.Also if it is correct that Barclays is putting on pressure for the overdraft to be reduced then this could well be behind some of the reasoning to sell players.
    In the short to medium term this would actually make the club more attractive to potential buyers,provided of course that the club does not get relegated yet again.
    Sorry for the length of this note

  17. Deb

    I agree ,communication has been terrible . The reality check that is the Championship and the wages paid to the players in that League shows how difficult it is going to be to get a settled and good enough team to get back to the Premier League .I was horrified to see how little the total weekly wages paid to championship players was . An example was Charlton which if I remember correctly had a total wage bill of £256000/week . When you think how much our wage bill was last season , no wonder the club is difficult to sell until the wage bill is drastically reduced , but then of course the quality of players drops . Catch 22 situation .
    It is going to be hard this season .!!! Now what was I saying about being an optomist?????

    Howay the Lads any way- Life is too short

  18. Bl**dy hell, Shola hat trick!!!
    Well done lads great result. Good to see the team spirit in evidence. Can’t wait to get to the game on Wednesday.
    Decent crowd but hopefully those staying away will return to the fold.

  19. Hopefully this will give him a big confidence boost. When was the last time Shola was motm? Long may it last!
    Great dedication from him to SBR after the match, well done Shola