The True Price Of Buying Newcastle United


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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12 Responses

  1. Mark H says:

    A note on the Profitable Group. The issue with the Colchester or London land isnt that Profitable want to make a huge profit (they do) but that investors most likely cant make money. Potential investors are sold by Profitable on the idea that protected low value land can be converted to high value land by a touch of of the Profitable magic wand for which they pay a very high mark up. (1500% reported on Hounslow). None of Profitables UK sites have shown any hint of converting and investors are getting a bit grumpy. Profitable have also moved into the area of engine oil additives an area historically which has shown the ethical approach of snake oil salespeople. They may be different of course.

  2. Alan says:

    Some of this article may be true but there is a lot of guesswork going on!

  3. davy Paulson says:

    does the club own Darsley Park?

    I was under the impression that it was leased to them by the Civil Service Sports Council about 10 years ago, on a 99 year lease. I could be wrong mind – they may have bought it later…..

  4. Rob says:

    Alan: all of the values used in calculations have come from those speculated by other sources – where two values have differed (or it hasn’t been clear if it has been included, as in the case of things like tax, and even appearance, goal and clean sheet bonuses), I’ve taken the lower one, so that it is more of a conservative estimate. In areas such as image rights, signing on fees and transfer fees, I’ve assumed the norm in football, unless other sources have contradicted it. Nobody will be able to state for a fact what all of the figures are without having access to Newcastle’s payroll and other accounting sheets. The last publicly available figures (as at June 2008) show Newcastle’s entire wage bill was £74.6m. Last season’s will be in a similar region, and all Premiership clubs had a higher wage bill in 2007-2008 than in 2006-2007, and I expect this season to be no different. Regardless of how accurate or not my calculations have been, their wage bill is not sustainable for a club in the Championship, without the aid of a benefactor.

    Davy: All other sources I’ve seen are unlear, but imply Darsley Park’s is Newcastle’s, but now you’ve brought CSSC’s name into it, I can find a couple of areas that point out exactly what you have said, and it appears you are right, and there is no suggestion anywhere that Newcastle have bought Darsley Park, so thanks for brining that to my attention.

  5. coachie says:

    Regardless of the actual figures, an excellent column. truly damning. i thought southampton’s fate was bad enough.

  6. Martin says:

    Interesting stuff. Perhaps the ridiculous player payments you describe at Newcastle could finally be the case that explodes the football creditor rule. I really can’t see the PFA being able to afford them and you can imagine the reaction of all the other players to having to bail them out.

  7. Sven says:

    Absoulte tosh the whole thing. Heresay, speculation and founded on 2 + 2 = 5 philosophy. None of it adds up.

    You claim that the wage bill last year was 74.9m. Later in the piece you attempt to show how the 74.9m is made up. You offer the following:

    £44m wages, £15.4m transfer installments, 6.2m image rights and £8.6m loyalty. All of this very conveniently adds upto £74.9m

    This is pure fantasy of how to get to that figure as your piece totally contradicts itself. In your very own piece you claim 15 players were paid £50,000 a week or more and 19 were paid £20,000 a week or more. By my calculation of basic salary alone, assuming that all of them were actually only paid £50k and £20k respectively, based on a 52 week calender year this would have the basic wage bill at £58.7m a year alone. Now we know 1 certain miscreant was paid in excess of a £100k a week which would increase that figure further.

    I suppose the point I am making is your article is nice try but its just another piece of mischief making based on spurious London headlines. Facts are nobody knows the extent of the mess Newcastle are in. But lets all be truthful here…it shouldn’t be levelled at Fat Ashley alone. This club has been a cash cow well before ashley got his hands on it…..unfortunately for him he has been left holding the baby.

  8. Rob says:

    Martin: Unlikely, as players aren’t part of the football creditor rule. They are treated as employees, and get the same rights as any non-playing worker should get from their clubs and any other worker should get from their employer.

    Sven: Thank you for your comments. My article says the wage bill for 2007/8 was £74.6m. I made no attempt to show how that is made up. (If I did I would have mentioned the wages and payoffs of Sam Allardyce and his backroom army for one). Nor have I included (as the club accounts would have) people like Chris Mort and any off field staff. Nor have I tried to break down the 2008-2009 season figures. This article is looking at what would need to be paid out next season.

    Transfer installments would not be included in a wage bill, because they’re essentially payments to a supplier, rather than a wage, so the aspects that would be include in a prospective 2009-2010 wage bill would be £59.5m (and would not include the certain miscreant being paid a rumoured £115k per week, as he is out of contact next Tuesday), but like I said in the article, I have been conservative in my estimates, I haven’t added any extra tax or National Insurance, and I’ve only looked at players.

    “Facts are nobody knows the extent of the mess Newcastle are in.”

    Correct, as I said in the article.

    “But lets all be truthful here…it shouldn’t be levelled at Fat Ashley alone. This club has been a cash cow well before ashley got his hands on it…..unfortunately for him he has been left holding the baby.”

    That is very true. Newcastle fans have been very unfortunate with the owners that they have had down the years, but it’s good to see that they have now taken the route of getting a Supporters Trust established.

  9. Martin says:

    Apologies. I thought players were and that is why ex-players were paid in full when clubs like Leeds escaped most of their other debts (including the PAYE and NI due to HMRC on those wages).

  10. bill says:

    As far as I am aware players are paid by the PFA if a club goes into administration. If I were a new owner, a 10 point deduction to clear the decks might be worth considering.

  11. Rob says:

    Players are only paid by the PFA is the club do not pay them – whther they are in administraion or not, administrators will sell players to pay the wages where possible though, for whatever is needed, rather than for the player’s value.

    But, when the PFA pay the players wages, the club owes the PFA, and it is treated as a football debt, so they still have to be paid in full after coming out of administration, and if they don’t, they stay under a transfer embargo until outstanding wages are paid.

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