The £35m question every Newcastle fan is asking


Chat to a Newcastle fan, any Newcastle fan, and it is almost guaranteed that one question will be asked; ‘what has happened to that £35million?’

When this is put to the high-ups at the club, they respond, ever so patiently, that in this day and age, with agents and wages and signing on fees and everything else, that such an amount of money doesn’t go as far as you’d imagine. The Carroll money is being spent, it’s just that you can’t see it.

Of course, only the most naive fans had expected that every single penny would go on transfer fees for expensive superstars. The fanciful press rumours that saw us linked with the likes of Porto’s Hulk (who, according to his agent, has been the subject of £70m+ bids this month) and Dimitar Berbatov always seemed just that.

Even if we take the club’s consistent claims about the money being entirely reinvested in the ‘club’, (which has, since January, gradually replaced ‘team’ as the ambiguous term used to signify the alleged recipient) we are entitled to ask why the men in suits upstairs are taking this approach.

Is it usual practice to ask the Manager of a football team to find, from within his summer budget, wages for the entire duration of contracts on top of agent and transfer fees? 

I somehow doubt it.

Even if I am wrong, and clubs up and down the country are conducting their summer business in this manner, it is still an odd fit for Newcastle. Alan Pardew’s entire summer plans are being funded from a small corner of the pot of money labelled “Carroll”. This begs the question, are we to assume that if Carroll hadn’t been sold, there would have been no money – new wages or fees of any kind – for summer investment whatsoever?

It wouldn’t be sensible to expect that a projected transfer budget of say, £10-£15m would have the Carroll money added to it to create a super-budget of some £50m, especially given our owner’s notorious reluctance to turn the tap on marked ‘cash’. But it made sense, even to the pessimist, back in the January frenzy, to suppose that at the very least, our whole summer transfer (fee) budget would be the entirety of that one-off windfall.

But we aren’t even getting that. Seemingly, the Cabaye transfer was funded by the Nolan deal, in terms of the respective fees and the gap the big man left on the wage bill. The deals for Sylvain Marveaux and Demba Ba most likely did involve moderate signing-on-fees. Mehdi Abeid is unlikely to have been a bank-breaker. If Melvut Erdinc does eventually arrive, this will be another sensibly priced addition. That, save for a replacement for Enrique funded by his own sale, is likely to be the totality of our transfer dealings between May and September.

In short, our summer business seems to have taken the exact form that I imagine it would have had we not sold Carroll for such an inordinate sum. But sell him we did. For better or worse, the deed is done.

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Sean is a 24 year old, London-based Newcastle fan from Whitley Bay. He works at the House of Commons, he tweets at @se_kip, and can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/sean.kippin


  • Wisdom says:

    ^^ What he said ^^

  • wayne says:

    Im fed up with reading about Ashley,s moneygrabbing.
    Im off.
    FO Ashley.

  • Rodeo42 says:

    Jermaine Beckford was a free then £1 million and always played like Alan Shearer,also with some of the skills,striker,poacher fit, lean,strong, fast.Waiting untill he is worth £10 million then say he,s to expensive or by the time we bid ,he,s to OLD.?????? ROD South Shields

  • thomas foreman says:


  • Gordon G says:

    If we take what the board are saying as true, i.e the incoming players have cost signing on fees etc which have eaten into the Carrol money, then what about Aston Villa – they lost Freidal and Downing and immediatately went out and got Shay and Charlie boy for a fair amount of money just about equalling what they go for Downing. now thats replacing departing player the right way which is what we sort of expected when Carrol left. Sorry guys but we are been conned yet again.

  • Rodeo42 says:

    Interest per day on £35 million anyone ? My thoughts are Melvik is a done deal,after the 1st when the agent and player get bonus (end of July)from club contract that is reason for delay.Melvik and Jermaine Beckford are my two to take Newcastle back to firm ground and settle this great club.

  • John Gilbert says:

    Firstly, I am with you in supporting the buying policy of the current regime. Spending money you have not got in the hope that success will repay your ‘investment’ is the mantra of those whose next stop is “Gamblers Anonymous”. Unless you have the resources of Russian / Middle East oil, it is unsustainable.
    Secondly, I shall raise a point which nobody else has and one which worries me. If the money from Carroll’s sale has gone to pay day-to-day expenditure, then we are in the do-do and no mistake. Unless you have to (i.e. the Administrators are knocking outside), you simply do not sell capital assets to pay revenue costs. It begs the obvious question of what you do when you run out of assets to sell. Operating expenses should be met from a club’s regular income.
    As for whom to buy, I am at a loss. It would be nice to think that the game’s top players would come to NUFC for love of the club and not require huge financial incentives to do so. It is the kind of thing which happens shortly before your alarm clock goes off. If I had to name one name, it would be Shane Long. He’s still young, and he scored a hatful of goals last season, plus he classes as ‘home-grown’, in case that UEFA rule is worrying us.

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