Newcastle United’s managing director Lee Charnley was adamant that the club could not make any more signings during the dying embers of the summer transfer window, according to The Athletic.
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Despite the signing of Joe Willock, a deal that would usually spark a huge amount of excitement on Tyneside given the goalscoring form he showed last season, it was a bleak summer for the club. Indeed, Nothing But Newcastle were told that owner Mike Ashley refused to release any extra funds on Deadline Day even in light of talks held in regards to loan moves for Cameron Carter-Vickers and Hamza Choudhury.
From Charnley’s perspective, he is understood to have stressed that, not only could the club not afford any more incomings, the necessary space in the squad had not been created to fill those gaps.
Could Newcastle have signed anyone?
Clearly, the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can not be underestimated but, frankly, Newcastle had appeared to be clearing the wage bill from January through to the summer.
Rolando Aarons, Henri Saviet, Achraf Lazaar and DeAndre Yedlin were thought to have been costing up to £5m-per-year and all left over that time frame, along with Andy Carroll.
To suggest that those exits would not make a difference does seem strange.
Can we have sympathy for Steve Bruce?
Sympathy might be too strong a word for some but manager Steve Bruce, like so many before him, has simply not been backed.
While concerns over his ability to manage at this level are justified, the 60-year-old is pretty much the only Premier League manager not to have added to the squad that finished the 2020/21 campaign. That is not a defence of his performance, merely a cold, hard observation.
What has Bruce said about the transfer fiasco?
When asked about what he made of the controversial statement released by the club defending the lack of signings, Bruce did appear to react angrily.
“Unfortunately it [more signings] wasn’t possible,” he said (via The Guardian).
“We were hoping we could trade a couple of players in order to bring in a couple. Unfortunately it didn’t work, it didn’t happen. We were unable to trade.
“It was frustrating but that was the stance of the club. I think the statement has made it pretty obvious what that stance is, I have to accept it and move on. It is what it is. What can I do about it?
“I think I made it pretty clear I would like to bring a couple in. That wasn’t possible so I have to get on with it. My job is to keep improving. We should never be satisfied.”