The payment of players not currently at Newcastle United is a significant factor in their struggles with FFP, according to The Daily Telegraph.
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They claim the club are still paying around £100k-per-week for players who left the club this summer. Indeed, Newcastle are still reportedly contributing large chunks of the wages owed to Dwight Gayle, Ciaran Clark, Jeff Hendrick, Isaac Hayden and Federico Fernandez, who all departed in some capacity during the transfer window.
While splitting wages on loan deals is not exactly out of the ordinary, Gayle and Fernandez joined Stoke City and Elche respectively on a permanent basis.
The report suggests the outgoings funds equate to more than is paid to the club’s highest-earner, believed to be Kieran Trippier.
As a result, Newcastle will likely struggle to balance recruitment hopes with their FFP concerns in January. Eddie Howe has been open about the need for patience as the club come to terms with the funds of their new ownership as opposed to the short-term fixes made by the previous regime and the issues are said to have been a “major hinderance” this summer.
Why are Newcastle in this position?
Clark, Fernandez and Gayle were all handed new contracts in 2021, even despite their best days being behind them, putting them in a strong position. From their perspective, why leave a Premier League contract just because you’re not playing regularly? It’s not as if potential suitors from the Championship or abroad have proven willing to match those wages.
Given the lack of investment in the Mike Ashley era, Newcastle needed those options in the squad, at least in the short-term. A major squad overhaul under the Sports Direct mogul was never likely to happen, after all.
Hendrick was a poor signing, while Hayden formed a key part of Rafa Benitez’s rebuild, so a new deal for him arguably made long-term sense.
How do Newcastle get out of it?
The Telegraph suggests the club will listen to offers for squad players this winter, although it’s hard to see how much changes. With Howe not exactly boasting the deepest squad as it stands, those not playing regularly in the first XI could hardly be considered the hottest commodities in the market.
Sadly, the most likely outcome at the moment would appear to be simply having to wait until the contracts of respective squad players currently away from the club to come to an end.
A frustrating idea of course but this is a long-term project on Tyneside and the way in which Ashley ran the club, stuck in a deep-rooted malaise for so many years, is not overturned overnight.