Toon transfer policy: is it really any different to Manchester United’s?

Posted on August 25th, 2011 | 33 Comments |

Is Newcastle's transfer policy the same as Manchester United's?
Spot the difference
Alan Pardew recently said that Newcastle United’s transfer policy is no different to Manchester United’s. But is it?

The other day, whilst I was sat idly waiting for the Minogue sisters to turn up with the whipped cream and giraffe for my daily ‘session’, I got to thinking about Pardew’s claim that our transfer policy is no different to Manchester United’s.

The conclusion I came to is that I think it depends upon how you define ‘different’. Are we talking ‘different’ in the way an otter is different to a sewing machine or is perhaps the devil in the detail?

At it’s most basic level, I think Pardew’s right. Most transfers probably happen as a result of some sort of consensus between the manager, the scouts and the owner or board, but I think where the difference lies is with the amount of input each particular party has on things.

Sir Alex Ferguson is a long-standing and hugely successful manager and I would thusly suggest that he (rightly) has far more input into the transfer scenarios at Manchester United than Alan Pardew does at Newcastle. And then we have to wonder whether Ashley has a more controlling, hands-on approach to these things at Newcastle than the Glazer family do at Manchester United. I happen to think he does.

I would guess that Sir Alex Ferguson goes to the board and outlines what he wants to do in a transfer window, whereupon he’s probably given a budget. Following that he probably gets his scouts working for him and they might come back with suggestions which, assuming its all within budget, will probably be subject to Sir Alex’s final approval. If it goes beyond budget, I would guess it’s up to Sir Alex to justify it: sometimes he may win his case and sometimes not.

I think the difference at Newcastle, though, is that Mike Ashley is involved in every single transfer down to the final detail. I do not believe Pardew has any set ‘budget’ and I do not believe he is trusted with the final say. In some cases – like for example the sale of Andy Carroll – I’d like to bet Pardew doesn’t even know anything about a deal until after it has happened. Quite where Derek Llambias fits in is anybody’s guess – light entertainment perhaps.

The evidence suggests that the Manchester United way is the most successful but long-serving managers of Sir Alex Ferguson’s abilities are in short supply, so it is perhaps becoming quite rare these days. Even at places like Chelsea I’d have my doubts as to how much say the manager has in transfers but – to point out another ‘difference’ – in places where the manager doesn’t have that much say, it’s probably left to a Director of Football or a Chairman rather than the owner or board. In other words it’s left to someone who knows something about football.

So I’m going to have to disagree with Alan Pardew and suggest that there are differences and that Alan Pardew’s ‘control’ over the transfer procedure is far less than Sir Alex Feguson’s.

Back when I was young lad buying cars and anything that did 0-60 in under 10 seconds was considered properly fast, I was brought up on a diet of Mk I and Mk II Capris. Ford was really all there was of affordable interest to a young lad – except perhaps for the hulking Rover SD1 3.5 that the rozzers used to drive – until the hot hatch made it’s debut with Peugeot and Renault. I can always remember when I got my 3 litre Mk I Capri and used to fly past other cars, I’d see the driver squinting to look for the little ‘3000’ badge on the front wing to make sure his hot-rod wasn’t being clobbered by a 1600. That’s because the only really noticeable surface difference between that and the 2000 or 1600 Capri was that little badge. But if you looked under the bonnet it was a different matter.

Such it is with Newcastle and the supposed ‘no difference’ in the way our transfer policy is to Manchester United’s in my opinion. It’s broadly the same at any club until you look under the bonnet and I think you’d find that, when it comes to the influence managers have on who comes in and who gets the boot, at Manchester United we’d find that Sir Alex Ferguson is more of a V6 3000, whereas Alan Pardew is a straight 4 1600 with a dodgy head gasket.

Note that I’m not suggesting we should give Alan Pardew more control over transfers – I’m merely suggesting that I think his statement about our transfer policies being the same as Manchester United’s isn’t quite true. I just hope that Mike Ashley is deferring assessments of football players and their worth to those in the club who have a grounding in football rather than one in selling shirts.

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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33 Responses

  1. Pardew is an idiot he thing Newcastle spending is like Man United, get real.
    Manchester United Spend over 10m on EVERY player they bough, they replaced QUALITY with quality which we have and will not do.
    Nolan – Cabaye, on par but will miss his 10+ goals which have not be replaced with a box to box player.

    Carroll – Ba/Maiga, Both not good enough to compare to Andys quality.

    Enrique – Pieters, He defines quality Jose and being replaced with a very ordinary LB isn’t improving.

    Forster – No One

    Merveaux – Routledge,ONLY improvement in quality but can Slyvain stay fit, gamble.

    Barton – NoOne

    So we have Got better with one deal out of five or maybe Six.
    We have got worse and with our current squad we have lost 25 goals and no visible evidence where they will come from.

  2. £100k a week for Joey?



    How many years are they gonna have to fork that out for?

  3. Clint, he wont be on 100k! Well, maybe :-)

    He just ‘tweeted’ “I need some thinking time”

    Yeah so would I for a 3 year deal at 60-70k per week!

    Loftus Road is shite though, compare it to St James’ Park.

    Suppose he can go out drinking with Pete Doherty if he joins, he’s a Hoops fan.

  4. Apparently Warnock has been on SSN saying that all of the rumours of Bartons mega wages are rubbish.

    Some are suggesting it’s probably around the same as what we offered him per week, but over longer terms.

    That would explain why he tweeted he needed thinking time.

  5. If we had someone who knew about footballers conducting these deals it would be OK. Having a casino manager in charge of contracts and finance is a massive gamble…(no pun intended)

    I think we have Carr scouting, Pardew looks at the reports etc and decides who he likes and then Llambias is the man who sorts the bid + contract offer.

    Or Pardew knows nowt and it’s Carr and Llambias who sort it, then Ashley says “yay” or “nay”.

    I doubt Pard’s has the same input as Sir Alex…

  6. Gorsinko, don’t forget Obertan, or Abeid who’s still to come through…

    I like Pardew as a manager, And while i dont like Ashleys penny pinching transfer policy, it does seem to keep us financially stable, and hopefully we’ll get some lucky gems come through, like Tiote, and the ever-impressive-looking Cabaye.

    It is frustrating when u see players like Long go for £4.5m (rising to £6m on performance, i think), and then see him bang in a goal a game so far…

    But that’s just how it’ll go i guess, we miss some good ‘uns, we get some gems. We win some great games, hopefully also a cup with better youthful squad depth, we also get tonked occasionally.

    I think if we ended up signing Maiga or Roux, they’d have to be considered as good as Long….we sign David Santon/or Pieters, they’re as good as Jose.

    The slower, older, expensive but experienced players OUT, the new, french mainly, young, inexperienced players IN.

    it’ll take a couple or 3 years to fully gel, but some exciting new faces could arrive, we’ll never realistically win the league – but we might go to europe or win a domestic Cup – while we’re under ashley, i’d defo settle for that.

  7. Also, hopefully we’ll soon complete the signing of Danny Situ the 20 yr old, french (U-16/17/18/19) capped defender, for half a million i think….

    he scored in his trial against gateshead

  8. jimbob,
    i knaa’s him & bands.
    He’s actually a real canny lad in the flesh, which goes right against what i thought before i met him.
    Which is always nice!


    we’ve also got Moyo to come through too, he sounds canny as well.

  9. Milner says:
    August 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    “Also, hopefully we’ll soon complete the signing of Danny Situ”

    Nothing to do with QPR’s Danny Shittu.

  10. worky,

    nah, but i’d be intertested to see what would happen when we played QPR, if Danny Situ on Shiitu – nobody likes doing that!

  11. Clint, anychance Moyo will feature any time soon (i.e. tonight on the bench??), heard a lot of good things but seen nout myself…

  12. speaking of which (scunny), i’ve prob got time for a quick team sheet before my bird realises (she’s downstairs waiting for me to get ready):


    Simmo Saylor Willo Raylor



    Subs: drummett, tiote, ameobie 1 and 2,abeid, mcloven, moyo??

  13. Milner says:
    August 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    “speaking of which (scunny), i’ve prob got time for a quick team sheet before my bird realises (she’s downstairs waiting for me to get ready):”

    Vuckic might be in there Milner, and he should be.

  14. The title of this story is a bit like a chav saying`my Clio`s just as good as a porsche now that i have a big bore exhaust`we all know its complete bollocks and to say otherwise just makes Pardew sound even more stupid than usual-The mancs buy CLASS-IE-the porsche`s,,,,,we however have a used car salesman as an owner bartering for a couple of Clio’s and a transit van-shut the fek up pards,say nowt more other than revealing our new signings=yeah gonna be quiet for some time-`looking to replace Barton already`-load of pump-you`v been looking to replace Carroll for 8poxy months-we may look stupid but we`r not and our patience is running thin……

  15. Big Al says:
    August 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    “we may look stupid but we`r not and our patience is running thin……”

    Big Al, while Pardew was doing a media training video at West Ham, he was asked about his relationship with West Ham’s fans. He replied:

    “Well, personally I think they are all w***ers and should all f*** off. I’m the best manager in the world and I will win them over at some point.”

  16. To be fair to him Worky, I know a few West Ham fans and they are w***ers. Their “famous fans” can do one as well. You’ll never see a West Ham game on TV without the camera panning to James fking Corden and Russell fking Brand sat together being “blokey”, usually just in time to catch them having a big laugh at how funny each other are, watching the ‘ammers. They can fk off in my book.

    I think blaming Pardew for our transfer activity (or lack thereof) is a touch unfair mind. He’s pretty open that all decisions in that area rest with Ashley.

  17. John T says:
    August 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    “I think blaming Pardew for our transfer activity (or lack thereof) is a touch unfair mind.”

    I thought that most people were blaming Ashley for our lack of transfer activity John T?

  18. Jimbob says:
    August 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    “Worky that was jokes, he wasn’t being serious…”

    Joke or not, it was a stupid thing to say Jimbob.

  19. John T says:
    August 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    “To be fair to him Worky, I know a few West Ham fans and they are w***ers”

    I’ve known a few Newcastle United fans who are w***ers too John T, Does that mean we all are?

  20. transfer policy?, do we even have one?
    i suppose bidding for players with peanuts,without any chance of signing them,also spending less than anyone else in the league,and being gazumped by our near rivals,that is some policy.
    from what i’ve seen,we very rarely sign anyone,this window we have signed a few,but a couple of them still look dubious,to say the least.
    ba and marveux so far have the air of “classic crocks” about them.
    the only signings we make are,frees;long term injured,and players who cannot get a game for their respective clubs.
    all we do is bring in waifs and strays,coupled with the odd decent player,i’m in no way convinced so far,and we have had four year of this so called policy,it hasn’t been a roaring success so far,if we are all honest.

  21. sell a reliable good player to another club then sit on the money and sign no replacements other than young unproven, ON THE CHEAP players and expect them to bring the club forward, get real mr jabba u havent a clue on football, i would dearly love to have heard what the late great Sir Bobby would have said about this. he was all for upcoming talent but not at the expence or an excuse to loose ur experiened men but mix it !!!

  22. whilst I do not condone the policies and actions of Mr Ashley, I also dont want us going down the Frederic Shepherd route of football club ownership

    When Albert Luque was “asked” how much he wanted a week (note, not offered an ammount, asked) he took the piss and said £90k – the clown replied with “no problem” (a massive problem, Luque was beyond shite….

    Cabaye has looked a very good signing so far, we need a LB, a striker and some more in terms of numbers (not midfield, we are awash with them these days, when not all crocked)