Financial fair play, Toon aspirations and the Stoke game

Posted on October 28th, 2011 | 36 Comments |

Time machine would be needed for Newcastle to undo League Cup defeat.
Can't turn back time on the League Cup
Newcastle United have a big test of their ability to bounce back from defeat with a tricky game away at Stoke on Monday. I do actually manage to squeeze in some references to the game in an article even more rambling than usual.

The mid-week League Cup defeat was disappointing but without a time machine* we can’t change that now, so it’s time to get jiggy about our upcoming game against Stoke.

This in fact is the attitude of Davide Santon, who had his first start for us on Wednesday. Santon said:

We hoped to get into Europe through the League Cup but now we must look to the league for that.

We need to aim for a top-four spot. We have a fantastic squad. But we have a lot of very, very big games against very good teams coming up and we need to put all of our efforts into doing that now.

We lost Wednesday’s game, but we’re in a good place in the league. That is where we are concentrating now. We need to keep going and carry on winning.

The most important thing now is that we show our fighting spirit and come back strong from the defeat.

It was my first full game, we lost but there is a spirit in the squad that is fantastic. We need to pick ourselves up and make sure that we win at Stoke.

Methinks Davide is being a little hopeful if he’s suggesting we’re capable of a top 4 finish, which in fact got me to thinking about how long the richest clubs will continue to dominate the top spots and be the only ones with a realistic chance of winning the League.

UEFA is planning to address this matter with its ‘Financial Fair Play Rules’, which will apparently mean that clubs will have to balance their books. The main requirement is that clubs break-even and this will come into effect for the 2012 financial reporting period and sanctions against clubs that break those rules will first be seen in 2013/2014.

But I’m yet to be convinced and wonder if there’ll be enough loopholes to allow the richest clubs to remain dominant via accounting trickery. Perhaps I’m being unduly pessimistic, but I find it hard to believe there’ll be a time when the likes of Manchester City will not have an advantage due to the financial clout of Sheikh Mansour.

We shall see, but for this season it’s going to be roughly the same story as it was last season with the usual suspects being the only ones in with a chance of the title and/or Europe. I can see Man City winning it this year, although if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from the last 20 years of football it’s that you can never write Man Utd off. Either way, they’ll take the top 2 spots and Chelsea look likeliest to take 3rd. I’m also prepared to bet the rest of the top 6 is made up from the richest of the remaining clubs: namely Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal.

I’m a little more hopeful after that and think we could be part of the third group of teams vying for positions 7 to 10, along with the likes of (maybe) Everton and Villa (and I have a suspicion QPR might just be there too).

Anyway, back to the point in question. Stoke will be a tough game in my opinion. They have yet to lose at home in the League this season and it’s always a hard to place to go and take points. But it will be a good test of our ‘bouncebackability’. Losing comes hard after a stretch without it, so this is a big test of character for the lads.

Let’s hope we pass it!

*Although if the time machine used by Rod Taylor in HG Wells’ classic is anything to go by, we can build one with an old umbrella and an armchair.

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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36 Responses

  1. This finacial fair play thing is a load of bollocks. For example, what is the difference between say Norwich and Manchester Uniteds revenue? Will this new fair play system miraculously mean that all 20 clubs are on a level playing field in tearms of the budget they can afford to fork out on transfers and salaries? NO
    As for loopholes just look at citys rebranding of their stadium and also the development that is going on around the ground. Corrent me if im wrong but isn’t Mnsour are property tycoon? Isn’t the investment hes making on the new training facilities and whatever else is being built, just a way of pumping in more money, generating extra revenue and ulimatly making him a profit in the long tearm? I dunno im prob. talking bollocks as usual but thats just how I see it

  2. The FIFA rules are that you can’t spend any more than you earn I believe so that you in theory reach break even. All very well in theory but I can see a situation where a club like Man City will increase its earnings in some way other than the total of its gate receipts, TV money, Season ticket revenues etc to allow them to keep spending big.

    Some one suggested a ploy like an agent of Mansour buying a million home kits at £65 a pop thus earning £65 million revenue on kit sales enabling them to then spend the £65 million in transfer fees. Any way, I am certain they will find a way round it some how.

  3. One thing im wondering about is, are Chelsea looking ahead to this faif play system and thinking their stadium needs to be like three times the size to be able to compete with the mancs and Arsenal? Chelsea have just tried buying the leece back or whatever from thei fans / shareholders. Spurs are even building a new stadium and the carry on at Anfield has been rumbling for the past few years. So maybe they have a better understanding of how it will all pan out than me andperhaps these are measure to ensure that when the system is applied they aren’t falling behind. I just can’t see it making amassive difference .

  4. Aspirations for 2010-2011? That simply means anything better than the 11th of 2009-10 – so to aspire to 10th will be success –
    how many of us would settle for that now – very few I think
    but come easter? probably most of us!

    The Stoke game is not a test – it will be reality.
    We now know what happens when we loose just a couple of key players and luck doesn’t run in our favour.
    A small bunch of good players with skill & guts is just not enough, we need better cover – in that respect we have not progressed at all from this stage last year when everybody agreed we were 3 players short – and we still are!

    We can’t talk of aspirations by putting our faith in what is a very decent first team when the basic 25 squad is not strong enough. We have come a long way in the last 18 months, 4th in the PL is remarkable – but unsustainable.

    In the longer view we can reasonably hope our very good youth squad & scouting team will bear fruit – but its about time some of them were coming through now. For every youngster briefly appearing in the team there seems to be another who has stalled and another who has quietly disappeared. OK several are on loan, but at least 1 or 2 should be on the subs bench.

    So our aspirations? Stability & progress, patience & building for this season & next –
    But honestly, have we got the patience to wait?

  5. I’d go back to the 95/96 season and tell Kev not to read any London newspapers or listen to any of Fergies poison mind games more *love it if we beat them* moment. Just carry on playing the *were gonna score one more than you* style.

  6. looks like they are finaly throwing the book at Titus. About bloody time!

  7. worky says: “NUFC should get a team of mad Geordie scientists to develop a football time machine” count me in mate!
    Some of our UFO lads must have some good contacts to advise us – not forgetting Shaka at NASA.
    I wonder if Macdonald & Shearer would bond or have a punch up before half time? Better include Bowyer to keep the peace!


  8. Shocked so many like Shola says:
    October 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    “I’d go back to the 95/96 season and tell Kev not to read any London newspapers”

    Shola, I’d bundle Pedro in there and set the controls to “21 years old”.

  9. Supermac says:
    October 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    “Some of our UFO lads must have some good contacts to advise us – not forgetting Shaka at NASA.
    I wonder if Macdonald & Shearer would bond or have a punch up before half time? Better include Bowyer to keep the peace!”

    Supermac, I think Shaka’s at ESPN now with Kev.

    I think they’d definitely be a clash of egos if they put a rejuvenated Keegan and Shearer up front.

  10. Worky – Big Al would swat KK like a fly!

    But I would just love to see (just love it) the look on Kev’s face when manager SBR substitutes him!

  11. Pardew on “We have the best fans in the world” – how long has it taken him to work that out?
    Pity we havn’t got an owner, board or manager to match!

  12. Supermac says:
    October 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    “Worky – Big Al would swat KK like a fly!”

    Supermac, did you ever see the Mighty Mouse’s fight with Billy Bremner? It was in the Charity Shield if I’m not mistaken.

  13. Wonder how the likes of wor Jackie would be getting the wages of today if we could bring them into our time.

  14. Fugedaboud time machines and ex players !
    The obvious danger to this side will be clubs like Man. U.and Liverpool who may make bids we cannot refuse.

    Just look how hapless we were defensively against a team like Blackburn, four goals for chr***sake !
    Thats who we are without Tiote, plus arguably our best CD is being considered by Liverpool.

    How long before Cabaye and HBA will be cosidered ?
    Look we all read what Pardew said about holding on to players and we are all aware each and everyone has his price.

    I can only hope we have some decent replacements lined up for the conveyor belt, cause we are only a few sold stars away from a relegation side.
    Think about it !

  15. everyone going to stoke needs a time machine,as it is the “land that time forgot”,with their neanderthal fans.

  16. Average wages @ NUFC during “Wor Jackies” time was for the most part under twenty quid a week, though some were on various bonuses.

    Which roughly equates to four times the average weekly wage.

    I’m sure most of us would be more than happy to receive a quarter of the average PL player wage of to-day.

    Which is why we will eventually see wage caps, re-alignment of leagues (a European Super League)without relegation, why ?

    The oligarch’s who own the present top sides, want more earnings and are not prepared to be told how to run their businesses by any regulatory organization, unless it’s one they control.

    The threat’s by those organizations are toothless, for instance, you will not be allowed to play in your international side.

    Pay the players enough and they wont give a damn.
    There are big changes on the way, things cannot continue as they are.
    You heard it here first folks !

  17. worky “did you ever see the Mighty Mouse’s fight with Billy Bremner? It was in the Charity Shield if I’m not mistaken” aye, watched it on TV, and they were both fined by the FA for stripping their shirts off when they were sent off!

  18. chuck says:
    October 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    “Average wages @ NUFC during “Wor Jackies” time was for the most part under twenty quid a week, though some were on various bonuses.”

    Correct Chuck, though you should know. It’s on record that Wor Jackie was getting £17 per week in his prime at Newcastle. However back in those day’s, quite a few brown envelopes changed hands under the table too by some accounts, and not necessarily from the club either.

  19. WORKEY

    Cassandra ? yes of course, there was i recall, a well known journalist that had a column in one of the British Newspaper who wrote under that Nom de plume.
    And certainly on these blogs, a certain affinity with
    Cassandra is unavoidable.
    Now that you mention it wouldda been a good moniker to use.

  20. Of course using a female nom de plume, would have it’s drawbacks, then again, how many could differentiate ?

  21. Supermac says:
    October 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    “and they were both fined by the FA for stripping their shirts off when they were sent off!”

    Aye Supermac, wor Kev used to love showing off his little torso.


    Aye, from the days when the Daily Mirror was one of the finest newspapers in the world. Hard to beleive now I know. I was gannin’ on about the original Trojan lass though. Condemned to tell the truth, but never be beleived.

  22. WORKEY
    Sure, daughter of Priam, a prophet never believed.
    Come to think of it, is that where the expression
    comes from, “A prophet in his/her own land” ?

  23. Going to Stoke !
    I’m sure a lotta players feel sick at the thought, gotta be one of the toughest venues in the country, a bid strong side, with a great set of fans, who never say die.

    As for Tony Paulis, done a great job with not a lotta money, but has installed a will to win and self belief in his side.

    Hell if we get a draw here i will be satisfied, (though i’m not discounting a win)
    It will be a test of our resilience and a win would be a great confidence builder.

    There’s talk of Saylor playing (man in the iron mask)course have to get a Yank to design it, whats up with you guys , cant make a simple nose protector ?
    Projecting a draw !

  24. chuck says:
    October 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    “is that where the expression
    comes from, “A prophet in his/her own land” ?

    I think that one’s the New Testament Chuck.

    I knew that all those classics lessons with Mr.Hoskins would come in handy one day. :-)

    ps Never thought it would be on a football blog though!

  25. Chuck : “we are all aware each and everyone has his price” in general yes, but sometimes no.

    Even manure can’t always hold on to players for one reason (Ronaldo) or another (Becks).
    And they couldn’t always get who they wanted (Shearer! £15m world record) – so we are not blameless in this game. It was even us who paniced them into buying Rooney when we offered Everton £15m.
    And we started it all by buying Andrew McCombie from 5under1and for a record £700 in 1905 (unbelievably he won the 1st div championship with both clubs – useful fact for winning a pint some night).

    Ironically manure’s record appearances is by Ryan Giggs, (800+) and record goalscorer is Bobby Charlton (249 goals in 758 games) – both free signings!

  26. Woodgate will probably miss the game as usual – now there was a centre back! I’ll settle for one just like him please Mr Cashley – providing he is not so fragile.

  27. I was watching the victory shield (rerun?) on Sky 1 today and the Toon had a youngster in the England team. Gillead, wonder if he’ll ever get through the tricky climb to the top, didn’t show much in the time he had on the pitch but that don’t really indicate how he will do long term.

    And whilst I am on the subject of young players, a friend of my sons 6 year old kid has been scouted by Spurs and offered a contract. The parents declined the offer. I suppose the scouts will be watching how they pop out of the womb next!! :)

  28. Up Pompei, “Woe, Woe and thrice Woe”, could be the catch-phrase for a few blog contributors. ;)

  29. SuperMac
    Actually think you proved that point (everyone has their price) when you view the Ronaldo deal.
    Simple a bigger fish came along.
    Face it both Barca and Madrid are bigger attractions than any EPL club, certainly for Spanish,and Latin American players, who consider playing for either, a sign of success.
    Yeah I know each year we read this club and that club are the worlds richest, with sometimes Man U. topping the charts.
    Fact is they have slipped a notch, having little chance of competing on a monetary basis with either Chelsea, Man City, Barcelona or Real Madrid any longer.
    Perhaps we shall see further signs of their demise this year, an attempt at rebuilding following their exposure as a mediocre side against Barcelona and the recent route by City, does not bode well.
    And gone are the days when the could say we want this or that player, they simply don’t have the dosh anymore.
    That’s not to say if they wanted any of our players, they would’nt get them, same goes for Chelsea, and Citeh.
    If you dont believe it, just look back to the Carroll deal.

  30. “we are all aware each and everyone has his price” part II – thinking more on how we helped create this monster in the Keegan-Hall era, we are actualy still doing it.

    We praise Carr & our scouts for their talent searching, but its not popular with the clubs whose players we are “poaching” from their point of view.
    There are clubs in France & Holland who are not too pleased to read of us eyeing their young assets (Sochaux suspended Modibo Maiga and threatend to report us to FIFA)
    – can you see the difference between Liverpool publicaly sending scouts to see Collo when we do the same with Pieters?
    Also Charlton complained about approaches for Elliot – then there was that young fullback (Taylor I think) whose contract we claimed (wrongly) would release him for £1m – and Everton are still angry over Gosling.

    So, are we victims or villains?
    Its great when it works in our favour – but we cry unfare when others do it to us!
    Its a rubbish system with greedy players and cynical clubs – so lets just make sure we are good at exploiting it.

  31. Supermac says:
    October 28, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    “Its great when it works in our favour – but we cry unfare when others do it to us!”

    That’s a very good point Supermac, some people don’t seem to see it from both sides.

    Newcastle United have been unsettling players while bidding amounts which are usually very low relatively speaking in the current market. At least Liverpool have been very generous, paying that ridiculous amount for Carroll. The daft buggers! :-)