Monday, 22 February 2010

Newcastle Gambling On Promotion?

Just as us Toon fans start to get accustomed to being a successful club with secure finances and a stable squad news comes to knock us off our perch.

The News of the World reported on Sunday that owner Mike Ashley had to make an emergency £25 million loan to Newcastle to keep the club running.

The financial constraints placed on the club by the large wage bill and reduced turnover meant the loan was a necessity to keep the club operational until the end of the season.

That's understandable enough but when you read on in the article I get a terrifying sense of de ja vu back to Freddy Shepherd's time at the club. Hearing that the loan means that money still to come in from the summer sales of Obafemi Martins, Damien Duff and Sebastien Bassong and the £11 million parachute payment from the Premier League is effectively spent already.

Now it's not all bad, the loan also allowed Hughton to bring in four permanent signing in January along with two loan signings. These were all necessary to keep up the promotion push towards the Premier League and a return to the top flight would almost instantly solve the club's money issues.

The club would make £40 million from television money alone and the wage bill, which has been slashed this season, may be extravagant for a Championship club but will be more than manageable in the Premier League.

However you can't help but feel all our eggs have been placed in the promotion basket. What happens if we don't make it back at the first time of asking? Will Ashley continue to make multi-million pound interest free loans to the club? I doubt he could even if he wanted to.

So don't laugh too hard at the likes of Portsmouth and Crystal Palace as we revel in our 'Champions elect' tag as if it doesn't all work out we could be sitting in their [court] seat very soon.

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