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Keegan Was Right - Ashley Was NEVER Going To Spend 35m!
Published : 15 Jul 2011 11:17:04
To calm down the fury of the sale of Andy Carroll, Derek Llambias said: "I can promise supporters, all the £35m will go on new players". And Kevin Keegan pissed himself laughing. Kevin Keegan: "I know Mike Ashley, and I also know where the £35m will be going. "All I can say is £35m will NOT be spent on players." The only signing this transfer window that was not a free transfer was Yohan Cabaye, a £4.5m signing from French champions Lille. And United picked up £4m for the sale of Kevin Nolan. Alan Pardew: “I’ve already spoken about the money we’ve got in (from the Carroll deal) and that we’ve spent, and you’d be surprised with the deals we’ve done because they actually amount to a fair bit. “But we’ve got enough to bring a striker in of the right ilk for this club, and that’s what we need to focus on. When we secure that player, then we’ll look again. “I think it (the Andy Carroll sale) has been a big part of what we’ve done, and that money has been put back into the club, full stop. “The wage bill has gone up quite a bit. I also think we need to make sure that, over the next three or four years, we grow. "Our finances have been structured in a way that the team grows each year.” Once again Llambias and Pardew are on crossed wires, one not knowing what the other is doing. Llamias said this week: "We will probably keep the money for the January transfer window". UNBELIEVABLE! The Journal reported today: At a press day set aside to preview Newcastle’s pre-season tour to America and trip to Darlington, Pardew could not escape the £35million burning question. “That money has been put back into the club, full stop,” he said. Questioned more thoroughly, Pardew’s responses were telling. Among a string of interesting comebacks was the revelation that United’s summer might have been even quieter had they not sold Carroll. “I think with the players that we've brought in, we never really got the benefit out of (Hatem) Ben Arfa last year. But then we got him, Ba, Shola, Lovenkrands – we have a little bit of an overload as well at the moment. “I think it would be helpful if we did actually move one or two players on. I think then we could be in a situation where we bring in another player as well as a striker.” Does that clarify things? Probably not. But then Pardew is stuck in an unenviable position. Asked to account for a economic reality which he is not responsible for, the United boss is doing his best to answer the questions put to him with honesty and clarity. When he tries to justify the distribution of the cash so far, a section of the support respond with incredulity. But The Journal understands he has gone to battle over certain experienced targets, only to be told the club’s stance is non-negotiable. Charles N’Zogbia, for example, was wanted by Pardew and his coaching team and came heavily recommended by influential Chief Scout Graham Carr. The same is true of Blaise Matuidi, the Tolouse hardman identified as Kevin Nolan’s replacement. Both deals were judged to be too expensive. It is worth remembering that the only man who can really provide any sort of context to Newcastle’s transfer business is the one person who still refuses to talk – Mike Ashley. It is the Sports Direct tycoon who sets the financial parameters at St James’ Park and Ashley, too, who has the final say on the transfer wishlists that were presented to him back in May. Those close to Ashley speak of a garrulous, generous man who is also steadfast in his belief that football is living in an unsustainable bubble. He wants to put United on the straight and narrow before investing any more and won’t be budged by accusations that he is selling Newcastle short. It is Pardew who is at the frontline and the United boss who carries the can for a business plan that is largely untested. On that front the United boss insists the club are better equipped to cope with the Premier League next year. But he resisted attempts to coax a breakdown of where the £35million has gone. “I won't go into specifics – I do not think it is fair. Other clubs don't do it so we're not going to do it. “Some of the costs of a transfer like (Demba) Ba, they are hidden costs to a certain degree. These free players don't come cheap – they are expensive. “All three of the players who have come in are what I would consider first team players. So if you put them into the mix plus (Hatem) Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling coming back from what we had last year, we have improved considerably. “Going into the season as we stand now, I think we're a little bit stronger than we were in the second half of last year. “Hopefully, if we get another striker in, we'll also be stronger than we were in the first half of the season. That's where we are. I think the additions we have added will add some intelligence to our play. “Particularly (Yohan) Cabaye, who's a really intelligent player. I think you'll see a slightly different Newcastle to last year.”