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Meltdown: Newcastle#8217;s 71m wage nightmare - who will go and stay?
Published : 26 May 2009 02:13:11Rss feed
If Alan Shearer needed evidence of the mess he had walked into when he took over as Newcastle United manager, he had only to study the club's annual £71 million wage list. One contract must have stood out among the names of highly paid millionaires without a care in the world, and certainly not a care about Newcastle United: Xisco, a six-year contract, £50,000 a week (no relegation clause), a deal which will cripple any prospective Championship club. The Spain Under 21 international striker was one of Dennis Wise's many dubious summer signings, added to the Newcastle squad without Kevin Keegan's knowledge while the then manager was preparing what he had thought was his squad during pre-season. He had never heard of the Xisco Kid, but he wasn't alone. Then again, it was clear he had never heard of Fabricio Coloccini, Jonas Gutierrez or Ignacio Gonzalez either. After the £8 million flop that was Albert Luque, you would have thought even a new Newcastle United board would have learned the lessons of signing Spanish strikers from Deportivo La Coruna. But apparently not. And now Mike Ashley must pay a very heavy price.