In the past, Newcastle United has seen its fair share of mercenaries, players who main interest is only money and how much they can get in their over-paid roles.
Since Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew have come on board the number of mercenaries on the clubs books has reduced and the wage and transfer policies in place have restored some credibility and pride in the club as well as sending a strong message out, letting the world know we are no longer a club who accepts these characters.
However, the recent saga with Demba Ba makes the issue of mercenaries rear its ugly head again. As each day passes it seems to become more evident that his motives for wanting to leave the club are money-related, which begs the question how long can we keep our current policies and sustain the same type of success we have achieved this season?
It seems to me that the formula for success these days is simple, offer the best players more money than any other team is to secure his signing and go on to dominate the league.
It means any clubs without the financial means of teams like Manchester City or who have some credibility when it comes to getting their players on “sensible” wages cannot hope to be anything more than a top 10 team.
Granted we did it this season and got 5th place which is amazing, beating teams who outspent us was a particular crowning glory, but I have to wonder if we want to achieve this success or go further in the future, can we actually keep a team together of loyal players on lower wages.
Loyalty in football is seen as a thing of the past now, Newcastle fans could think in the past “will our new number 9 ever beat our all-time goal scoring record” now I would say most think “will he still play for us by the end of next season” which is a sad state of affairs.
Of course, I am not saying every player who leaves us for a top-four club is leaving for money or at least money alone. As a footballer, who wouldn’t want to be part of a team who won a historic trophy such as the champions league or F.A cup and get your name in history which is fair comment, but surely with a bit of loyalty there is every chance you could do it without the need to wait around.
For me if more players’s committed to the club, we have the base of a team that could really push on and achieve. We could defiantly restore some of the past glories of the team, maybe even get that elusive trophy in the cabinet finally.