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Newcastle United’s Five Financially Worst Signings

Newcastle United’s illustrious history of buying players with little or no regard for financial implications seems to be all but over under the current restraints which the club works under – good, right? Absolutely – in my opinion – the catastrophic list of players who’ve cost us a small fortune to don the black and white stripes and went on to do almost nothing for us is as impressive as it is embarrassing.

It was difficult for me to exclude flops such as the likes of Hugo Viana, Alan Smith, Claudio Cacapa, Carl Cort, Geremi, Sol Campbell, Jon Dahl Tomasson, Patrick Kluivert and Stephane Guivarc’h – amongst others – from this list, highlighting the quite frankly disastrous transfer regimes the club has been under. But who’s our worst 5? Here is mine:

5. Jean Alain Boumsong

Net Fee Total Wage Total Cost Per App Per Goal
£4,700,000 £3,200,000 £7,900,000 £168,085 N/A

A few eyebrows were raised when Newcastle paid £8,000,000 for his services from Rangers, who’d signed him on a free only 6 months previous on a one-year deal. After an initially bright start to his career his second season saw a string of poor performances and was promptly sold during the summer of 2006 to Juventus for only £3,300,000. Jean did manage 47 appearances for Newcastle however, which perhaps saved from the lower cusps of this list.

4. Elena Marcelino

Net Fee Total Wage Total Cost Per App Per Goal
£5,800,000 £3,640,000 £9,440,000 £555,294 N/A

Signed during 1999 for a massive £5,800,000, the Spanish centre-back certainly excited the Newcastle faithful, unfortunately that soon faded and he went on to make only 20 appearances for Newcastle. The Spaniard was blighted by injury and misfortune, ultimately failing to make an impact. He’d spend his final year with the club in the reserve side before agreeing to leave by mutual agreement in January 2003. The transfer proved a disaster for the club and Elena’s career ultimately, where he’d see out the final few years of his career in the Spanish Segunda División with Polideportivo Ejido.

3. Albert Luque

Net Fee Total Wage Total Cost Per App Per Goal
£7,500,000 £5,460,000 £12,960,000 £617,143 £12,960,000

After previously shining in a friendly fixture against Newcastle hopes were high when we paid a staggering £9,500,000 for his signature, unfortunately to no avail. Luque managed only 21 appearances and scoring only once (memorably against Sunderland) between 2005 and 2007, later to be sold for a fraction of what we had paid. As you can see from the table above, the cost per goal does not make good reading.

2.  Michael Owen

Net Fee Total Wage Total Cost Per App Per Goal
£16,000,000 £26,000,000 £42,000,000 £531,646 £1,400,000

As club record signing, Michael Owen was greeted at Newcastle by thousands; hype was so great he was even offered the number nine shirt by Alan Shearer. As an England mainstay and world football name it’s fairly safe to say he arrived under massive expectation, almost the hope that he’d replace Shearer and write his own name into Geordie folklore as it were – it wasn’t to be. Owen cost Newcastle a jaw-dropping amount of money, and although did offer a fairly decent goals per game ratio (0.38), he simply did not play enough over a four year spell – making only 14 appearances in his first two seasons. His actions as club captain in the aftermath of relegation can only be described as disrespectful to a club that had offered him so much, for that it’s fairly safe to say the majority of Geordies will never forgive him. Michael Owen’s total cost the club comes in at only £6,550,000 less than the other four players of the list combined.

1. Francisco Jimenez Tejada

Net Fee Total Wage Total Cost Per App Per Goal
£5,700,000 £12,550,000 £18,250,000 £2,027,778 £18,250,000

Known as Xisco to you and me, I’m not quite sure where to start with this one. The disaster that Xisco has been at Newcastle surely rivals that of any other football club. Signed by then Director of Football Dennis Wise without the consent of Kevin Keegan (allegedly), Xisco was offered extraordinary wages on a bumper 5 ½ year contract – that which we are still paying for now.

He has made only 9 appearances for Newcastle, scoring only once. Financially his cost to Newcastle has been catastrophic, and where I loathe him to a certain extent for the money he has cost my club I cannot justify blaming him.

The board offered him that contract, and had I been in a similar circumstance I’d of seen out my contractual rights as he has. Where he has shown promise at times – particularly when given the opportunity by Hughton – he simply isn’t good enough for a club such as ours. The sooner his wages are off our books the better.

Article courtesy of

Note: All fees are based upon archives, reports and prior knowledge. Fees, wages and other expenses are rarely publically disclosed and that which has been used is purely speculated. The total cost is calculated based upon net transfer fee and weekly wage; it does not include bonuses, compensation or any additional fees.

About Harry Savill (Editor) (418 Articles)
I am the Editor of 'The Spectator's View'. I set up the website so that I could combine my two passions: Newcastle United and writing, and I hope for it to be a platform where fans can express their views on the club. History Graduate from Durham University. Junior Account Executive at M&C Saatchi.

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