Tuesday, July 19, 2005


How much is left?

We were all told at the start of the silly season that Alan Pardew had approximately £20 million to spend on new players. Assuming that includes wages, we can estimate how much of the kitty is left. I make it like so:

Caroll: £0 million fee, £20k/week wages, or about £1 million/year
Konchesky: £2.5 million fee, £20k/week wages, or about £1 million/year
Gabbidon: £2 million fee, £15k/week wages, or about £800k/year
Collins: £1 million fee, £10k/week wages, or about £500k/year
Benayoun: £2.5 million fee, £25k/week wages, or about £1.3 million/year

(Of course the wages are guesses, but are unlikely to vary greatly from these amounts.)

Adding these up, Pardew's spent about £12.6 million so far, not including the costs of new contracts to Etherington, Ferdinand, Sheringham, Newton, and others. Are they included in the kitty? Who knows? Their wages might be partly subsidised from the dropping of the wages of players like Hutch, Lomas, and Powell, so I won't include them here.

So I make it Alan could have as much as £7.4 million left to spend. A lot of our touted rumour fees for a striker are in the region of £5 or £6 million. This seems about right, because we could get a £6 million striker at £25k per week, and cut in just under the rumoured £20 million total.

However, this leaves us with nothing left for the January transfer window. Would Pardew take such a risk? Possibly. He might consider that it's better off spending what you've got to start with, than to have money sitting in the bank for 5 months, during which half your season is gone. On the other hand he might want to see where the season pans out and bring in some fresh faces in January, which as you recall nearly saved us a couple of years ago, when Roeder brought in Les Ferdinand and Rufus Brevett. If we bought a £3 million striker now, at £20k a week, then we could have £3 million to spend on new players in January. But who do you get for £3 million? Not a 20-goal a year striker. So what does Alan do?

It comes down to whether Marlon, Bobby, and Teddy cut it in the Premiership this season. If Yossi and Matty both shine, then I think so. Depending on how well our midfield provide for our forwards, we could be going well enough as it is.

I think it's worth spending part of the remainder on a striker, but not a big name like Benny McCarthy - but it depends on who is available at the right price. I'd hope that out of our four main strikers (including the new signing), somebody hits a good purple patch for at least part of this season. But then again, I'm no Alan Pardew. It'll be interesting to see what he does.

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