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Campbell snub sums up Newcastle United's current plight

By Lee Ryder on Aug 25, 09 11:24 PM

Once upon the Tyne players turning down Newcastle United to play in what some of us will always regard as the Fourth Division would have been regarded as something as a shock in football - in fact during the first KK era players turned down Premier League clubs to join a Second Division (old money) side (ask John Beresford, Paul Bracewell, Scott Sellars or Barry Venison if you don't believe me).

But there was nothing puzzling about Sol Campbell's decision to snub the Magpies on Tyneside for the Magpies of Nottingham, nothing puzzling at all.

Campbell was offered a deal to play for Newcastle with caretaker boss Chris Hughton confirming this today at the club's media conference ahead of the Huddersfield Town Carling Cup game.

Instead he opted for the basement division side because they were a "well ran club" and he confessed that there were clubs higher up the league ladder that were nothing short of a shambles behind the scenes.

Campbell was referring to Premier League clubs whe he said it but he could quite easily have been referring to Newcastle United.

We all know it's a mess but when those who have ventured the insides of St James's Park and examined the current internal state of the place can't wait to pack their bags and head for Notts County, Sven-mania or not, it's yet another slap in the face for Toon fans.

Recently I spoke to another player, who like Campbell was a free agent but could easily have played for Newcastle with plenty of top flight and Championship experience to offer, who described the set-up at the club as "Mickey Mouse" and that he was concerned about the management structure at St James's.

Despite Newcastle's great start to the season the future is still unclear - especially with the strength of a squad which lacks depth and experience.

There are no proven consistent goalscorers in it despite the early form of Shola Ameobi and the fine potential of Andy Carroll and Nile Ranger.

If Steven Taylor or Fabricio Coloccini (hardly reliable) break down with injury or are transferred before the deadline next week, Newcastle's next line of defence consists of kids who have hardly played a full season worth of games in the reserves.

And should we really put our faith in the likes of flops like Geremi and Xisco elsewhere in the squad should the annual injury crisis sweep through the current roster?

A long hard winter could lie ahead once the summer sun fades.

19 Comments

ginkoh said:

Are you joking? 2 reasons Campbell not come to us are

- Money, He can get 50000-60000 per week at Notts County but we cannot. Ashley think it's high wage earner and Ashley don't want to pay for it. (Even 30-40k still be problem for Ashley, not mind 50-60k for 34 years old)

- We didn't offer him contract, All of story come from the press not single one confirm from official. Don't forget we still not have manager now.

In my opinion, I think it's good he didn't sign for us, Now we want youngster who determine to prove themself and hungry for the game more than past-player with high salary.

Ryder's reply: Is this the same Ashley who is paying Xisco £55,000 per week, Geremi £58,000 per week and Coloccini £71,000?
And Chris Hughton confirmed to us yesterday he was offered a contract.

matty said:

Lee, we are a club in turmoil but I dont think the fact Campbell opted for the Mags down the road puts us in a bad light. Campbell admitted to also receiving offers from Premiership clubs. Campbell has signed a 5 year contract with Notts County, I would hope we offer him a 1 to 2 year contract at most.

tuka said:

yeah ryder,you didn't get the point man ginkoh said.Cashley didn't WANT to pay that kind of money

Sulphuric99 said:

I know what you mean Lee,
The toon just don't have any vision past the transfer window t the moment...even Houghton says he doesn't know what's in store and plays it on a day-to-day basis and prepares for the next match.
I refuse to believe any sort of statements regarding player aquirements or take-over whispers. We signed Simpson (albeit until Jan) out of nowhere, not to mention the deadline day dealings of last summer, and jan 09. Tell me this Lee, what is stopping you - someone who can contact the masses of newcastle fans - from actually spearheading a type of rally to actually get answers from what Mr Ashley wants? There have been so many reports which cancel the previous ones out like asking between £70m for the club one day and £100m the next?? I would like to think that now Wise has gone, and with some of the players who was raking up the wage bill then Ashley could regain his interest in the club and start to push things forward. Ignore all the stupid comments regarding your journalism because after all, you can only produce the information that has been given to you and all i can assume is that has been very little, but going back to my earlier point - maybe you could be the key to actually finding out what is going on there....i know being a toon fan that if i was in your position i would....

Scotty said:

All these takeover & transfer rumours are complete B###ocks It's just a smokescreen. You don't need to be mystic meg to predict whats really gonna happen come the 1st September here is a list what I might think will happen.

1- The club will of sold three or four payers and brought in none.

2- Then that #anker Ashley will take the club off the market

3- The club MD Dereck Lambiarse will then offer all the fans a seasons supply of toilet tissue to wipe away all the s##t he will talk about wanting to build the club and five year plans etc.

4- Then come January the club will be back on the market again and we will need the season supply of tissue cos Lambiarse will start spouting tosh about takeover bids blah blah while his fat cockey market trader mate sells the remaining squad players we have left.

I'm not brave enough to predict what league we will be come next may so I'm gonna leave it at just the four.

Scotty said:

All these takeover & transfer rumours are complete B###ocks It's just a smokescreen. You don't need to be mystic meg to predict whats really gonna happen come the 1st September here is a list what I might think will happen.

1- The club will of sold three or four payers and brought in none.

2- Then that #anker Ashley will take the club off the market

3- The club MD Dereck Lambiarse will then offer all the fans a seasons supply of toilet tissue to wipe away all the s##t he will talk about wanting to build the club and five year plans etc.

4- Then come January the club will be back on the market again and we will need the season supply of tissue cos Lambiarse will start spouting tosh about takeover bids blah blah while his fat cockey market trader mate sells the remaining squad players we have left.

I'm not brave enough to predict what league we will be come next may so I'm gonna leave it at just the four.

Frogeordie said:

Don't you think that were missing the point here? I don't think that we realise how close we were/are to going out of business.
Ashley is not to blame for the current crisis. Rather look to those who, whilst calling our women slappers and our fans idiots, were giving us a right royal shafting. Feathering their nests with large dividends and squandering several years sponsorship with self promoting high cost signings.
Ashley is not resposible for the high wages - Shepherd is. Ashley is, amonst all the abuse, trying to make us viable. We aren't there yet - ask Barklay's Bank.
There just isn't the cash to pay high wages.
Lets hope Ashley's policy of buying good kids pays off. Its about all we've got.

Frogeordie said:

Don't you think that were missing the point here? I don't think that we realise how close we were/are to going out of business.
Ashley is not to blame for the current crisis. Rather look to those who, whilst calling our women slappers and our fans idiots, were giving us a right royal shafting. Feathering their nests with large dividends and squandering several years sponsorship with self promoting high cost signings.
Ashley is not resposible for the high wages - Shepherd is. Ashley is, amonst all the abuse, trying to make us viable. We aren't there yet - ask Barklay's Bank.
There just isn't the cash to pay high wages.
Lets hope Ashley's policy of buying good kids pays off. Its about all we've got.

Lee said:

"Instead he opted for the basement division side because they were a "well ran club" and he confessed that there were clubs higher up the league ladder that were nothing short of a shambles behind the scenes."

I watched the same snippets from the press conference as you, however, when Campbell said he chose Notts County "because they will be a well ran club", his new manager immediately interjected, with a look of daggers to the press and said "We ARE a well ran club". This gave the impression that he wasn't happy with the signing. At the end of the day, the reason why Campbell signed for them was they are offering silly money and a five year deal. Sol said he only saw himself playing for another three years, so already he is at odds with the manager over a couple of things!

Ryder's reply: But what I'm saying is that there was a time when players signed for Newcastle United because they believed that they were going places rather than chasing the dollar. It's obvious Campbell is one of football's fat cats hence the fact I stated there was "nothing puzzling" about the reason why he signed there ahead of us in the first place!

Bill Hampton said:

It's a pity Campbell didn't come - he might have steadied Taylor and helped him grow as a defender. However, he went where the money is. Greedy s.o.b.

Lee said:

Ryder's reply: But what I'm saying is that there was a time when players signed for Newcastle United because they believed that they were going places rather than chasing the dollar. It's obvious Campbell is one of football's fat cats hence the fact I stated there was "nothing puzzling" about the reason why he signed there ahead of us in the first place!

You're contradicting yourself, by admitting that Campbell wouldn't have signed for us regardless of the situation at the club because he's one of "football's fat cats". In essence, this was yet another non-story in the Chronicle. A growing number of us would rather the Chronicle ran a double page spread saying "There is no news about NUFC today". Perhaps then the clowns at the top would start to get the message, and you'd be given some real stories to report, which would make your life a hell of alot easier! I know, Lee, everyone's a critic (insert harsher word under your breath!)!

Ryder's reply: It's not a news story, it's an opinion piece on a blog.
As for your other suggestion, it does not even merit an answer.

djc said:

Lee, do you know how much NUFC have reduced their wage bill by . It would be interesting to see. By my reckoning it must be somehwere around 300 and 400k a week at a conservative estimate.
The crowds are still turning up . I didn't see crowds for all fixtures but toons was double West broms last night. Surely somebody can see the potential this club as. Even the incompetent fool who currently owns our club must realise what potential there is . Just read the Daily Mirror and that says MA is going to take club off the market , probably just as the transfer window closes , and then he'll come out with some bile about how it wasn't his fault he was waiting for the takeover and they let him down Blah blah blah blah . Quite clearly he is just laughing at the Toon supporters and really no longer has any interest in the club . It needs a concerted campaign to rid this man from the Toon

Eldorado Argentina said:

Lee: Please can you use another name other than Lee as it is very confusing at least for me and probably for others.


On first reading it seems if it is a Lee Ryder reply.


On this blog surely there should only be one Lee and that's Lee Ryder. Why not call yourself Geordie Lee, Real Lee, or even lol Lee (knowing your fondness for the club), or what ever. But not just Lee.
Best R.

Lee said:

Eldorado, I was equally as confused last week when another contributor simply called himself 'Lee' as well! However, I'm going to lay off contributing from this moment onwards, so any future posts by 'Lee' are not from me!

Eldorado Argentina said:

Last Lee
Sorry to hear you are no longer going to be contributing to Lee Ryder's Blog. Of all the football Blog's I have read the contibutors to this appear to be the most sane.


In many ways I agreed with your last post. I am sorry that Lee Ryder sometimes cannot take reader's suggestions as well meant. He sometimes seems to take them personally, and responds accordingly.


It's astonishing really for a Geordie, used to blunt speaking, and particularly when you read some of the venom pointed at Ashley and co who like LR are doing their job in the way they see best.
We can all learn can't we.


Think again - whatever all the best.
R

Barry said:

One way out of what we have at the moment would be for all mag supporters to decamp to say, Byth Spartans ground, and start a new Goerdie Nation club called "Newcastle Pheonix" . It may take a few years but at least we would have a team that was built for the benefit of the Nation not just the bank ballances of the current over paid players and the greedy owner. 40,000 season tickets at say £500 is £20M pa for starters. I am sure you could buy most of the players currently at the toon who are worth having in the team for that kind of money and get the kids as well.
You never know Mr Moat and AS may be interested in leading us to the promised land under a new banner?

Eldorado Argentina said:

Barry your Phoenix suggestion is well worth considering.


Staying away is the only thing that will ever get the message across.


Indeed, if things are still as they are on Tuesday this may be the best opportunity ever to start again.

Blyth would be fine but why not Gateshead?


Newcastle Gateshead with the support of both Councils and business leaders could really go places.


But Gateshead should set the terms for real equality. No Newcastle domination.


Big is not best. In recent years there Council has been much more ambitious than the toon with real quality developments and imagination.


Let,s eat humble pie and ask for their help.


Newcastle Gateshead FC. And with a Bobby Robson Stadium. After all he was from the other side of the river. What a challenge!

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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