Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Magpies' Salaries Put off Allardyce; Magpies' Wages Put off Sam

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Magpies' Salaries Put off Allardyce; Magpies' Wages Put off Sam

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

IN a worrying sign of things to come for Newcastle United, Sam Allardyce is set to resist the temptation to re-sign any of his former Magpies players because he is not prepared to match their wages - even after seeing his coffers swelled by pounds 18m yesterday.

Six months later than expected, Blackburn Rovers have reportedly agreed to sell Roque Santa Cruz to Manchester City.

Allardyce has already started planning how to spend the pounds 18m they will receive, but has discounted the idea of using any of it on United players.

Allardyce is an admirer of many of the players Newcastle would like to off-load this summer - after all, he signed plenty.

But his old club's high wage culture has put them beyond the reach of his current emplo yers.

It is another sign that, with only a handful of exceptions, the reality of the credit crunch is starting to take hold on the Premier League. That will make selling Newcastle's array of heavily-paid players a difficult task.

The Magpies will be anxious to move on as many as possible, if not all, of the 15 players thought to have been earning over pounds 50,000 a week at St James's Park last season.

With only Michael Owen and Mark

Turn to Page 99 Viduka out of contract and no provision in the remaining deals to cut wages now the club is in the Championship, the nightmare scenario is that United could find themselves paying players to represent other teams, rather than take on their entire wages themselves. S

With interested parties continuing due diligence of the club, such considerations are still some way off. Newcastle have no manager and until owner Mike Ashley can agree a sale, no leadership.

But once the power vacuum is filled, pruning the squad will be a top priority.

There have been optimistic noises from St James's about a quick sale but perhaps more telling is news that Chris Hughton has been sounded out about taking caretaker control of the team for a third time in under 12 months. …

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