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NEWCASTLE sit top of the Championship and Chris Hughton has three Manager of the Month awards already this season.

 

On the surface, the Toon gloom is lifting. There is even unity in the home dressing-room at St James' Park.

 

 

And as the promotion bandwagon picks up pace, don't be surprised to see the Ground Full signs going up at the 52,000-capacity stadium.

 

 

Few expected such a turnaround after last season's endless turmoil.

 

 

But behind the scenes the fallout of relegation at a financially stricken club continues to be felt.

 

 

Despite the huge summer cull, when £25million-worth of players were sold and £40m was knocked off the annual wage bill, a major burden remains.

 

 

Newcastle are the Championship's biggest payers by some distance, with a salary commitment of around £36m a year.

 

 

Argentinian defender Fabricio Coloccini is comfortably the division's top-paid player on a staggering £86,000 a week after bonuses.

 

 

And that despite Newcastle's turnover being slashed by half to just under £50m.

 

 

An immediate return to the Premier League is a financial must.

 

 

Without the security of the parachute payment, Newcastle would be highly vulnerable.

 

 

Owner Mike Ashley, still upset that he has been unable to regain favour with the Toon Army, is leading the club on a new financial path.

 

 

Sport of the World has learned that away from the bright lights a series of cutbacks have been made.

 

 

Staff levels have been reduced, outside companies have been brought in to further tighten the budget and even the escalator inside the new Milburn Stand has been switched off during the week.

 

 

The staff Christmas party, which on Ashley's arrival was a huge do in the biggest suite at the ground, with beer tokens for employees, was moved to Shearer's Bar with concessionary pricing.

 

 

Newcastle did not appoint a direct replacement when academy director Richard Money left to become manager at Luton.

 

Systematic

"Everything has been stripped away," said a senior source.

 

 

"It had to be done following relegation but there has been systematic cost-cutting inside the club.

 

 

"There are less staff now. You can see that in the corporate areas on match days. It's a club operating on the bare bones."

 

 

Ashley has handed Hughton £2m to move for Sheffield United centre- half Matt Kilgallon next month. But there will be little other investment in a team surging clear at the top of the League.

 

 

The club must make a final payment to Inter Milan for the £10.5m signing of Obafemi Martins in 2006.

 

 

The belief remains that in the long term Ashley wants out. But it will take a further £50m to buy the club now on top of the £80m he tried to sell for in the summer.

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"There are less staff now. You can see that in the corporate areas on match days"

 

In other words a bunch of leeches have been turfed out

 

What do they expect ? We're in Div 2 (which sounds less sexy that the "Championship" but it's a better description of where we are)

 

 

I really hope the days of FFS and jetting around are gone - and stay gone

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"There are less staff now. You can see that in the corporate areas on match days"

 

In other words a bunch of leeches have been turfed out

 

What do they expect ? We're in Div 2 (which sounds less sexy that the "Championship" but it's a better description of where we are)

 

 

I really hope the days of FFS and jetting around are gone - and stay gone

 

I have absolutely no problems with these cut backs, the esclators should be fucking switched off, so should lights and anything else thats not needed, I dont leave every light in my house turned on 24hours a day and neither should a football club

 

cutting away the dross is what should of happened a long time ago, for to long we have heamorgaged money

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What a surprise though, Ashleys fave paper points out how skint we are and how much Colo is costing us just as the transfer window opens :D

 

That's what i thought.

 

But it is a ridiculous amount of money for a player most of us were hoping to see the back of in the summer

even if he does look better in the 2nd division.

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Collo sold for a few mill. Kilgallon brought in for a fraction of that and in the process, a huge drop in wages. All for a young English player who excells in this league.

 

Not the worst idea, but I'd rather not unsettle a very successful defence at this stage.

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Collo sold for a few mill. Kilgallon brought in for a fraction of that and in the process, a huge drop in wages. All for a young English player who excells in this league.

 

Not the worst idea, but I'd rather not unsettle a very successful defence at this stage.

 

I was with you there until you mentioned us bringing someone else in

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The club must make a final payment to Inter Milan for the £10.5m signing of Obafemi Martins in 2006.

 

I seem to recall Llambias sayinbg

 

"We're still paying for some of them now, we won’t clear the debt for those players as it will take us until 2011”

 

Who else we still paying for?

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Still paying for Owen?

 

What about Luque, that's a name they like to drag up. We're paying 50p monthly installments for him for the rest of his natural life.

 

At any length we should still have money coming in for the next while for all the players that we've recently sold. Milner, Martins, Duff and N'Zogbia.

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most of them didnt cost a lot though, I reckon we're looking at the 5mil plus signings as far back as since robson left

 

luque, colo, owen etc etc

 

Luque and Owen I think were the only big money transfers where we didn't get our money back (or thereabouts) when they left. Owen was obviously the worst because the ingrateful smarmy prick left for nothing. Luque at least had the decency to afford some kind of mediocre transfer fee.

 

At any length the money still coming in for players we sold should far outweigh the money going out to pay for players we've bought in the past. There's Milner (£4 in (long time ago) £12 out), Martins (£10 in £9 out), Duff (£5 in £3 out), N'Zogbia (£0.25 in £6 out), Emre (£3.8 in £2 out), Beye (£2 in £2.6 out (undisclosed)), Faye (£2 in £2.25 out) Rozehnal (£2.9 in £2.9 out) Given (£1.5 (long time ago) in £5.9+ out).

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