Friday, October 27, 2006

The money pit

It's been revealed today that last year we made a loss of £12m, having actually made a (relatively) small profit the previous year. Not entirely unexpected, given the substantial outlay for Michael Owen, Albert Luque, Scott Parker, Emre and Nobby Solano and the subsequent early exit from Europe at the hands of Deportivo La Coruna.

Fat Fred has come out with the usual platitudes and guff, euphemistically labelling the season one of "transition" and commenting: "The board believe that the investment it has made in all areas of the club will deliver long-term benefits and will continue to take every step necessary to maximise potential for success both on and off the pitch". Long-term foresight is complete anathema at St James' Park, so forgive us if we'll reserve judgement on that score.

Shepherd has also put a brave face on this season so far, pointing to our qualification for the group stage of the UEFA Cup as a moneyspinner. Well, yes, it is - and that's pretty much all it is. And even then surely he's concerned about the size of the crowd that turned up for the Fenerbahce match - will the fixture against Celta Vigo draw more fans? It seems it's even more imperative now that this disturbing drop in attendances is arrested, and fast - otherwise we could be staring at real trouble.


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