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As THETOON diced with relegation, chief's pay went up.

Byline: Graeme Whitfield Business editor @Graemewhitfield

NEWCASTLE United managing director Lee Charnley saw his pay package go up by more than 40% as the club flirted with relegation, accounts published today show.

The aggregate remuneration of the club's highest paid director - which includes pay and other benefits - went up from PS106,793 to PS150,000 in 2015, though the pay rate is not high for a company with a turnover in excess of PS120m.

During the same period, the club's overall wage bill fell to just over 50% of turnover - from 60% the year before - but this is thought to have risen after a number of high-profile players were brought in during the summer and January transfer windows.

The club's financial performance for the year ending June 30, 2015, was widely publicised last week when the club announced that it had made a PS19m operating profit (up from PS4.7m the year before).

But the accounts add more detail on the club's off-field performance during a season when it only managed to avoid relegation on the last day of the season.

Details that will interest supporters include the fact that the club ended the financial year with PS48.3m in cash, allowing for the summer recruitment spree that brought in a number of European players.

Average home attendance fell slightly to 50,349 but turnover remained fairly constant at PS128.8m.

In a statement on the accounts, Mr Charnley said: "Payroll costs fell to PS65.1m from PS78.3m in the prior year which represents a wages to turnover ratio of 50.5% (2014: 60.3%).

"This reduction principally reflects both the absence of bonus payments this year and the cost and timing in the prior year of some significant changes to the playing and development squad.

"Spend on the playing squad subsequent to the year-end will see the wage bill, and the wages to turnover ratio, rise in 2015-16 to a level more consistent with the club's business plan."

The accounts cover the period to the end of last season and so don't include outlay on players in the subsequent two transfer windows.

The club's financial position is widely thought to have worsened in the current season and it stands to take a massive financial hit if it is relegated from the Premiership and misses out on the lucrative new TV deal.

In the year of the accounting period, media revenue accounted for nearly 60% of the club's income, more than the combined revenue from matchday tickets and other commercial operations. The accounts confirm that no re-payments were made on loans to owner Mike Ashley and his companies of PS129m and that Mr Ashley took no money out of the club.


NEWCASTLE United managing director Lee Charnley

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 15, 2016
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