Former Newcastle United star Keith Gillespie has hit out at the club’s transfer policy, insisting that they are “scrimping” as they look to strengthen their squad in an exclusive interview with Football FanCast.
The Magpies have been roundly awful for some time this season and only a recent upturn in form has seen them move cloer to Premier League safety for another season.
Steve Bruce’s side are 16th and have given themselves a bit of breathing space rather than looking over their shoulders as they attempt to keep their place in the top flight.
Gillespie is not impressed with the club’s transfer policy, hitting out at the club’s recent acquisitions.
In the summer, the Magpies bought both Callum Wilson and Jamal Lewis from AFC Bournemouth and Norwich City respectively, while Ryan Fraser, Jeff Hendrick and Mark Gillespie all came in on free transfers.
Speaking exclusively to FFC, Gillespie pointed out that Newcastle have spent big previously, bringing in the likes of Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, and David Ginola for big fees.
He said: “Over the years, when you look at what they’ve done, and they went out and they bought Ferdinand, they bought Shearer, Ginola, (Faustino) Asprilla, (Patrick) Kluivert, all these big names players.
“And now they’re scrimping and signing Jeff Hendrick on a free transfer, it’s nothing against Jeff Hendrick because he’s a good solid pro but, free transfers, that’s what they’re looking for. I know they went and spent money on Callum Wilson but if you don’t spend you’re going to fall massively behind because other clubs are spending.”
Gillespie believes that owner Mike Ashley simply wants to stay in the league and nothing more, and he believes that the club’s current predicament is inevitable due to his lack of investment.
He added: “Inevitably, that’s where you end up, you end up where you are now, fighting to stay in the league.
“Whereas maybe at the start of the season if you go ‘right, we’re going to spend X amount of money, we’re going to go and get him, him, him, him, and I know they just want to stay in the league. That is what Mike Ashley wants.
“At least you maybe stay in the league and you finish 12th, 13th, now you’re looking over your shoulders because you’re sitting in 16th place and that’s because you haven’t invested and Newcastle fans have had this for quite a while now. They have at times turned into a bit of a yo-yo club.”