Date: 31st March 2008 at 12:30am
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Reports in the Sunday papers this weekend are saying that Stoke have paid Newcastle £575,000 for the services of striker, Shola Ameobi for the next six weeks – as well as paying his £25,000 a week wages.

The Mail on Sunday has run the story that includes quotes from Potters’ chairman, Peter Coates that would seem to indicate that if the sums are wrong, they’re not wrong by much.

If confirmed officially by the club, this would be the highest loan transfer fee paid by any club in English football history and it does not stop there. If the Potters get promoted then the fee rises to a mind-boggling £1m.

This prompted the paper to state that Stoke were “desperate to get to the Premier League”, but that seems a typically negative attitude from the national media to the Potters’ recent challenge for a place in the Premier League. The media, as usual, seem to pour scorn over Stoke’s attempts to gain promotion on the simple grounds that we’ve never been there before and are not regarded as a “fashionable club”, so we never deserve the opportunity to try. If it had been West Brazil or Watford ‘splashing the cash’, I’m sure that their chairmen would have been applauded by the media for their commitment to the cause.

I, for one, will never ever question again Peter Coates’s commitment to the club in terms of splashing the cash as this is truly an enormous sum for such a short period. It works out at just under £121,000 per week (rising to £191,000 per week if promoted) for just ONE striker who has not scored or played regularly this season.

The only question is: ‘can Ameobi deliver the goods?’. At that price, the answer must be – he has to….

 

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