Pay cut claims are false, insist United
CHRIS Hughton has denied reports Newcastle United will ask their biggest earners to take a pay cut if they are promoted as he accused people of trying to upset his squad.
Hughton rarely betrays any emotion in public, but he was clearly annoyed by the reports, as was managing director Derek Llambias who also told The Journal there was “no truth whatsoever” in the claims.
Llambias rang Hughton – who also received a visit from owner Mike Ashley at the training ground – yesterday to reassure him of that fact as the team try to focus on their preparations for Saturday’s Tees-Tyne derby clash with Middlesbrough.
The reports suggested the top earners at St James’ Park would have their pay packets reduced and their contracts extended in order to spread the costs of the wage bill over a longer period.
“That financial story is not particularly helpful,” said Hughton, who admits he tries to steer clear of financial matters whenever possible.
“I was made aware of it this morning and as far as I know there is nothing in it. It just seems to have been plucked out of thin air. As far as I know there is absolutely not truth in it.
“The only thing we are interested in is football. Contracts and things like that can wait until the end of the season. It’s nothing I’m aware of. We’ve got used to a lot of speculation, especially financial speculation around the club.