DEREK Llambias has railed against the perception of Newcastle United as a selling club and insisted: “We’ve got no appetite to sell our big players.”
Ever since they brokered the £35million sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool, United have been stereotyped as a club that buys players on the cheap from the Continent and sells them on for a quick profit.
But despite almost constant speculation linking their crown jewels with a move away, the only significant sale since the summer of 2011 has been Demba Ba, who was able to leave for Chelsea in January by virtue of a contract clause inserted when he joined Newcastle.
Managing director Llambias insists that observers have “missed the point” completely when considering Newcastle’s business model and that during the current phase of their development there is no pressing need to sell.
Although they are open about “trading” when the price is right, he says the club has now cultivated an image as “difficult” sellers who will not budge if a certain valuation isn’t met. “People get us wrong,” Llambias told The Journal. “Everyone is missing the point. We do need to trade at some stage but not really at this stage.
“The perception is that we buy cheap and sell at a huge price, but that’s not correct. It’s lovely if you can do that, by the way, but it’s not what we do. To be honest we haven’t got an appetite to sell.”
Asked directly about reports linking Hatem Ben Arfa (pictured left) with a move away from St James’ Park, Llambias said Newcastle were primed for more speculation this summer.
He warned that the club would never be “easy sellers” in his time in charge.
“You’re going to get speculation all the time, like we did last summer. All those links are going to get brought up again – nothing is going to change,” he said. “Are we primed for it? Absolutely, we’ll have
discussions at the time. But we’re not easy sellers, we’re known for that. And these are all big players.”