Mike Ashley splashes the cash: Newcastle smash own transfer spending record as Jonjo Shelvey joins for £12m from Swansea

Joe Hall
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£12m man: Shelvey appears to be Newcastle bound

Newcastle United's transfer spend for the season has reached £64m following the £12m purchase of Jonjo Shelvey from Swansea - the largest total spend for a single season in the club's history.

Having made just £3.5m from player sales so far this campaign, Newcastle also currently have the Premier League's second highest net spend at £61.4m.

Club owner Mike Ashley may be contending with profit warnings and a plummeting share price at Sports Direct, yet he has still signed off on around £17m for his board to spend on midfielder Henri Saivet from Bordeaux and Shelvey in the January window as the Magpies look to boost their armoury for the fight against a financially devastating relegation.

Newcastle are currently positioned 18th, two points from safety, and are confronted with the prospect of dropping out of the Premier League and missing out on next season's bigger broadcasting deal which will be worth £99m to the competition's bottom club.

Read more: Newcastle begin season with league's biggest net spend

Henri Saivet has arrived for a fee believed to be in the region of £4m - £5m (Source: Getty)

That may have been the motivating factor behind Newcastle's £64.9m transfer expenditure which has been offset by just £3.5m raised through sales so far this season according to figures on transfermarkt.co.uk.

Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City have all spent more on new players so far this season, but only the latter currently have a higher disparity between expenditure and earnings, with Newcastle's net spend now standing at £61.4m.

In the summer, Newcastle spent around £43m, according to transfermarkt figures, on Georginio Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Florian Thauvin and Chancel Mbemba.

Ashley has been lambasted by disgruntled Newcastle fans for a perceived lack of ambition and insensitive approach to communication and branding.

And although the retail tycoon is unlikely to become a popular figure at St. James' Park anytime soon, he has at least answered fans' calls for investment into the team this season with the most expensive outlay in a single season in the club's history.

The previous biggest total came a decade ago when, under then owner Sir John Hall, £42.9m was spent on new recruits including Michael Owen, Scott Parker and Albert Luque.

Whether this year's purchases have been money well spent remains up for debate: striker Mitrovic has scored just three times in 16 appearances while French winger Thauvin follows former Magpies misfit Remy Cabella in failing to adapt to the Premier League.

In fact, Newcastle are comfortably the Premier League's worst performing team so far in terms of net summer transfer spend to league position.

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