Ex-Newcastle goalkeeper hugely critical of transfer policy and club's motives

John Karelse claims the Magpies have signed players purely to boost shirt and merchandising sales rather than to build a team.

Former Newcastle United goalkeeper John Karelse has told Dutch media, as quoted by the Chronicle, that the club have been guilty of signing big-money players just to boost sales of shirts and merchandise rather than to build a competitive team.

The Magpies spent over £50 million on five first-team players last summer, including spending £14.5 million on Georginio Wijnaldum, £13 million on Aleksandar Mitrovic, and £12 million on flop Florian Thauvin.

With the club struggling midway through the season, they shelled out an additional £24 million on England internationals Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey, but even that £75 million outlay could not prevent them slipping to a second relegation in eight years.

Karelse, who spent four years at St. James' Park mainly as a reserve goalkeeper between 1999 and 2003, has criticised the club for this transfer policy, which he says is designed to make the club more marketable rather than more competitive.

He told media in the the Netherlands, as quoted by the Chronicle: "So many players have been bought, just for buying sake, in order to boost the merchandising and the sale of shirts. There is no policy at all.

"The players who have made a move to Newcastle are often average and when there is a top player, such as Yohan Cabaye, he leaves the club before no time. And if a player does not meet expectations, they just sell him after a year at a terrific loss.

"This club needs stability, they needed stability the first time they were relegated, but instead have kept on buying players all the same all those years."

Newcastle have got themselves into a sticky situation with their big spending, with numerous players on long-term contracts and high wages that cannot be afforded or justified in the Championship without the lucrative Premier League television deal and sponsorship money.

They will now surely have to look to offload many of the players they have signed for big money in the last couple of years, and Karelse is likely right to suggest that the club will end up making considerably losses on those stars.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch