Stephen Ireland reveals the HUGE loan fee clause which forced Alan Pardew not to select him for Newcastle United
A former Newcastle United midfielder had detailed the extraordinary details surrounding his move to St James’s Park– and why he made so few appearances.
Ireland joined the Magpies on the final day of the 2011 January transfer window, on loan from Aston Villa until the end of the season.
But the former Manchester City star only played two games in a black and white shirt - and has revealed he was barred from featuring heavily by the Newcastle hierarchy and manager Alan Pardew because of a huge appearance fee written into his contract.
The Republic of Ireland international was already injured when he joined the club, and suffered a number of setbacks in the week’s following the transfer, including a controversial nightclub incident with teammate Leon Best the night before a match, which prompted a public apology from the duo.
Ireland finally made his Newcastle debut in April in a goalless draw with Manchester United, coming on as a 65th-minute substitute.
He appeared just once more, playing a total of 49 minutes of football for the Magpies, before returning to Villa.
And he says injury was only one of the reasons behind his lack of game time - with a £50,000 a game appearance clause meaning Pardew was told not to pick him.
“I went to Newcastle, injured, on loan from Villa,” the former Republic of Ireland international explained to The Athletic. “I got back fit after three weeks. I was flying, doing great.
‘Then the manager, Alan Pardew, pulls me and says, ‘By the way, the loan deal is every time you make an appearance, whether it’s one minute or 90 minutes, we have to pay 50 grand … so I’ve been told I can only use you four times’. I couldn’t believe it.”
The revelation isn't the only time Newcastle have had issues with contract clauses during Mike Ashley's tenure. In 2016, a tribunal ruled they had prevented Jonas Gutierrez from triggering an extension to his contract by ensuring he didn't reach the 80-game threshold in his existing deal.
The full Stephen Ireland article can be found here