Demba Ba: Why Newcastle Fans Are In A Lose-Lose Situation

The Senegalese forward has been prolific so far this season, but that surprisingly has its cons as well as its pros...
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Demba Ba: Why Newcastle United Fans Are In A Lose-Lose Situation

As the song goes, “Demba’s scored six since Ramadan, he just can’t get enough” (at the time of writing) but is every goal only bringing his move away from St James’ Park one step closer?

Demba Ba has started the season like a freight train. After notching our first goal of the season at home to Spurs he took the game by the scruff of the neck against Everton with two fine finishes before taking the hump in the post match interview and registering his disappointment at starting that game from the bench. After scoring the only goal against a poor Norwich team he bagged another brace against Reading including an instinctive volley that he made look so easy when in reality it was one of the most technically difficult finishes you’ll see all season. Sadly, as far as I can see, it’s only a matter of time before the original Senegalese hit man takes the money and heads for the exit.

Questions were asked in the summer whether he was just a flash in the pan; after all, he didn't score in the final three months of last season, and only two of his 16 league goals from last season came in 2012 - although he did play on the left of the attack following the arrival of his compatriot, Papiss Cisse. But after returning to his natural position, his superb form this season has put to bed any doubts about his ability, which is a curse as much as it is a blessing considering his  modest release clause and the lack of proven, affordable goalscorers available.

His contract is at the root of a bittersweet problem that taints every brilliant performance he has in black and white.

His contract is at the root of a bittersweet problem that taints every brilliant performance he has in black and white. Specifically the infamous release clause that hangs over us like a razor sharp guillotine. Granted West Ham co-owner and pornographer David Sullivan is not the most reliable source in football but he claims that a £7 millon pound bid will trigger Ba’s release and that half of that fee will go straight into Demba's already bulging bank account. Clearly our top talisman is worth more than £7 million but unless we can negotiate a new contract, sans release clause, an undervalued bounty remains on his head.

What are the alternatives? Qualify for the Champions League? We can’t do that before January when the clause reactivates. Offer an astronomical wage increase? Can we afford to give that to a player who is already one of our top earners and whose knee could supposedly go at any given moment? We’ve been here before and ended up paying for a certain Cheshire-based racehorse mogul’s stables. At the minute our wage bill is stable so why jeopardise things?

Don’t forget Ba's already had £2 million from us in signing on fees so if someone was to trigger the £7 million release the change left over, once you’ve taken into account wages and his strawberry syrup expenses, wouldn’t even cover the cost of a snazzy Sports Direct tea mug. Not a great return for selling your star striker. It’s a lose-lose situation, Ba (and his agent) are the only winners. Even a club who comes in for him is spinning the dice by putting him on a lucrative contract. There’s nothing we can do except enjoy watching an exciting striker in the prime of his career, prepare ourselves for the inevitable and have a cost effective plan in place to avoid another Carroll situation. Over to you Graham Carr.

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