Newcastle Captain Jamaal Lascelles Settles Bonus Dispute With Owner Mike Ashley in Phone Call
A report claims that it took a phone call from club captain Jamaal Lascelles for Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley to settle a dispute over player bonuses.
The Shields Gazzette claims that Lascelles, the hero on the pitch in the weekend win over Swansea, also turned leader off it when he made the call after several squad members had been left unhappy with the bonus scheme on offer from Ashley and the club.
A total of £1m in bonuses (to be shared amongst the first team playing squad) had been offered, if the club avoided relegation by finishing 17th.
However, it is reported that some in the dressing room were not content with that figure and were keen to see their efforts rewarded in line with bonuses offered at other top flight clubs.
The report claims Lascelles and Ashley spoke on Sunday and agreed a new structure, which will up the total bonus pot to £4m, if the Magpies finish in 17th.
The new structure will also increase the bonus pot by £1m per place in the table - meaning a top half finish could result in a big payout of around £11m for the squad.
In addition, according to the report, Ashley also offered the squad a £20m bonus for winning the FA Cup, perhaps suggesting he has identified this trophy as a priority this season.
Despite talk of problems between manager Rafa Benitez and Ashley over transfer spending, Newcastle have started the season in reasonable form - beating Swansea and West Ham in their opening four games.
They host Stoke City on Sunday September 16, as they look to secure back to back Premier League wins.