The Premier League’s joint bottom club Newcastle United must finish in the top 10 if the staff are to receive a bonus payment that has replaced their pension.
The bonus plan was brought in last year to replace an existing pension and private health scheme. The Independent has learned that the first-team squad came to a fresh agreement in the summer that a top-10 finish would have to be obtained for the bonus to be paid out to all staff, from admin assistants to the board.
Newcastle, who face Leicester City at St James’ Park, have not won in the league this season and currently occupy 18th place, level on points with both the teams below them.
They have won just one of their last 15 league games and their average finishing position in the top flight since billionaire owner Mike Ashley took over in 2007 is 12th.
Ashley has also taken away complimentary tickets for games from the backroom staff, including for Alan Pardew and senior coaches.
Pardew’s position as manager remains in doubt following a disastrous run that has seen the club win just five league games in 2014. He has endured a concerted campaign from supporters to have him removed.
He faces another testing afternoon against promoted Leicester. Newcastle spent more than £36m on new players in the summer but Pardew dropped Rémy Cabella and Emmanuel Rivière for their draw at Swansea City two weeks ago and looks set to leave the pair on the bench for today’s game, which Ashley is expected to attend.
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