West Brom's new chief executive Mark Jenkins has painted a bleak picture of the club's finances, admitting: "There is no more money for wages."
And that suggests the club cannot afford to sack former Toon boss Alan Pardew, despite taking the club to the brink of relegation.
Jenkins returned to the club in February after it was announced chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman had been given notice of termination of their contracts and placed on garden leave.
In an interview on the club's official website, the new Albion chief said: "I'll be honest I've come back and I'm shocked at what I have found in some of the decisions that have been made.
"We have wages, transfer fees and loan fees running at record levels and yet we find ourselves in this position (bottom of the Premier League).
"When I was on the outside looking in, for example, I read the reports about the club operating at the limit of its short term cost control. Knowing the business as I did, I thought that was a negotiating position but I've come back and can assure you that we are right at our limit on STCC. There is no more money for wages."