'They could spend anywhere between £150-200m in one window' - Shock new figure Newcastle United's new owners could spend
The takeover of Newcastle by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, Reuben Brothers and PCP Capital Partners remains in the hands of the Premier League, with the consortium only waiting on the owners and directors test seal of approval to complete the £300million deal.
And the Gazette understands the Magpies’ new owners could conceivably spend two-thirds of the club purchase price in ONE window or season and still comply with the Premier League’s financial fair play regulations.
Last summer, Real Madrid were the biggest spenders in world football, buying the likes of Eden Hazard from Chelsea in a total spend of around £274million in the summer of 2019. The Premier League’s biggest spenders were Arsenal, splashing out around £161million.
Using Newcastle’s recent accounts – released on Friday afternoon – we got football finance expert Kieran Maguire, author of the Price of Football, to look over the books and give his take on the landscape owner Mike Ashley is likely to leave behind, should the deal get the green light from the top flight.
“I’ve crunched the numbers and NUFC have an FFP profit of around £82million over the past two seasons to the end of 2018/19. The allowable loss is £105million over a three-year period.
“Assuming the new owners sign players on four-year deals, they could spend anywhere between £150-200million in one window or a season and still stay within the Premier League limit.
“There is little love towards Mike Ashley – and rightly so – but he’s leaving a financial legacy that is attractive to any rich successor.”
Newcastle posted a £34.7million profit to the year end June 2019.
Football’s transfer market is likely to be severely depressed due to the coronavirus outbreak and UEFA could well relax FFP regulations anyway, although Newcastle would still need to work within those set by the Premier League.
Premier League FFP explained
UEFA have their own version of FFP but with United not in European competition only the Premier League’s version will apply.
As part of that, clubs in the top flight cannot make a loss in excess of £105million across the last three seasons.
Importantly, investment in infrastructure and youth development is exempt from the regulations – so any stadium improvements, academy upgrades or training ground revamps would not apply.
A loss between £15million and £105million has to be guaranteed by owners and any club breaking that barrier can face financial or points deductions.
NUFC’s accounts – a RECAP
Newcastle United have released their accounts ending June 2019 – and revealed within the figures are the Sports Direct advertising payments, Mike Ashley’s loan reduction, Lee Charnley’s wage drop and a profit almost doubled from 2018.
On the final trading day of May, United have posted their accounts and buried within them is official confirmation that the club repaid a significant chunk of Ashley’s interest free loans.
United repaid Ashley £33m of his total £144m owed. The debt to Ashley now stands at £111m.
The club also confirmed Frasers Group – the name of Ashley’s retail empire including Sports Direct – now pay for stadium advertising.
The statement reads: “The Group is now receiving income from Frasers Group plc (formerly Sports Direct International plc) for stadium advertising at St. James’ Park.”
While the exact figure is not revealed by the accounts, stadium advertising only rose from £385,000 in 2018 to £1,113,000 in 2019.
Elsewhere, the club actually posted a profit – £34.7million to June 2019, compared with £18.6million for the 12 months previous.
And sole director Lee Charnley’s yearly wage also dropped from £300,000 pa in 2018 to £267,000 pa in 2019.