Newcastle is the ‘richest club in the world’

When Newcastle United was taken over by a consortium led by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund last October, English football braced itself for the arrival of a new superclub.

There was talk of signing galacticos, with new club brokers Amanda Staveley and her husband, Mehrdad Ghodoussi, saying the ambition was to win the Premier League within “five to 10 years”.

Ten months later, the reality is more discreet. Evolution, not revolution, is the mantra behind the scenes, with the “richest club in the world” taking more inspiration from Leicester than Manchester City.

So what are the reasons behind the strategy?

Financial fair play and slow progress with sponsors

According to the people who run the club on a day-to-day basis, Newcastle cannot spend more than £100m on transfers in this window – and that, according to senior sources, is right at the top of the budget. In April, that figure was even lower at £60m.

After spending £52m on Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett, it’s understood there’s around £50m left. Many fans had wondered if it was just a bluff, but after weeks of scrambling to try and find the money to sign the two attacking players Howe still wants, many financial pundits also insist about Newcastle being able to spend more than that under FFP rules.

Yet the reality is that there really is a tight budget. Part of that is because the club want to remain nimble in future windows, so they can invest in more talent when needed. The other reason is that the flood of Saudi-linked corporate sponsorship deals simply did not materialize.

That is set to change, but new rules introduced by the Premier League to prevent the PIF from funneling money into the club through companies it controls or invests in have worked. It takes time to prove what fair market value is while staying on the safe side of rival clubs who scrutinize every move.

A new shirt sponsor will be unveiled at the start of the 2023-24 season, but for now the only additional income is a £7.5m-a-year shirt sleeve sponsorship deal with the site. Middle Eastern online shopping Noon. In other words, income levels remain much the same as under previous owner Mike Ashley and there are only so many new owners – who have already pumped in over £100m to fund signatures and January operating costs – can do.

A focus on young emerging talents

Newcastle don’t want to sign big names with huge salaries. The idea is to recruit emerging talent – ​​early career players with the potential to be world class – and grow organically. It’s cheaper, but it’s also built around the idea that these players will mature with the club and make them European contenders in the next two to three years.

Brazil international Bruno Guimarães, signed from Lyon in January in a deal that will eventually cost around £42million, is the model for this approach. Botman, signed from Lille last month for an initial fee of £32m, is another.