Even though Newcastle United is supposedly among the richest teams in the world, they do not have limitless resources, and the board’s allegations of less money for transfers are starting to hold water in light of the club’s pre-tax deficit of £73.4 million for the 2022–2023 season. Newcastle’s owners won’t be able to continue to replicate the huge expenditures of the early days of the Saudi takeover due to European FFP regulations and Premier League profit and sustainability rules. As a result, the Magpies may be forced to sell in order to continue spending and moving forward.
Newcastle has accumulated losses of more than £144 million over the last two years, exceeding the maximum deficit permitted by Premier League regulations of £105 million over a rolling three-year period. However, it does imply that they are already sailing fairly close to the wind. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will break the rules (and risk a points deduction, as happened to Everton this season), as some of those losses won’t count against that £105 million limit – investment in infrastructure, for example.
Naturally, the club has taken all of this into account and is optimistic that they will escape Everton’s destiny. They have made significant expenditures, although they have mostly targeted players who are in their early 20s and may be able to be sold for a profit. Though the sums of money lavished on the likes of Bruno Guimarães (£35–41m), Sven Botman (£31.5–36m), and Alexander Isak (an estimated £58m rising to £65m with add-ons) may seem large, they were all signed with the idea that they might be moved on for a profit. The acquisition of players like Tino Livramento, Lewis Hall, and Anthony Gordon followed the same rationale. It is believed that these players will help the team before being traded.
Naturally, the majority of the club’s supporters won’t want these players to go because they have all become important members of the team throughout Eddie Howe’s tenure. However, if the team wants to keep getting better and changing up its roster, it could be necessary. For instance, there have been rumours recently that Bruno is a target for Paris Saint-Germain; if true, Newcastle might be forced to sell him and pocket the money.
After moving from Lyon to the club in 2022, Bruno has been a huge asset. Few players possess the same blend of inventiveness, endless energy in the middle of the pitch, willingness to recover the ball, and ball-carrying prowess. He improved the club as soon as he got there. However, Newcastle is essentially compelled to accept the offer if it doubles its money, as Newcastle CEO Darren Eales has effectively affirmed. He merely answered “correct” when asked if each player had a price given the current situation.
This is due to the fact that it will take time for the club’s non-transfer revenue to increase significantly and sustainably as a result of the new ownership’s investment. Although Newcastle’s revenue increased by 39% in the previous season, it will take some time until the team has enough money to spend heavily without also making sales. Newcastle will actually be willing to sell Bruno to PSG or another team as long as that is the case, with the hope that they can successfully reinvest the proceeds.
All of this cold-blooded logic is flawed by the fact that Newcastle supporters—who haven’t had it so good since Kevin Keegan’s tenure in the 1990s—have grown very attached to these players. It will be difficult for them to part with them because they are all clearly better than whatever they had previously. But eventually, they will have to, and as long as Newcastle’s scouting team continues to produce high-caliber work, that is not a negative thing. While the club develops its revenue streams and reputation in the industry, it is better to be realistic and accept the inevitable of high-profile exits than to hold on and make progress more difficult.
Regardless of your opinion on the ethical debates surrounding Newcastle’s ownership, they appear to be moving the team in the correct direction towards long-term success. For the past two years, the initial foundations have held up incredibly well. However, there is still a long way to go, so the club’s followers will need to be patient. It took time to build the Tyne Bridge.