Newcastle are set to put a number of their prized assets up for sale in order to fund new signings. The club have revealed they have been hampered in their efforts to transform their squad while staying within Financial Fair Play rules after announcing losses of over £150million over the last two years.
Star players such as Bruno Guimares, who has a £99m release clause written into his contract, and Sven Botman are two players the club could consider selling, while academy graduate Sean Longstaff could be offloaded to raise funds.
If a homegrown player is sold, clubs can bank the entire transfer fee as immediate profit, while the payment for new players can be spread over more than one accounting period. And that means teenage sensation Lewis Miley is at risk of heading for the St James’ Park exit as well.
Newcastle were taken over by the mega-rich Saudi Public Investment Fund in October 2021 and remain “compliant” with Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR), which state clubs can lose £105m over a three-year period. But Magpies chief executive Darren Eales has explained the north east giants may need to “churn” players to build the squad they desire.
“It’s difficult to say specifically on certain players, but I can say that if we’re going to get to where we want to get to, at times it is necessary to trade your players,” he stated. “Any decision we make will always be against the backdrop of the medium to long-term benefit for the club.
“Whether that is because of the contract length of the player in question, the offer is too good to refuse, you need to reload in certain areas, but all of this could make sense to trade that player. It is counter-intuitive and part of the inherent system of PSR that there is an incentive to trade your players if you want to re-invest.”
Newcastle’s revenue has increased from £180m to £250m in a year courtesy of new sponsorship deals and a fourth-place Premier League finish. The PIF and minority owners the Reuben family and Amanda Staveley have pumped in £127m to the club. But Magpies manager Eddie Howe is unlikely to get funds to spend in January, with a loan signing of Manchester City ace Kalvin Phillips also proving problematic.
And Eales added: “How do you protect the risk of clubs spending beyond their means and their community assets going into liquidation and disappearing, while still allowing clubs with the means and the ability to spend to be upwardly mobile? That’s always the tension.
“How do you balance the ability for clubs to be progressive, because that’s what owners coming in would want and fanbases want? I think there’s many different ways to tackle that problem, and I’m sure that’ll be something that gets discussed in the coming years.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United have been told to keep their hands off Dan Ashworth as Sir Jim Ratcliffe hunts for a director of football.
“Dan spoke on the record recently about being happy in the project. We go back to our days at West Bromwich Albion where we worked together,” Newcastle chief executive Dave Brailsford said. “Dan’s done a great job, there’s a lot more work to be done and we’re hopeful he’s here for the long term. He’s certainly enjoying his time at the moment.”