EFL chairman calls for Newcastle United ‘exemption’ amid Financial Fair Play battle

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Newcastle United have been defended as they continue to contend with Financial Fair Play regulations.

Newcastle United’s Saudi-led owners should have been handed a ‘three-year exemption’ from Financial Fair Play regulations.

That was the verdict of Peterborough United chairman Darragh McAnthony as he described his ‘frustration’ over how the regulations are imposed on clubs in the Premier League. With just under 48 hours remaining in the January transfer window, the Magpies are still awaiting their first new signing and their battle with FFP has been well-versed in recent weeks.

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The only business conducted at first-team left saw defender Javier Manquillo reunited with former United manager Rafa Benitez at La Liga club Celta Vigo - although there is still some hope a new face could arrive before the window closes on Thursday night. Securing a new signing will be difficult after Eddie Howe admitted he could only add to his squad if the sale of a current Magpies star was completed as the club continue to battle with FFP and the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.

After bankrolling the Magpies and handed a much-needed boost to their squad in the aftermath of their takeover in October 2021, the PIF-led consortium that took control of the club after completing a £320m deal with former owner Mike Ashley have been left frustrated in their bid to further strengthen. Although progress has been made with several high-profile commercial deals and the prize money Newcastle will receive from their participation in this season’s Champions League, the Magpies are still believed to be close to their limits of FFP and PSR.

Speaking via the Hard Truth Podcast: Posh chairman MacAnthony insisted their should be ‘a bit more flexibility’ given to clubs under new ownership and used the Magpies as an example of why there should be exemptions as owners look to implement widespread changes.

He said: “I find it frustrating that there are clubs in the Prem that want to spend money and can’t. They can afford to pay their bills, they can do it, and of course you don’t want them spending a billion quid in a window and it getting ridiculous and becoming a one-horse race or whatever else. But to a certain extent I agree with Simon Jordan on talkSPORT talking about new owners coming in should have a bit more flexibility with Financial Fair Play because you have to reshape a club.

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“In defence of the Newcastle owners, you’re going in, you’re taking a club to the Champions League, you then want to kick on, you leave the Champions League stages early, you’re then back to square one and now, suddenly, you’ve overspent. All you want to do is spend money on that football club, you’ve got a fanbase that’s had years of Mike Ashley, who want a bit of excitement. It’s not like the Saudi money is going to dry up and they’re not going to be able to pay their bills and it will be catastrophic for Newcastle. There has to be common sense applied where someone comes in and buys a new club, they have a five-year exemption, or a three-year exemption from spending, as long as they’re retooling the squad in the right way.”

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