Newcastle United co-owners attend team meeting as summer transfer budget made clear

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Newcastle United co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi addressed Eddie Howe’s squad earlier this month.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has revealed an “absolutely brilliant” team meeting hosted by co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi has helped drive his players on during the closing weeks of the campaign.

Howe’s side are on the cusp of doing something no Magpies team has done for 20 years, and that’s bring Champions League football back to St James’ Park. United host relegation-threatened Leicester City tonight (kick-off 8pm) and will confirm their return to Europe’s elite if they avoid defeat.

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Since being taken over by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, PCP Partners and RB Sports & Media in October 2021, Newcastle has gone from a disjointed club on the brink of relegation to one that’s never been more united competing higher up the Premier League table.

Newcastle United co-owners Merhdad Ghodoussi and Jamie Reuben. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United co-owners Merhdad Ghodoussi and Jamie Reuben. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United co-owners Merhdad Ghodoussi and Jamie Reuben. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Staveley and Ghodoussi in particular have played no small part.

“I invited Amanda and Mehrdad up to speak to the squad, I think it was 10 days ago roughly, just to have that contact with them, with the owners because it’s so important as a club we’re one from top to bottom,” Howe said on Friday.

“They came in, they spoke to the players, they were absolutely brilliant. It was a nice moment, actually, just for everyone in the room to consolidate their thoughts on each other and then try to focus on the last few games that we had, and it made a positive impact on us."

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In the three transfer windows under PIF, Newcastle have spent over £200million on attracting the likes of Kieran Trippier, Bruno Guimaraes, Sven Botman, Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon to Tyneside.

The income which Champions League football brings will grant Howe extra funds to strengthen his squad in the summer, but the 45-year-old has warned there won’t be a “bottomless pit”.

Asked about summer recruitment, Howe said: “I’ll comment on that at the right time. But regardless of what happens, we’re not going to have a bottomless pit. We will be under tight constraints. Whatever we do in the transfer market, we’re going to have to be very smart.

“In the three transfer windows I’ve had, we’ve been excellent, and we have to continue that. All the lists are kept in a drawer for now…”

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Howe added: “We are going to be defined by the Premier League as well because it’s a 25-man squad but losing Chris Wood and Jonjo Shelvey in January was a blow to us in terms of our overall strength, I know we brought Anthony [Gordon] in but Jonjo’s departure left us light in midfield.”

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