Newcastle United’s two-year plan to boost FFP and transfer limits revealed

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Newcastle United’s owners hope to bridge the gap to the likes of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League revenue tree.

Newcastle United have hatched an ambitious plan to bridge the cash gap to the Premier League ‘big six’ - and do so at a remarkable rate.

The Magpies have this summer been hampered in their transfer business by Financial Fair Play restrictions, which only allow clubs to lose a set amount versus what they make in a set three-year period. That’s meant Eddie Howe needed to sacrifice fan favourite Allan Saint-Maximin this window, in order to ensure the signings of Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento could take place, as well as, importantly, balance club FFP calculations.

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Since the majority takeover by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, accounts have shown an uplift in revenues from £140.2million for the final full year of Mike Ashley, to £180m for the accounting year 2021/22. That’s expected to rise again year-on-year when the results for 2022/23 are announced.

Newcastle United secured Champions League qualification with a goalless draw against Leicester City.Newcastle United secured Champions League qualification with a goalless draw against Leicester City.
Newcastle United secured Champions League qualification with a goalless draw against Leicester City. | AFP via Getty Images

But even that level of growth, according to chief executive Darren Eales, is not in line with the demands of the owners of the football club, who’ve set ambitious plans to ensure Newcastle can fight it out with the Premier League big boys, on and off the field.

“It is certainly a big gap,” he said when discussing how far Newcastle’s revenues are from the likes of Manchester United.

For reference, the Red Devils have a projected record annual revenue of up to £640m for the last financial year.

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Eales continued: “If you look at our pace, roughly doubling the revenue every two years gives you an indication of how we’re looking, which is a phenomenal rate of growth.

“From that perspective, we have to credit Eddie, Dan and the team. The Champions League really helped us. It’s not just the revenue of the Champions League, but the cache, the ability when you’re talking to players to bring them in, and from a sponsorship perspective it gives Newcastle a different feel as a club.

“We’ll see that buzz in the city on the first night at St James’ Park when the Champions League music is playing. All of that helps as we’re trying to grow those revenues.”

One of the ways Newcastle are looking to grow their coffers - and subsequently their FFP limits and transfer spends - is by getting as many eyes across the brand globally as possible.

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That includes growing the supporter base, which the recent trip to the USA for the Premier League Summer Series certainly helped improve, as well as further connect with current fans both at home and across the globe.

Almiron has impressed so far this summer and will want to do so again amid huge competition for places out wide.Almiron has impressed so far this summer and will want to do so again amid huge competition for places out wide.
Almiron has impressed so far this summer and will want to do so again amid huge competition for places out wide. | Getty Images for Premier League

“Our global viewership last year, live matches, was up 30 per cent. The Premier League (average) was six per cent,” said Eales.

“We’re already seeing that impact. That’s eyeballs watching Newcastle United, an incredible growth rate. As we look to commercial partnerships, global eyeballs are key, as is that affinity with the club – and we’re only really starting our journey in terms of growing that fan engagement.

“Local fans are super important, but we’re looking wider of the lens, whether that’s North America, Saudi Arabia or Australia. We have a really good opportunity to grow that fan base.

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“Frankly, there hasn’t been an investment into that fan engagement. It really is a virtuous circle with performances on the pitch.

“What the challenge for the club is, off the pitch we have to race to keep up with the football side. It’s a champagne problem. We have to take advantage of the Champions League and do a lot in a short space of time, but that’s part of the fun of this project.”

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