How long before the Prem giants dance to Newcastle’s Toon?
I’VE been watching Newcastle’s transfer business with interest this summer… and I can guarantee the entire Premier League will have been, too.
It’s been a bit weird because no one from any of the clubs in the top flight has really voiced what everyone is thinking – that they can change the shape of English football for ever.
Without doubt, the owners of the club have the capacity to outspend any club in the world – IF they are allowed to.
We’ve seen what Paris SaintGermain have done in the transfer market and the disastrous effect that has had on some clubs, such as Barcelona, trying to compete with them. We’ve seen the impact Manchester City have had, too.
If Newcastle’s owners can find a way to manoeuvre through the Financial Fair Play rules and the Premier League’s profit and sustainability legislation, they can compete with those two clubs – and every one of the big guns in English football.
I have no doubt they’ll try, too.
The club is owned by the Saudi nation’s Public Investment Fund and there’s a clue in the title. Newcastle are an investment and there is a desire to see a return on that investment.
How to do that? Well, simply, grow the club. And that means investing in players and in all the things that support the players, such as the training ground, medical support, analysis, fitness and conditioning.
Do you know how many French titles PSG had won before Qatar Sports Investments took over? Two. Since they did, they’ve won eight. And changed European football.
They are basically owned by an investment arm of the Qatar ruler, just as Newcastle are owned by a sovereign investment fund. The impact can be the same, if the Saudis can spend big.
Which is why the whole Premier League is watching so closely.
Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea and even Liverpool, despite their recent success, know the league will change completely if the Saudis do spend big. While West
Ham, Aston Villa, Leicester and Wolves, who have ambitions of breaking into the top six, will know they face a tough battle.
And even Manchester City and Manchester United will know they could eventually be facing a war in the transfer market.
Everton will be watching closely, too. They definitely had ambitions to break into the top six and were backed not just by a billionaire owner, but also by a sponsor who was among the world’s wealthiest people.
I know plenty of people connected to the club and they all tell me the same thing – the talks with the Premier League over the profit and sustainability rules have made life difficult in the transfer market.
The way I understand it, they’ve had to run everything by the Premier League, and that is why Richarlison was sold – to balance the books and avoid punishments.
I don’t think they are out of the woods yet, either. I don’t think they can simply resume spending now – without clearance from the league.
Eddie Howe’s Toon have done some good business so far.
Sven Botman is a good signing. A young centre-back, who is still developing, can become one of the best in the world – with the right coaching.
That’s what they need, a solid defender who can bring the ball out of defence, too. Nick Pope also gives them a quality keeper, while they’ve spent £15million on making left-back Matt Targett’s move permanent.
And I would expect more signings, too.
But how much have the new owners spent already, it’s around £150m, isn’t it? And the rules say you have to cap your spending in relation to turnover.
The crucial part is that clubs can’t now accept massive sponsorship deals from companies related to the owners, unless it is shown the deal is based on true market value.
Everton have been hit by the sanctions imposed on Alisher Usmanov, who was one of their main sponsors.
I can bet they – and all the other clubs – will be watching to see what Newcastle do in terms of sponsorship, because they’ve spent a fair amount already.
I heard they may have to sell Allan Saint-Maximin to help balance the books, so that suggests the Premier League are also watching closely.
But the fact remains that their owners can blow everyone out of the water… and they will want to do that, to get Newcastle into the top four.
The only questions remaining are: how long will that take and how will they do it within the rules?
PSG, owned by Qatar, won eight titles. The Saudi impact could
be the same