After 14 years, Mike Ashley’s much-maligned ownership of Newcastle United has come to pass.
The British entrepreneur was a controversial figure on Tyneside and irked the club’s supporters on several occasions during his tumultuous time in charge, leading to wild celebrations taking place outside St James’ Park following the announcement of his departure.
In his place, Newcastle have been bought out by a Saudi Arabain consortium led by the country’s sovereign wealth fund – with their £300million bid being ratified by the Premier League on Thursday.
They are now the richest club in England, and their new owners have already announced plans to get the club marching up the league table, with ambitions of one day seeing the title head to St James’ Park.
That will take time, however, with Newcastle needing to improve their squad in line with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, which will restrict them from spending above their means for now.
The rules say that clubs can’t post losses in excess of £105m over a three-year period, as per the Liverpool Echo, and despite a slight relaxation of that over the last 18 months due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will impact the amount Newcastle can splash out.
Over the last three years, the club have recorded a profit of around £38million, meaning they’ll be able to spend close to £200million in the transfer market before the FFP rules become active.
Even with that extra investment, Newcastle’s squad is still valued considerably less than Chelsea’s.
According to research conducted by CIES Football Observatory, the Blues have an overall squad value of €946million (£804million) – which is €598m (£508.2m) more than Newcastle’s, ranking at €348m (£295.7m).
That puts Chelsea third in the overall list of squad values, with Manchester City (€1280m/£1087m) and Manchester United (€1214m/£1031m) occupying the top two spots.
Fellow London clubs Tottenham Hotspur (€568m/£482.5m) and Arsenal (€563m/£478.4m) are in at 13th and 14th, respectively, while Newcastle sit 42nd in the list.
There’s no doubt that the club’s new Saudi owners will see to it that Newcastle start to climb that list, though it won’t be at such a pace as previously seen in the Premier League.
When Chelsea’s takeover by Roman Abramovich was completed in 2003, the club immediately spent over £100million in the transfer window on players like Damien Duff, Juan Sebastian Veron, Joe Cole, Hernan Crespo and Claude Makelele.
With FFP rules now in place, it is unlikely that Newcastle will be able to replicate such an aggressive transfer strategy in the immediate future, though it is likely their squad value will rise over the coming years.
Source by Football London