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Newcastle’s spending has been sensible – FFP is real for us

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Eddie Howe: Newcastle's spending has been sensible – FFP is real for us - Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Eddie Howe: Newcastle’s spending has been sensible – FFP is real for us – Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Eddie Howe has argued that Newcastle United have not behaved like the richest club in the world as they were keen to avoid getting into the same problems with Financial Fair Play as Manchester City.

City were charged with 115 breaches of financial rules by the Premier League this week and have vowed to vigorously defend themselves.

It is a predicament Newcastle have been eager to guard against following their takeover. Although they have spent around £250 million in the three transfer windows since a consortium, led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, bought the club in October 2021, they are only the seventh highest spenders in the Premier League this season. The club’s wage bill remains around mid-table level in terms of the highest top-flight spenders.

Howe had repeatedly warned that FFP rules were an issue, even against a backdrop of noise that Newcastle could sign any player they wanted, because of the resources available to the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.

“I’ve always said FFP is real for us,” said Howe when asked about the charges made against Manchester City by the Premier League this week. “I don’t quite understand the figures and the numbers, because I’m not doing them.

“I don’t know how it fully works, I’m obviously led by the people above me and what we can and can’t do. Certainly, it has been there and it will continue to be there for us unless we dramatically change our revenue streams. That is the way football is going.”

When asked if people would appreciate why Newcastle had to behave differently, Howe said: “Yes, they [the owners] have [been sensible].

“The conditions we face mean we have to. Hopefully it gives a greater understanding of our methods and what we are trying to do and I try to explain it in press conferences.

“It’s very difficult to explain it unless you’ve got all the numbers sitting in front of you. I can’t fully give you the explanation but the way we have reacted in the transfer market, hopefully it makes sense.”

Newcastle mindful of financial watchdogs

Newcastle have only announced one new permanent sponsor since the takeover went through, partly because the Premier League tightened rules around deals being agreed with companies linked to club owners.

Newcastle have been linked with hundreds of players since the takeover went through, but their recruitment has been sensible rather than lavish. As revealed by Telegraph Sport heading into the January window, there was a reluctance to spend heavily on players because of FFP implications.

Rather than sign big name superstars on huge wages, Newcastle have signed young centre-back Sven Botman from Lille, up and coming Brazil international Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon, as well as Dan Burn from Brighton, Anthony Gordon from Everton and Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid. . Telegraph Sport understands that Newcastle would have almost certainly not signed Gordon unless Chris Wood had left for Nottingham Forest in a deal that will eventually net the Magpies as much as £15m.

The decision to allow Jonjo Shelvey to move to the same club late in the window was largely inspired by a desire to trim the wage bill as Shelvey was one of the club’s highest earners.

This was done to give the club more room for maneuver in the summer window, although it is thought that the club will have to sell players to raise extra funds.