Newcastle ‘don’t want to be like Everton and Forest’ battling FFP rules and have had a ‘reality check’ this season, Craig Hope says on It’s All Kicking Off, as he reveals NO players will leave St James’ Park this month
Newcastle United are keen to avoid becoming the likes of Everton and Nottingham Forest as they attempt to navigate their way through tough Financial Fair Play regulations, claims Craig Hope, who believes there is a sense of ‘paranoia’ about spending on St. James Park.
The Magpies are yet to make a signing in the January transfer window despite a major injury crisis this season and plenty of areas to strengthen after a difficult season in which they have struggled in four competitions – including the Champions League.
But despite technically being the richest club in the world thanks to their Saudi backing under the Public Investment Fund, Newcastle have been ‘crushed’ by FFP regulations as they sought to remain free of Premier League sanctions.
Everton and Nottingham Forest have both been charged with breaching spending rules – with the Toffees receiving a ten-point fine before being charged again this month.
Newcastle have been linked with the likes of Kalvin Phillips this month, but have seen the Man City star loaned to West Ham instead, while a number of their top players have been linked with moves away.
Newcastle are keen to avoid becoming ‘like Everton and Forest’, according to Craig Hope
Everton have been handed a ten-point penalty after breaching the Premier League’s spending regulations
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Mail Sport’s Newcastle pundit Craig Hope joined Ian Ladyman Tuesday’s It’s All Kick Off – Transfer Week podcast and was asked why Eddie Howe’s side have struggled so much to balance their books while staying within FFP requirements.
“You can have all the money in the world – and in theory Newcastle did give their owners – it’s the ability to spend it that makes the difference,” Hope said.
‘With FFP restrictions, Newcastle are right at their limit. Why? They front-loaded the allowance they inherited from Mike Ashley. The one beauty about taking over a club from Mike Ashley is that in an FFP world you have a lot to spend. Newcastle have done it – they’ve spent £400m so far with nothing coming in.
“They have until January and there is absolutely no wiggle room. It had to come one out and one in. The ambition is there, but they are completely hamstrung by FFP regulations.’
Hope said there is ‘paranoia’ at Newcastle amid fears they could follow Everton and Forest in being charged by the Premier League if they are not careful, particularly given the ‘perception’ they have as a club with ‘ a big financial support.
Eddie Howe’s side have been ‘crushed’ by FFP regulations after struggling to bring in names
‘The conversations I had with sources at Newcastle – Forest and Everton were often quoted. They don’t want to be that club.
“There’s a bit of paranoia with their perception – if Newcastle are anywhere near that limit, there’s a sense that the Premier League could come down on them. They don’t want it. Is ghost the right word? It certainly had an impact on their mindset going into this window.’
Ladyman then asked Hope if he felt Newcastle had ‘got their signings wrong’ after being left in this predicament, but he added that it was Howe’s excellent coaching that took the club from relegation strugglers to a Champions League outfit.
However, he claimed that the Magpies had been given a ‘reality check’ as they tried to compete with restrictions.
“I don’t think they misjudged it in terms of early recruiting,” Hope continued. ‘If you look at the first 10 signings they’ve made, they’ve got it absolutely right – it’s been quite incredible. To take a team from 19th to fourth in 18 months on the back of good coaching and recruitment is unheard of – it was almost unheard of.
Hope claimed there was ‘paranoia’ around St James Park as they wade through the FFP rules
‘There was this idea that the presence of Saudi money was the reason Newcastle got to where they are. It’s the exception, not the rule to get every signing right – Sven Botman, Bruno Guimaraes, combined Eddie’s great coaching with what he already had.
‘Where they did go wrong was last summer. They spent £150m on four players – for some reason they had no impact at all. They have made less than 15 starts between them. This season was a reality check. Everything has been up, down the road for Newcastle for so long, this season has been a reality check in terms of how difficult it would be to break into that top four on a permanent basis in an FFP world.’
Meanwhile, the main news around Newcastle was about possible exit.
Kieran Trippier has been heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich, with the Bavarians rejecting a £12.8m offer before the player committed to staying at St James’ Park.
Meanwhile, Mail Sport also revealed on Tuesday that Miguel Almiron will also stay despite interest from Saudi outfit Al Shabab. There was also talk of Joelinton leaving the club – as well as interest from other clubs in Callum Wilson and Guimaraes.
He insisted no players will leave St James’ Park this month despite a number of names being linked with an exit – including Kieran Trippier
But Hope made it clear that no Newcastle players will leave the club this month – revealing Joelinton’s future was uncertain after he demanded too much money from the club – leaving them at risk of breaking their wage structure.
‘Are any of those guys going to leave after weeks of phone calls and noise? No, they’re not – they stay,’ he said. ‘Trippier’s move to Bayern is not happening – they wouldn’t go high enough and the club didn’t want to sell anyway. Callum Wilson, there was interest but nothing materialised. Almiron was the one, but it wasn’t going to happen.
‘Joelinton – that’s one for the summer. He is asking for money that the club is unwilling to pay due to FFP restrictions. One of their major successes is managing a wage structure.
“If you break it down, you’ve got five players knocking on your day asking for parity with Joelinton. If his demands are not met, he will be sold in the summer.’
He said he would be ‘surprised but not shocked’ if director of football Dan Ashworth left Newcastle for Manchester United
Transfers aside – one potential exit is rumored to be Newcastle’s director of football, with Mail Sport reporting he is likely to move to Manchester United to take up a similar role under new investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
When pressed on the future of Ashworth, Hope added: ‘I would be surprised but not shocked if Dan Ashworth went to Manchester United. I think he came into Newcastle and there was an outside project that they were the richest football club in the world. But they are not allowed to be.
‘Dan Ashworth works under such constraints and there is also a process side of things. He didn’t come in and get the keys to the kingdom. Eddie has a lot of power at that football club – no player gets in without his say-so. Then you have the Saudi element. Every decision goes back to Riyadh.
“Ashworth is not unhappy, there has been no fallout, but maybe what has been offered at Man United is a lot more autonomy and space to influence things and I think he could just be tempted by that.”