- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Newcastle United are likely to spend only a fraction of the £190m they are allowed to invest in players in January with a planned budget of just £50m for the first window under their Saudi Arabian owners.
Although Newcastle are, in theory, the richest club in the world after Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund took an 80 per cent stake in the business, there is a desire to do things gradually.
Under Financial Fair Play rules, Newcastle are able to spend almost £200m because of former owner Mike Ashley’s lack of investment over the last two years. In reality, the amount they spend is likely to be around a quarter of that.
Amanda Staveley, the public face of the consortium, told staff at a Town Hall meeting, just over a week ago, that the Magpies hoped to win their first major trophy inside five years. It was an ambition that drew a round of applause from the audience.
But rather than chase early success by spending vast sums in the New Year, Telegraph Sport has been told the budget at the moment is far lower than has been reported in the media.
That is why players like Burnley centre back James Tarkowsi have featured heaving in recruitment talks as he will only have six months left on his contract and offers excellent value for money
It could well be that expectations are being deliberately managed, which is something PIF feels is important at this stage of the rebuild.
Although they have made it clear they intend to be in the background in public, PIF will be active investors but they are still learning about football and their consortium partners.
They do not yet have a sporting director, their own recruitment expert or a CEO, so it is logical to hold off until the summer for the really big money moves to be made.
Spending £190m in January would be eye-catching, but it may not be sensible. Things could change, particularly if Newcastle remain in the bottom three for the next two months.
Everything depends on what PIF wants and if a high profile player becomes available and wants to move to the North East, they may decide to make a box office signing outside of the budget.
That is not how things are expected to develop according to those based in the UK, where a more methodical, sensible and prudent approach is being applied.
Clubs will also be looking to extract as much money as they can from English football's latest member of the nouveau riche set and so it is worth Newcastle keeping control of the sort of wild speculation that talk of a £190m budget unleashed last week.
Newcastle have already been linked with a move for England captain Harry Kane, but given he will cost at least £150m it seems a non-starter when they have so many other positions to strengthen.
It could well be that Newcasle fans also need to wait until new sponsorship deals are agreed, presumably with companies in Saudi Arabia for the heavy spending to start.
That is how Manchester City flexed their financial muscle thanks to Adu Dhabi backing.
Pressure builds at clubs when money pours in, says Lucas Moura
By Mike McGrath
As the big-money signing following a Middle East takeover, Lucas Moura is familiar with what awaits at Newcastle United as they begin their new era under Saudi Arabian owners on Sunday in the carnival atmosphere expected at St James’ Park.
It was eight years ago that Moura moved to Paris St-Germain as their club-record signing in a £38 million deal from Sao Paulo.
Backed by the wealth of their Qatari owners, the expectations were of instant success as he joined a squad including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham.
As the signings arrive in the North East in the next transfer windows, the players will realise a different type of pressure to succeed.
“Everyone knows football is not all about money. Of course, it helps. But it will bring a lot of expectation because it means they can buy big players, big stars, and make some improvements in the club, the stadium, the training ground,” said Moura.
“So, fans become excited because they want titles, they want to see the team winning trophies, winning the Champions League and it’s good to be involved with. Because you, as a player, have these expectations to win, to perform. It was a pleasure for me and that’s very normal for a footballer.
“It’s a good pressure. Football is about this, because when you are in a big club with big players around you, you have a big expectation from the fans and big pressure but it’s good. You feel that when you play and it’s why football is amazing.”
PSG and Manchester City have been the obvious comparisons to Newcastle’s takeover. The new, vast wealth will help them attract the world’s best players, which will include Brazilians currently in the position Moura was at Sao Paulo.
After attracting the interest of Premier League clubs, he agreed a deal with PSG but stayed in Brazil until the following window, helping Sao Paulo win the Copa Sudamericana.
“It was a little bit crazy because I was in Sao Paulo and at the same time I needed to follow Paris,” he said. “I had hard work to do in Sao Paulo because I wanted to leave with a trophy and I had this opportunity over six months and I won the Copa. It was very good and when I joined the club I was excited to play there.
“It was perfect for me because I left Sao Paolo with a title and arrived in Paris in the beginning of the year. That time was very exciting because I was very young and to have the opportunity to join a big club with a huge project and good players. I was of course very happy. And after I spent five years there and won a lot of titles. I was very, very happy and it’s the new era in football.”
Moura is wary of the fixture against Steve Bruce’s team, regardless of the celebrations at St James’ Park following the departure of Mike Ashley as owner.
“It’s always very, very hard to play there. The atmosphere is unbelievable with the fans there, they push their team very well and it’s a big game,” he said.
Spurs have suffered two cases of coronavirus in their squad, which has hit their preparations. Moura says there remains big expectations at the club, even though they have slipped out of the Champions League running.
“When we had big players, big club, big investment, the pressure is big as well and now our situation when we speak about European competition is the Conference League,” he said.
“We want to win this competition, we will fight for this and we will fight in the Premier League to be in the top four and come back to Champions League because a club like Tottenham and the players we have, we need to think about this, we need to have this mentality and think about bigger things. The Champions League is our place and we will try for this.”