Saturday 21 September 2019

Newcastle will not overspend to remain in the Premier League, insists Charnley

Promotion back to the Premier League has restored the club’s off-field fortunes.

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley has warned that the club will continue to live within its means (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley has warned that the club will continue to live within its means (Owen Humphreys/PA)

By Damian Spellman, Press Association Sport

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley has warned that the club will continue to live within its means after reporting an £18.6million profit after tax.

Figures for the year ending June 30, 2018 show that the Magpies, who are currently attempting to persuade manager Rafael Benitez to sign a new contract as he waits to see what their ambitions are, bounced back from the financial disaster of relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2015-16 season.

However Charnley, while reassured by the club’s position, insists that it will not spend money it has not got in a bid to improve things on the pitch as talks with Benitez’s representatives continue with the Spaniard’s current deal, which ends on June 30, running down.

He said: “A 10th-place finish in our first season back in the Premier League was a fantastic achievement and I would like to thank everyone connected to the club – staff, players and fans – for their collective efforts.

“The significant increase in revenue, together with prudent financial management, resulted in the club showing a profit and that is reassuring, given the substantial loss in the previous year.

“There is much more work to be done, but these positive financial results give the club a strong platform on which to build. We all want to see the club improve and be competitive at every level, and in every competition.

“We are convinced that the best route to achieving this is to do so sustainably, spending on young development players and adding high quality to the first team squad each season – players that can really make a difference and improve the team – without risking the financial health and stability of the club.

“We strongly believe that consistently doing the above, and robustly following this policy, will give us the best possible chance of achieving our shared ambitions.”

Newcastle’s immediate return to the Premier League after a single season in the Sky Bet Championship resulted in a significant improvement in the club’s financial health.

A 108 per cent increase in turnover from £85.7million to £178.5million saw a loss after tax of £41.3million transformed into a profit after tax of £18.6million.

That was due in large part to a rise in media income from £47.4million to £126.4million, and a decrease in the club’s wages to turnover ratio from 130.9 per cent in the Championship to 52.4 per cent.

The figures record loans of £144million, all interest-free and owed to owner Mike Ashley – who is still searching for a buyer – and companies under his control, although the report indicates that £33million of those loans has since been paid back.

Newcastle’s transfer spending for the season resulted in a net outlay of £15.7million, up from £11.4million during the previous 12 months, while the club’s cash balance amounted to £33.8million, an increase of £42.1million

Charnley said: “Our budget to strengthen the team and establish our place back in the Premier League has been circa £122million over the last two seasons, which was an initial agreed budget of £70million plus an additional £52million generated as a result of sales and outgoing loans.

“We have spent just over 90 per cent of that – £111million – and the balance of £11million will be carried forward to supplement what we have for forthcoming transfer windows as we look to strengthen again.”

PA Media

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