• James Fleming

DOES NEWCASTLE UNITED'S £320 BILLION OWNERS SPARK THE END OF A LEICESTER LIKE FAIRYTALE?


Newcastle United are about to enter a whole new era. With Mike Ashley finally selling the club after 14 years ownership, Newcastle have gone from a club with no real ambition and fluctuating between Premier League and Championship football to the richest club in world football. The question is, will this cause ramifications for the rest of the league?


Newcastle have been taken over by a consortium called Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia, who have taken over 80% of the club with Amanda Staveley and the Rueben Brothers splitting the other 20%. With an estimated net worth of around $400 billion, they are now by a landslide the richest football club in the entire football world after their £305 million takeover. With recent news that Steve Bruce has left his position as manager and transfer rumours galore too, Newcastle are in for a massive change at St James’ Park. The question lies though, with richer consortiums now buying into football, does it reduce any possibilities of surprise league wins like Leicester City in 2015?


If we look at the facts, Newcastle’s new owners wealth is so high, that they could purchase Delia Smith’s £23 million share in Norwich 13,333 times. Even if we look at Liverpool one of the biggest clubs in the league, Newcastle could buy FSG’s shares of the club nearly 200 times. It completely eclipses even Man City’s owner Sheikh Mansour’s £23 billion net worth by around 20 times. This can only create an environment where over time, Newcastle will improve more and more until they are untouchable at the top of the division and all world titles. So will it stop any chance of a club further down the ladder from winning the Premier League?


Well, as we saw with Leicester City’s 2015 success, large budgets are not always what wins titles, it’s teamwork. With Leicester only spending around £45 million in their maiden title

season, it shows that the players brought in need to have ability but also need to be able to work within the team already present at the club. However, as we have seen with the huge spends of clubs like Manchester City which has been succeeded by multiple Premier League titles and cup successes, money usually does talk in football. Since 2015 it has been relatively straight forward that the team that is at the top of the spending charts will see the most success.


Leicester’s title win was a massive surprise to everyone. We had seen a similar situation when Blackburn Rovers won the honour of champions in 1994 but nothing really came close to the Leicester City story. Newcastle will have to be careful with their wealth. We see many teams in the lower divisions who try to ‘buy the league’ and seemingly fail in doing so. A good example of this is Salford City who have all the wealth of the 92 but can not seem to find a way to climb their way out of League 2, despite being at the top of the spending charts every season. The same fate could occur at Newcastle if they are not careful. I believe they need to first establish a good youthful foundation. Bringing in great youth talents from across the leagues to stabilise the club for the future. Then they can go out and spend the cash on the bigger name players relatively risk free. Also, I believe they need to look at proven players within the division to as we have seen before players come in from overseas with massive price tags and don't met expectations.


Overall, I don’t believe that anything that happens at Newcastle will change a potential upset of an unexpected title win. Money will always show in football and the best teams will usually win. However, an upset can happen at any point and no matter how much Newcastle spend, there is always room for an upset. I believe Newcastle’s progress will be slower than people think also. As the money will definitely not all be spent at once but it will be a gradual performance booster up until they are back near the top of the division table.