Newcastle chief: Why club took ‘financial gamble’ in 2017

Date published: Saturday 19th May 2018 8:34 - Matthew Stead

Newcastle have admitted the club took “a financial gamble” in their bid to bounce straight back to the Premier League in 2017.

The Magpies, who finished in 10th place in the top flight this season, have revealed their wage bill for the 2016-17 campaign was the highest ever in the Football League.

The club’s annual accounts for the year ending June 30 2017 show annual losses of £90.9million after paying £112.2m on wages.

“An immediate return to the Premier League was vital to restore the financial stability and future prospects of the club,” Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley told the club’s official website.

“With the support and backing of the owner we took what was, in essence, a financial gamble on securing immediate promotion.”

Charnley said the club’s financial approach following relegation from the Premier League in 2016 was “only made possible by the continued financial support of our owner, who injected a further £15m interest-free loan into the club in 2017.”

Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum and Florian Thauvin departed after the drop to the second tier, but over £50m was spent on 12 new players ahead of the following season in the Sky Bet Championship.

“In addition to Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie and Matz Sels, who joined us in June 2016, a further nine players followed in the financial year 2016-17 – Christian Atsu, Ciaran Clark, Mohamed Diame, Jesus Gamez, Isaac Hayden, Grant Hanley, Achraf Lazaar, Daryl Murphy and DeAndre Yedlin,” Charnley said.

The club revealed turnover for their year in the Championship had dropped to £85.7m from £125.8m and that their loss after tax was £41.3million.

“Gaining promotion was the first priority and retaining our Premier League status was the second,” Charnley added.

“Both of which were achieved through considerable hard work, at all levels of the club, across every department, and thanks in no small measure to the magnificent support of our fans.”

Newcastle’s average home attendance for last season in the Championship was 51,108, up from 49,754 the previous season.


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