Newcastle United released a mission statement ahead of the Tottenham game last weekend detailing their plans for the future.
It makes for interesting reading and I thought it would be a topical subject for us all to talk about.
Now Mike Ashley is not everybody’s favourite owner and that is for obvious reasons. But I have always felt that he has been able to get the club on a sounder financial footing than it has been ever before. Now I’m not a supporter of how he has handled the club at times but it seems that we are moving forward it terms of breaking even.
Here is what the financial part of the mission statement revealed:
“When Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United in 2007 he arrived with a clear five-year plan to get Newcastle United on a sound financial footing and the Club is now in far better shape financially than it has been for many years.”
“Our aim is to make Newcastle United self-financing. We cannot continue to acquire debt year after year and rely on additional financial support from the owner.”
In 2008/09 we reported an operating loss before player trading of £37.7m. In 2009/10 that loss was £33.5m. Once audited, our accounts for 2010/11 are expected to show an operating loss of just £4.7m and this year we hope we will be close to breaking even.”
“We are pleased that the Club is working towards being able to operate within the boundaries of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, even during these challenging economic times.”
“Over the coming year we will continue to build the Club sustainably – on and off the field. We have a realistic view of what we can achieve at Newcastle and the time-frame required to achieve it. We have a strict spending policy and will not take a reckless approach which permits spending beyond our means. It is a sensible long-term plan for success and we have absolute confidence that this is the right model for Newcastle United.”
All of this section sounds like the managing directors have a clear vision for the future of the club. I have always been a big believer that when the Financial Fair Play rules come into force Newcastle United will be one of the clubs better off than the big clubs that spend a lot of money in the transfer market in recent months.
Our transfer policy was certainly an indication of this, we spent little in terms of the players we brought in and did not pay over the odds for a player if their club wanted more money. What was evident was that we used funds from the players we sold in order to help us fund deals for players we wanted to bring in.
With the news that the club hope to break even next year this is an indication that bodes well for the future of the club and I think that it’s pretty clear aim of the club is to be self-sufficient so that the club will be able to run itself. It’s an ambitious target but it could really work for us and it sounds like this plan has been put in motion in the last couple of years.
The other day saw the announcement of ‘Soccer Scene’ taking over the running of the club shop is another part that highlights that the main aim of the club is to generate money through the services that it offers. Each time someone purchases something from ‘Soccer Scene’ it will benefit the club and thus generate more revenue for the club.
The question is, will these Financial Fair Play rules really affect us?