Rafa Benitez has admitted this afternoon that the January window will still be ‘difficult’ for NUFC, even if new owners are in place, explaining that our spending won’t change ‘too much’ due to the financial fair play rules in place.
Whilst we’d expect Staveley and co. to spend more than Mike Ashley would if such new owners were in place by January, Rafa doesn’t seem to think it will make a huge difference – and has explained just why today.
This is perhaps Rafa responding to wild claims that Staveley would pump huge amounts of money into the club this winter – with some reports claiming a ‘£100m war chest’ – however this is clearly not going to be the case due to financial restrictions placed on clubs via the fair play rules in place.
Here’s what Rafa had to say on the matter when speaking about potential new ownership and his plans for the January window:
“January is always quite difficult. We don’t know about how much money we will have yet (with the takeover situation).
“For now, we are just looking for good players, & those who are better or different than what we have. Then we’ll see what we can do”
“It doesn’t change too much. Even with a new owner it won’t change because of financial fair play rules. We have to concentrate on what we can do.”
Whilst this may disappoint some fans who may have hoped to see big money handed to Benitez if a takeover took place, rest assured that any new owners would still be likely to invest more than Ashley would.
The biggest fear this winter is that Ashley will remain and totally abandon any necessary spending in January – risking Benitez’s future and our place in the Premier League.
So, whilst this suggests there won’t be huge amounts to suddenly spend if Staveley and her Middle East billions arrive on the scene, it doesn’t take away from the fact that new owners would be far more likely to give Benitez enough to add some much needed quality to the squad this winter.
A reality check for us all as far as short-term spending is concerned, but this is a reflection of financial fair play restrictions opposed, not the spending power of our potential new owners.