Most people would agree that Newcastle United have not exactly been free-spending during the reign of Mike Ashley. Their transfer dealings for the 2017/18 season put them in a lowly 18th place in terms of expenditure, just ahead of Burnley and Bournemouth. To be fair, NUFC were ranked 4th in the Premier League 2015/16 and we know how that worked out. On the other hand, being the second-highest spenders in the Championship in the following year probably helped to guarantee promotion.
This year Rafael Benitez is said to be ‘seething’ at the fact that his transfer requests have been turned down again and again. It looks like this is not going to be the year that Newcastle breaks the bank to bring in new talent, so fans will just hope that Benitez can work his magic once again and not become too frustrated by the position that he finds himself in. Perhaps the club could do with one of their fans to win the lottery and invest in the team – after all, it wouldn’t be the first time that a footy fan has used lottery winnings to help out their favourite team.
When Colin and Chris Weir won over £161 million from EuroMillions back in 2011, a chunk of their winnings were used to boost the balance of their beloved team. The Weirs invested such a large sum in Scottish Premier League side Partick Thistle that the club was able to declare themselves debt free. They became 5% owners of the club, and also saw fit to gift almost 20% of shares to the Partick Thistle FC Charitable Trust, which works to benefit the local community. A further gift of £750,000 from the couple allowed the club to create a youth academy. Those are really the kind of fans that Newcastle could do with!
Another Scottish football fan who made a similarly generous investment in his local club came to regret his decision. John McGuinness invested a whopping £4 million of his £10 million lottery win in Livingstone FC. Althouth the club became relatively successful on the pitch, that was not mirrored by financial returns and Mr McGuinness found himself in debt after only a few years. Lee Scadding was another multi-million-pound winner with a love for football. He used a portion of his £45 million win to become the major shareholder in Newport County AFC and oversaw their promotion to the Football League for the first time in 25 years.
If Newcastle United were to make an impression in the Premier League’s list of big spenders, some major expenditure would be required. Spending almost £40 million last year put them as just the 18th biggest spenders, with even 10th placed Watford prepared to splash out almost £65 million. Manchester City topped the table with expenditure on players totalling an incredible £285 million, £50 million more than their Manchester rivals. It appears that should any wealthy lottery-winning fan wish to buy the club, they would be expected to come up with at least £350 million, which is going to require a lottery jackpot a lot bigger than the UK Lottery or even EuroMillions. It may be that trying your luck with the American Powerball Lottery is the best option, as that holds the record jackpot of $1.586 Billion (around £1.45 billion).
Let’s just hope that the next record-breaking ticket falls into the right hands!