The Athletic have revealed how we could be in line for a bumper spending spree once the Saudi-backed takeover is completed – without breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.
This comes via Chris Waugh’s latest piece, which calculates that we could still see up to £150m spent in the transfer market thanks to the penny pinching regime of Mike Ashley.
Ashley’s unwillingness to spend has put us in a comfortable position economically, with latest accounts released from the 2018-19 season last week showing we have one of the best balance sheets in the division – which allows for further investment going forward.
The Athletic highlight the fact we have made a profit in EIGHT of the last NINE years (the 16-17 Championship season was the only time the club made a loss), meaning Ashley’s frugality – while draining and hard to endure for over a decade – may end up being a blessing in disguise once the new dynasty is at the helm.
Considering the likes of Everton – another side attempting to break into the elite – have just announced losses of almost £112m, it seems we could be one of few amongst the chasing pack in a position to spend big AND comply with FFP restrictions.
Heavy investment in the short-term will likely see us be able to increase revenues further down the line, with sponsorship deals and income soaring once our potential is released worldwide.
Another interesting point in The Athletic’s article is that our wage-to-turnover net spend is just 56%, the sixth lowest in the league, meaning we could pay the big bucks for players and not damage our economic structure as severely as some would hope.
Add to that the fact we have so much deadwood still in the squad to offload, the potential new owners could have plenty room for manoeuvre.
Commercial revenue is an area our new owners could improve on vastly, with our revenue totalled at just £26.2m, baring in mind when Ashley took over the club in 2007 it was £27.6m!
Fleecing out free advertising to Sports Direct instead of having other companies pay for the privilege has damaged our commercial income, but you do feel as though the buck will stop there and our worldwide standing will grow once the Saudi stroll into town.
You can be sure that Staveley & Co know about these figures, which makes it even more exciting for us supporters and fires back at the critics suggesting we couldn’t spend big due to FFP restrictions.
A positive article and one that us Toon fans can gain some optimism from, which is hard to do at the moment while this takeover saga drags its heels.