NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe hopes this season is the last Newcastle United fans will have to worry about Premier League safety.
The Magpies secured their top flight status with two games of the campaign left, having failed to win any of their first 14 top matches. A 2-0 victory over Champions League-chasing Arsenal was the icing on the cake on what has been a remarkable season in many ways.
And while that season-opening run and the subsequent recovery set Newcastle Premier League records, Howe does not want to walk that same road again, with his eyes fixed firmly on progress and ambition at St James’ Park.
Howe, whose side plays Burnley on the final day of the season on Sunday, said: “There are no guarantees in football and that’s what makes the game so beautiful because you never know what’s around the corner.
“We have ambitions to improve, so I hope we’re not in this position again of fighting through the season. The Premier League is so difficult, it examines you in so many different ways. The competition is fierce, everyone will have different aims and dreams.
“All I can pledge is I will do everything in my power to make sure we come back a stronger team but there are no guarantees.”
While Howe is playing it coy with his future predictions, the ambitions of the ownership model at Newcastle is clear — they want regular success and silverware on Tyneside before the decade is out.
“They care. They care deeply,” said Howe of the club’s owners, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.
“They care about the players and staff, they want to be involved and be actively helping. They were that way right from the start.
“After (the defeat to) Cambridge, they (Amanda Staveley, Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Yasir Al-Rumayyan) came to see me and the staff, of course at that moment, we were low. It meant a lot to see them come in and support us and say ‘come on, we go again.’ The week after was Watford and they supported us again.
“When you look back after a successful period, those moments are so important. A big thank you to them.”
Lots of public talk of reduced budgets and Financial Fair Play concerns have been raised by Newcastle sources in recent weeks, leading some to conclude it will be a frugal summer on Tyneside.
However, a hard-and-fast rule in business is not to tell potential sellers just how much cash you’re operating with.
The club’s accounts for the period ended Jun. 30, 2021, prior to Mike Ashley’s majority sale to PIF, show the football club made a loss of around $15 million.
Under the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules, club’s can operate a $131 million loss over three seasons.
The 34 pages posted to the club’s filing history on Companies House also show that since acquisition, the club’s owners have pumped $209,500 into the company, which, although not stated, is likely to have covered operating costs, infrastructural upgrades and January transfers as well as the hiring of Howe and the sacking of Steve Bruce.
So is Howe expecting a tough summer, or one another record-breaking spend?
“It’s very difficult to plan a summer transfer window because as I’ve said before, of the unpredictability of the market,” he said.
“Of course, I have an idea of what I want to do and where I want to take the team and the changes we need to make. That’s one thing having that idea in your head but the other is executing it. We’ll see what happens.”