Why Newcastle Can’t Afford to Buy Dominic Solanke
With 10 players on the treatment table, most for a significant length of time, Newcastle United could certainly do with some reinforcements this January. They have been heavily linked to Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke, who has scored 12 goals in 19 league games this season and won December’s Premier League player of the month. Newcastle’s only fit striker is Alexander Isak, who recently returned from a groin injury, with Callum Wilson saying he’s still at least “a few weeks” from full fitness.
Eddie Howe’s Confirmation
Despite the urgent need for reinforcements, Eddie Howe confirmed on Friday that the Magpies will not be bidding for Solanke due to Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. He expressed his frustration, stating that while he rates Solanke highly and would love to sign him, the club does not have the ability to sign a player of that calibre. However, he did not completely shut the door on future signings, acknowledging that the situation may change as the transfer window unfolds.
It’s not that Newcastle, who have the richest owners in football in Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), can’t afford Solanke, it’s that they can’t afford him without breaching the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability regulations (PSR). The club’s financial difficulties were further highlighted when they announced a post-tax loss of £74.3m in the 2022-23 financial year, making it challenging for them to conduct business without selling players in the next 18 months.
Impact of PSR on Transfer Activity
Newcastle’s net transfer spend since PIF took over is £315.34m in the red, having sold just £50m worth of players in that period. They will need to make a profit or close to it in 2023-24 to avoid sanctions, which means they must now sell to buy. This puts their most valuable assets, such as Bruno Guimaraes, Isak, and Sven Botman, at risk of being sold to bring in new players.
Challenges and Future Prospects
While Newcastle’s turnover has shown promising growth, it still significantly lags behind the Big Six clubs. To address this, the club needs to find ways to increase their revenue, with stadium expansion or new stadium construction being potential avenues for improvement. However, the immediate impact of these measures on their ability to sign players in the short term remains uncertain.
Given the constraints imposed by PSR, Newcastle have found themselves in a difficult position, jeopardizing their chances of signing new players amidst their injury crisis. This situation underscores the importance of long-term financial planning and sustainable business practices, which the club must prioritize to secure its future success.