Last season, it was at the end of January when the overall toll of cups and the Premier League season began to wreak havoc on the Newcastle squad.
They completed a 3-1 aggregate versus Southampton to reach the Carabao Cup final, but they lost Bruno Guimaraes to a late red card. This result was followed by 1-1 draws to struggling Westham and Bournemouth, and a disastrous 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.
Reviewing the morning injury report here while anxiously waiting on updates on Kieran Trippier’s undisclosed family issue that required him to get back to England, it’s becoming hard not to get a bit worried about the upcoming fixtures. It’s looking like the Magpies will need to endure another tough stretch and to reach 2024 ready to attack the transfer window and bring back some players from the medical tent.
With the January window looming, there have already been multiple links to possible targets, ranging from Brazilian prospect Marcos Leonardo of Santos to Kalvin Phillips apparently desperate to revitalize his career after failing to find minutes for Manchester City despite their long cup runs.
However, much of Newcastle’s transfer window will be dictated by today’s Shareholder Meeting Vote.
I looked into the vote in detail here, but the key message is that should this vote have the support of reportedly 14 of the 20 EPL clubs, Newcastle would be banned from making any transfers with the top four teams in the Saudi Arabian League (all recently acquired by the same PIF who own Newcastle).
Also notable is that there is no agreement as to how long the ban on transfers between co-owned entities would last, meaning it could simply bar Newcastle from this January window for any Saudi Players who made the jump this summer.
In a nutshell, Newcastle would not be able to continue their reported pursuit of Ruben Neves because he only joined the Saudi League this summer and would likewise ban a move returning fan-favorite Allain Saint-Maximin (no rumors there—just a wish on my end).
How, then, would the league decipher how rules will be enforced on a player like Jean-Clair Todibo? The Nice defender is heavily linked to a Manchester United team that has been destroyed by injuries and a manager hell-bent on alienating his own players. On paper the move makes sense, but Nice is owned by Jim Ratcliffe, the same investor who recently pumped billions into the Red Devils to become a minority owner.
Finally, on the other end of the table, Everton were recently dealt a brutal 10-point penalty for one breach of the FFP rules. While some were celebrating the decision because Everton admitted to the approximately £20m deficit on the three-year profit/loss limit, it does make one wonder how this is going to be enforced on clubs like Manchester City who were reported to have over 100 FFP breaches. Not to mention there are already rumblings of potential FFP issues for Chelsea FC.
So, while we can begin the fun/frustrating breakdown of potential signees and get into the newest transfer rumors surrounding Newcastle and the rest of the league, today’s vote will signal potentially big changes. It is the first of some pivotal decisions that could shape how much financial freedom some of the heavy hitters in the EPL will have come the January window, and how that will affect the tail end of the season and the European places that have become so valuable.