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Newcastle to sell one of Botman, Bruno, or Isak after £73.4m losses?

Forced to sell this summer? Sounds like it!

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Newcastle United reported a pre-tax loss of £73.4 million ($93.6 million) for the financial year ending June 30, 2023 on Thursday, Jan. 11. Despite these losses, the club is confident it remains within the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR), even though that will most probably mean selling one of their three best players next summer: Sven Botman, Bruno Guimaraes, or Alexander Isak.

The club’s total revenue increased by 39% to £250.3 million, largely driven by commercial income. However, significant spending—especially in player transfers—has led to substantial losses. Newcastle’s net transfer outlay since June stands at £124 million on player acquisitions alone.

The club’s majority owners, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), have played a crucial role in its finances and their financial presence in all-tings NUFC is increasing every year. Throughout the accounting period, PIF injected £127.4 million into Newcastle through share awards and issued an additional £60 million of equity funding in August 2023.

Additionally, Newcastle reported commercial revenue of £6.71 million from businesses associated with PIF, including signing deals with Saudi brands to sponsor the team appearing on their kits and stadium ads. This financial backing has raised concerns among other Premier League clubs, leading to stricter regulations on associated-party transactions.

Despite the losses, Newcastle’s chief executive Darren Eales expressed confidence in the club’s compliance with PSR guidelines. However, that might come with the negative of having to sell some of the key players currently on the squad and even those acquired in recent transfer windows.

Eales did not dismiss the possibility of trading key players like Bruno Guimaraes, Alexander Isak, or Sven Botman, acknowledging that every player has a price in the PSR context if the club wants to avoid any serious trouble such as Everton did of late. Eales indicated that while these players were acquired for their long-term value, one might be sold this summer if a suitable offer is received because of the potential resale profit the club would achieve with that transaction.

Furthermore, Eales is exploring options to increase revenue, including a potential expansion of St James’ Park or straight moving outside of SJP if said expansion isn’t feasible. Yes, you read that right.

The club, led by Eales, has commissioned a feasibility study by leading architects, considering the stadium’s iconic city-center location. Eales emphasized the importance of St James’ Park, known as the ‘cathedral on the hill,’ to the club’s identity and is keen to maximize revenue while maintaining its current location, not ruling out an eventual move to a brand-new, built-from-the-ground venue.

Eddie Howe is reportedly interested in strengthening the squad, potentially through a loan deal for Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips, but that feels more like a dream after listening to Eales rather than a viable acquisition for the next six months.

Eales’ comments suggest that significant player acquisitions this month are unlikely, the same as the sale of players because of the ongoing injury woes impacting Newcastle’s roster.