Report: 8 days to go! Can Newcastle United comply with Financial Fair Play?

Newcastle must show same vigour in approach to outgoing transfers in order to ease FFP strain

The Magpies are still working to offload a number of players before the transfer window slams shut.

Newcastle United may be done in terms of incoming transfers with nine days until the summer window slams shut but there’s still plenty of work to do. Despite qualifying for the Champions League, Eddie Howe has repeatedly stressed the need for the club to comply with Financial Fair Play.

The departure of Allan Saint-Maximin freed up space to bring in Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento, but the Toon had to be creative to bring in Lewis Hall on a loan deal with an obligation to buy at the end of the season. The structuring of that deal means Newcastle will push the reported £30million deal down the line and stay in line with their current spending.

There’s been repeated claims that Newcastle have spent beyond their means in the transfer markets since the takeover was given the green light, which implies a need to recoup some finances from within the squad. January of last season saw Anthony Gordon and Harrison Ashby come through the door – the lowest spend by the club in a window to date.

The recent Amazon Prime documentary showed a brilliant insight into Amanda Staveley’s transfer approach, playing hardball with Everton to get the asking price down, with Financial Fair Play at the forefront of the club’s thinking. The Newcastle director succeeded in her mission, but this summer has been a different kettle of fish.

The signings of Sandro Tonali and Barnes add some much needed European experience to the squad, while the arrivals of Livramento and Hall are viewed as more unpolished diamonds. All four arrivals will get plenty of game time this season with Newcastle fighting on all four fronts.

The likes of Hayden and Fraser have been linked with clubs in recent days, but the lack of interest in Hendrick is another unwanted reminder of Mike Ashley’s Tyneside tenure. All three players have done their bit since they first arrived at the club, and would likely receive supporter’s well wishes upon departure.

Newcastle have time to offload all three players before the window slams shut, but Staveley must show the same vigour in trying to balance the books as she did to bringing in Gordon earlier this year. Staveley said: “Just give me a few hours to see if we can…I know they’ve turned it down, but I think they’re bluffing.

“Well, I promise you and I appreciate you don’t want to lose the deal, and Eddie doesn’t, but we all are aligned on that point. But at least give us the opportunity just to play hardball.”

The Amazon Prime documentary also highlighted the club’s awareness of the scrutiny on them given the links to Saudi Arabia. The club’s sponsorship from Sela was explained by both Peter Silverstone and Darren Eales, so Newcastle know they can’t send the unwanted trio off to PIF-owned Saudi Arabian clubs this summer.

The migration of a number of European super stars to the Middle East has benefitted the likes of Chelsea, Wolves and Liverpool in recent weeks, but Edouard Mendy, Ruben Neves, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho all boasting a higher stock than the aforementioned Newcastle trio. Saint-Maximin joined Al-Ahli to give the Toon a reported £23million windfall, but they’re unlikely to get the same for Fraser, Hendrick and Hayden combined let alone as one off transfer fees.

Fraser has not played for Newcastle since October 2022; Hayden endured an injury hit loan campaign with Norwich City last year and Hendrick last featured for the Toon in December 2021. All three players are unlikely to bring in millions that would open the open the door for a big-money signing, but their departures would ease the FFP constraints given their wages at St. James’ Park are considerable amount – the longer they wait to sell, the less value they’ll be able to recoup

Therein lies another hurdle to overcome – wages. The trio must make a call whether money or game time is most important to them at this stage of their career.

Newcastle’s hands are tied with Fraser contracted until 2025, Hayden on the books until 2026, while Hendrick is entering the final year of his deal. The Magpies might have to get creative and offer a proportion of their wages to any potential buyers for a period of time – which isn’t unheard of – but wouldn’t be the ideal solution.

If the club are able to get the trio off the books before the window closes on September 1st, this summer can be viewed as a real success and platform to really kick on.


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