A couple of seasons ago Newcastle United were mired in a relegation dogfight. The club had registered four consecutive mid-table finishes under Rafa Benitez and Steve Bruce before the bottom fell out at the start of the 2021/22 season. On November 8th 2021, Eddie Howe took over from beleaguered boss Bruce, with the Toon sitting rock bottom of the Premier League.
Fast forward two years, and not only has the club enjoyed a lucrative takeover, they also made it back into the Champions League after a two decade absence, which culminated in this week’s 4-1 drubbing of PSG. But what has led to this wonderful transformation for such a storied but underachieving club?
Let’s take a look…
The takeover was completed on October 7th 2021, when a consortium made up of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, RB Sports & Media, and PCP Capital Partners took ownership of the club.
What This Means
Since the takeover, Newcastle have enjoyed a meteoric rise to the upper echelons of the Premier League. From a team that was stagnating under Mke Ashley’s ownership, with two relegations, and perpetual mid-table mediocrity, to a club that has upset the traditional top 4, and is on the fringes of challenging for the league.
Newcastle has now become one of the most attractive destinations for players, with the potential for glory, not to mention high wages, a very real possibility. Having finished 4th last season, many now believe the club will become a top 4 mainstay for a while yet.
A Rising Star of Management
Following the highly-anticipated (and controversial) Saudi takeover, Newcastle suddenly became a more attractive destination. And the football world waited with bated breath to see who the superstar managerial appointment would be. But Newcastle surprised us all when they announced the arrival of a manager whose last job was overseeing relegation at AFC Bournemouth.
The stage for Eddie Howe’s redemption arc was set, and the Englishman has more than risen to the challenge. Whilst it’s true Howe was relegated with Bournemouth eventually, the young manager also worked wonders on the south coast, and was tactically underrated. He seems to be the perfect fit on Tyneside, and much of what the club has done well since the takeover has come as a result of him.
The wealth the new ownership team brought with them officially made Newcastle the richest club on the planet (or at least, the club with the richest owners on the planet). Despite this, it seems that the owners have been quick to account for FFP, whilst also flexing their financial muscles. Since the takeover, the Magpies have spent a whopping £395 million on players, but have amassed a strong squad, ready to compete on all fronts.
The stars of the squad include right back Kieran Trippier, who signed from Atletico Madrid for £12m, sought-after Brazilian midfield star Bruno Guimarães from Lyon for £40m, and star striker Alexander Isak, who cost £63m from Real Sociedad. The development of striker-turned-minefielder Joelinton, and winger Miguel Almirón has also made their pre-takeover acquisitions a relative bargain too.
Can Newcastle Win the Premier League?
The future for Newcastle United certainly looks bright, and despite a poor start to the campaign things seem to be heading in the right direction again this season. The goal this season will surely be another top 4 finish, and a strong run in the Champions League. Longer term it’s pretty clear the owners are going to have designs on challenging for, and winning, the Premier League.
How soon this could happen, and whether or not they can supplant Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal remains to be seen. The owners will almost certainly have a plan that involves realistically challenging for the title in the future, but it’s possible they will feel the need to bring in a higher profile manager than Howe eventually to bring this to fruition. Either way, the future finally looks bright for the Toon Army.