April 11, 2024

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth has moved to ease any fears over Financial Fair Play [FFP] just days after Everton were hit with a 10-point deduction for breaching financial regulations.

The Toffees have been plunged back into the relegation zone after an independent commission found the club’s financial losses to 2021-22 amounted to £124.5m. Premier League clubs are only permitted to lose £105m over three years. Sean Dyche’s Everton are the first English top-flight club to receive a punishment for failing to stick to FFP guidelines.

Taking questions at the very first ‘We Are United’ fan event on Wednesday, Ashworth received one specific query from a concerned Newcastle fan who feels as though the Magpies are the only side consistently having to be reminded of their FFP expectations.

“I know we have to improve our commercial revenue but it seems we are the exception, rather than the rule. Or am I just being paranoid?” asked the Newcastle supporter.

“Well, I certainly don’t think you need to be paranoid,” Ashworth replied. “The rules are clear and consistent for everyone in the Premier League. We’re all bound by the same rules and regulations. What hasn’t been clear up until now what the penalties will be.

“I can’t speak for any other clubs but the independent panel from the Premier League have found Everton guilty of breaching FFP and have given them a severe penalty. They’re the first club to be fined for breaching FFP so for all of us it was a bit of an ‘Oh, ok, we weren’t quite sure what the type of punishments were going to be’.

“But the rules have been fairly clear and consistent for a number of years now and they’re the same for any club. The more money you generate from different sources, be it commercial, be it transfer fees, be it corporate hospitality, be it corporate hospitality, that gives you more money to spend on the pitch – or other areas I should say! In my world it’s certainly on the pitch…

“You’re allowed to lose a certain amount of money over a period of time. Effectively that’s it. The more we can generate – the better the team does and the easier it is for Peter and his team to raise money. That gives us more to spend on the pitch.”

Newcastle chiefs have been consistent and unequivocal on their FFP stance, consistently stressing the importance of sticking to the regulations since the 2021 takeover. With such an influx of outside investment and so many Mike Ashley-era deals setting the club back, the new ownership have had to be careful with their management of the finances.

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