Is financial fair play stopping Newcastle United from moving forward? Chris Waugh gives his opinion

Newcastle United are the wealthiest club in the world but can’t move forward as a club due to Financial Fair Play restrictions.

Financial Fair Play has certainly taken its effect on Premier League clubs in the January transfer window with only £100 million being spent, however in January 2023 a record high of £815 million was spent.

In this article, Chris Waugh, the Newcastle United correspondent for The Athletic, has analysed the question: Is financial fair play stopping Newcastle United from moving forward?

Waugh told SportsByte: “The answer would be yes. Or at the very least it is lengthening the timeframe it will take for the club to achieve the ambitions of its ownership group. Unlike when Chelsea were taken over by Roman Abramovich or Manchester City by the Abu Dhabi royal family, Newcastle cannot just spend limitless figures and buy their way to success in the short term.”

Waugh went on to say: “Newcastle having to comply with the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability regulations (PSR) and also UEFA’s FFP rules, their revenues must increase dramatically before they can spend more in the transfer market. They have already invested more than £400 million in players post-takeover, but such expenditure is unsustainable in a PSR/FFP world.”

Although Newcastle’s revenues have already significantly increased since the takeover, they are no match to Europe’s biggest clubs.

Waugh also said: “Until commercial income grows exponentially and until Newcastle are Champions League regulars, and indeed they find a way to expand St James’ Park or move the stadium to bring in greater matchday income, there will be clear limitations on how much they can spend on transfer fees and wages in the medium term.”

The football stadium at St James Park in Newcastle, Tyne and Wear. Home of Newcastle United Football Club. (Alamy)

Unfortunately for Newcastle fans, Waugh said: “They will almost certainly have to sell key players so they can reinvest in the squad – all clubs have to do it in an FFP world, even those backed by ultra-wealthy owners like Newcastle are – and that will likely happen this summer. The failure to bring in revenue from sales prevented Newcastle from signing anyone in January.


“The idea that Newcastle are ‘the richest club in the world’ has always been misleading. In theory, they have the wealthiest (majority) owners, but their investment has always been with the intention of eventually getting a return on their money, while Newcastle cannot simply spend what they want given the regulations that are in place.”

Do you think Financial Fair Play is stopping Newcastle United from moving forward?