Will Newcastle United become the next Manchester City?

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Newcastle United have, overnight, become the richest team in the world. This follows the takeover of the English Premier League football club on 7 October 2021 which saw a Saudi Arabian-backed investment fund take control of the club in a £305m takeover.

Public Investment Fund (PIF) have assets of £250bn, making Newcastle United the richest club in world football. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman is listed as the chair of PIF, however, the Premier League received legally binding assurances that the fund was not under state control.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 09: Newcastle United Head Coach Steve Bruce speaks to the media during the Newcastle United Training Session at the Newcastle United Training Centre on September 09, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Financier Amanda Staveley, who fronted the consortium, said the new owners are making a “long-term investment” to ensure Newcastle are “regularly competing for major trophies”.

The takeover brings to an end the Mike Ashley era at St James’ Park – a 14 year period in which Newcaslte fans have had little to cheer and the move is one that has brough much jubiilation to Newcastle fans, desperate to get back to winning ways. Newcastle United haven’t won a trophy since the 1955 FA Cup, however, there is now a strong belief that good time are just around the corner.

Richest football clubs

Newcastle joining three other Premier League clubs when it comes to the top ten richest football club owners in the world. The estimated total net worth of PIF is £320bn – a figure that dwarfs the next club in the rich list, Manchester City.

City has sat at the top of the pile since their takeover by Sheikh Mansour and the Abu Dahbi United Group in 2008, however, the net worth of that group is just £23.6bn.

Joining Newcastle and City in the top ten are:

  • Dietrich Mateschitz – RB Leipzig, New York Red Bulls and Red Bull Salzburg – £14.22bn
  • Andrea Agnelli – Juventus – £9.90bn
  • Dietmar Hopp – Hoffenheim – £9.53bn
  • Roman Abramovich – Chelsea – £9.6bn
  • Philip Anschutz – LA Galaxy – £7.33bn
  • Stan Kroenke – Arsenal and Colorado Rapids – £6.38bn
  • Nasser Al-Khelaifi – Paris Saint-Germain – £5.87bn
  • Zhang Jindong – Inter – £5.57bn

Since their takeover in 2008, when City had not won a trophy since a league cup title in 1975, City have gone on to win the Premier League title five times, having won it only twice in their history prior to the takeover. Whilst the Champions League still eludes them, they have signed some of the best players in the world over the past 13 years and once again look set to compete for the title in 2021-22.

So is this what Newcastle fans have to look forward to?

Will Newcastle be the next Manchester City?

Newcastle United are a big club and their fans should not forget that. (GETTY Images)
Newcastle United are a big club and their fans should not forget that. (GETTY Images)

Or course, City weren’t the first English team to be the subject of a takeover from overseas owners.

Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovich changed the landscape of English footbal when he took over at Chelsea in 2003. Up until then, the 90s and early 2000s had been dominated by Manchester United and Arsenal, however, the takeover really shook up the old guard and within two years, they had gone on to win their first Premier League title (they won the old Division One title back in 1954-55) as well as winning the League Cup that year.

Since then, they have gone on to claim two Champions League titles, in 2012 and more recently, in 2021. In 2009-10, the completed their first League and FA Cup double.

All of this gives Newcastle supporters great hope and the success that both Chelsea and Manchester City have enjoyed since billionaire owners took over should be a model that can be replicated at Newcastle.

In Abramovich’s fist transfer window, Chelsea spent £111m on 13 new signings. Manchester City were a little more frugal, spending £46m on four new players following their takeover but what can we expect at Newcastle?

Since the takeover was announced, they have already been linked with a host of players, including Kylian Mbappe in what would likely represent the biggest transfer in history if they were to pull it off.

They have also been linked with a number of out-of-favour players at top clubs including four Manchester United players who have struggled for game time in the early part of the season – Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Donny Van De Beek and Eric Bailly. They were also linked with Phil Jones in the summer, however, it will be interesting to see if their transfer policies change somewhat following the takeover.

Money doesn’t buy you success…straight away anyway

Whilst it is an undoubtedly exciting time for Newcastle fans, they shouldn’t expect success to come overnight just because they have niew owners and very deep pockets. As we have already seen, it took both Chelsea and Manchester City a couple of seasons to build squads capable of challenging for the title and both had better starting points than Newcastle.

The team currently finds themselves in 19th position in the Premier League table after seven games of the season and without a win. The first job for the new owners will be to ensure Premier League survival this season and you would expect them to bring in reinforcements in the January transfer window. 

They are currently at to get relegated this season despite the takeover and sensible money would be hedging more towards that end of the table than the top, where they are at 1001.00 to win the title this season.

If they can guarantee their safety this season, bringing in some fresh faces in January, you would expect them to launch a big overhaul of the team next summer and set themselves some targets which may even include qualifying for the Champions League but that will certainly include winning a trophy and qualifying for some form of European competition.

The influx of this overseas money into the Premier League is also expected to raise transfer values and wage demands of any player thinking about making the move to the North East and Cristiano Ronaldo’s salary at Mancheter United could soon be eclipsed by the like of Mbappe if Newcastle were to pull off an audacious swoop.

In the end, it seems inevitable that the money will bring them some success. You only have to look at the list of rich owners and the trophies their respective clubs have won since being taken over to understand that money certainly does a lot of talking in football and Newcastle are now top of the pile.