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Opinion

Newcastle United owners net spending – Compared to Manchester City since their takeover

3 weeks ago
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Manchester City landed new owners in 2008, a year after Mike Ashley descended on St James’ Park.

Fair to say that the two clubs headed in ‘slightly’ different directions.

Newcastle United fighting relegation on a very regular basis, with Ashley actually managing two relegations in his 12 Premier League seasons, plus a number of near misses.

As for Manchester City, as well as six Premier League titles and a number of near misses…Champions League football every season and never out of the top four since 2010.

So, with new Newcastle United owners, for most people they would see Manchester City as the ones who have set the benchmark, the club that NUFC need to catch, or at least close on.

Spending money is of course essential, as well as getting a lot of decisions right along the way.

So what kind of money do the new Newcastle United owners need to spend…and how quickly do they need to spend it, to start and make major inroads into closing the gulf (ho ho) that opened up between the two clubs?

I have noted a fair number of Newcastle fans expressing disappointment at the money spent so far this summer, as in, not enough of it.

Personally, with a net spend of around £160m already in 2022, I’m not quite sure what exactly some people were expecting, especially as the club have made clear that they are willing / intending (Hugo Ekitike bid etc) to commit more transfer spend. Eddie Howe saying still after two attacking signings and even if one of those turned out to be a loan, I think we would still be looking at an NUFC net spend of getting on for £200m in 2022, in two transfer windows.

Were other Newcastle fans seriously thinking of a figure far beyond £160m-£200m…?

Anyway, I thought I would look at what Manchester City did, season by season, to get to where they are now.

What their spending has been every season, every two transfer windows, especially the net spend figure.

Manchester City net spending since their 2008 takeover (figures via Transfermarkt):

£118m net spend (£142m of buys less £24m of sales) 2008/09

£105m net spend (£133m of buys less £28m of sales) 2009/10

£129m net spend (£165m of buys less £36m of sales) 2010/11

£54m net spend (£82m of buys less £28m of sales) 2011/12

£16m net spend (£56m of buys less £40m of sales) 2012/13

£94m net spend (£104m of buys less £10m of sales) 2013/14

£66m net spend (£93m of buys less £27m of sales) 2014/15

£127m net spend (£188m of buys less £61m of sales) 2015/16

£161m net spend (£193m of buys less £32m of sales) 2016/17

£204m net spend (£286m of buys less £82m of sales) 2017/18

£19m net spend (£71m of buys less £52m of sales) 2018/19

£80m net spend (£144m of buys less £64m of sales) 2019/20

£86m net spend (£155m of buys less £69m of sales) 2020/21

£37m net spend (£121m of buys less £84m of sales) 2021/22

As you can see, only in 2017/18 did Manchester City have a net spend higher than £161m. So basically Newcastle United have matched the net spend in 13 of the 14 Manchester City seasons and if indeed NUFC push up to around £200m net spend in 2022, that will be up there with Man City’s biggest ever.

I think there are limits to what you can do in only a couple of windows, indeed, even a case for saying it could be counter-productive to try and do too much too quickly, that things do have to be changed in stages.

Also interesting to see that if you can get up there, if you can spend the money AND make the right decisions, then you don’t necessarily need to spend as much.

Manchester City had a net spend of £365m across the two seasons 2016-2018, yet these past four seasons it is ‘only’ a total net spend of £222m – an average net spend of £55.5m per year. Those last four seasons seeing Man City win three PL titles and finish second in the other.

Newcastle United are now showing the ambition to try and catch up, sprinting after Manchester City and other clubs who left NUFC well behind. However, maybe if you try and run too fast, every chance you might end toppling over…

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