Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Eddie Howe has already agreed to sell a Newcastle United player due to FFP restrictions

1 month ago

Very interesting to hear what has been said, including / especially by Eddie Howe, since the latest Newcastle United accounts were published on Thursday.

The overwhelming focus has been on Newcastle United and the transfer market.

What will happen with Newcastle United when it comes to potentially buying AND selling players…

Eddie Howe talking on Friday about FFP restrictions and Newcastle United potentially selling players, in order to (using the way FFP works, amortisation etc) then be able to have extra spending potential way in excess of the transfer fee banked:

“We’ve been working under Financial Fair Play restrictions for a long time.

“Selling players is part of every football club’s DNA now.

“It has to be with Financial Fair Play rules because we have to generate more income.

“To sign players, we may have to sell players.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean ‘star’ players, whatever is meant by that term, but certainly selling players will be something this club will do now for the foreseeable future.”

A lot of it is boring accountancy stuff that many fans struggle to get their heads around, or simply can’t be bothered to read through. Which is fair enough, as none of us became / realised we were Newcastle United fans due to how intriguing the FFP / PSR rules are in football!

Bottle line though with FFP, is that due to how amortisation works. A Premier League club could sell a player say for £50m and though only getting £50m in total in terms of actual transfer cash, by selling such a player you could then be able to spend up to an extra £250m (five times as much as you are banking) on new players, in terms of FFP restrictions

So for clubs such as say Aston Villa and Newcastle United, who don’t at the moment have the revenues coming in that the ‘big six’ do, it may make sense to sell one or more players for X amount, which would then allow you to buy players for up to fives times that X amount. This of course needs you to have a club with owners who, at least in the short-term, are willing to fund/ provide guarantees for that extra expenditure. To cover the shortfall between the transfer fee(s) received and the total they would like to sign players for.

Anyway, Eddie Howe seeing his comments (as well as those of others, such as Darren Eales) sparking loads of media coverage, countless articles written and words spoken, most of it complete and utter clueless nonsense.

Journalists, pundits and others treating these new comments from Eddie Howe and others as though this is an absolute revelation.

Which is pretty embarrassing really, as….

Eddie Howe has already agreed to sell a Newcastle United player due to FFP restrictions!!!

I know so many people these days have such short-term memories BUT surely journalists should be capable of remembering something only months ago, the last transfer window!

The Mail report – 18 July 2023:

Asked why Allan Saint-Maximin was set to leave, Eddie Howe said:

“With Financial Fair Play, you sort of have to trade otherwise, for us, this summer, we would be stuck in a position where we couldn’t recruit players the other way.

“That’s how Financial Fair Play works and we understand that.

“Financial Fair Play forced that to a degree.

“We could make a stance not to sell Maxi, but then we’d be in a position where we couldn’t recruit Sandro (Tonali) or any other player, so our hands would have been tied.

“We knew this summer, the likelihood is we’d have to sell a player to trade, and that looks like it will happen. Sometimes these things have to happen for club to grow.

“Maxi is a top player and we definitely don’t want to lose him. We want to strengthen the group, but sometimes these things happen and we have to accept that.”

When you read what Eddie Howe was saying less than six months ago, it is quite astonishing the nonsense that so many journalists, pundits and indeed, certain Newcastle United fans, are coming out with now.

I think for rough figures, what happened in the summer was that the sale of Allan Saint-Maximin for a reported £23m, then gave Newcastle United the FFP flexibility of many times that £23m fee that allowed them to sign Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento, as well as covering part of the FFP stretch that covered the Tonali deal.

Allan Saint-Maximin Signing Al-Ahli

So basically, if Allan Saint-Maximin hadn’t been sold, Newcastle United would have almost certainly had to do something else (sell a different player the most obvious thing….) just to stretch the FFP enough to be covering Tonali, never mind then signing Livramento and Barnes as well.

Moving back to the here and now, the really really stupid media headlines and stories, have taken the words of Eddie Howe, Darren Eales and others, as well as the club accounts themselves, to claim that Newcastle United now need to sell one or more of their best players because the latest accounts show a £73.4m loss for the 2022/23 season.

This is NOT true.

Newcastle United are not under any pressure whatsoever to sell any player to cover any losses shown in the accounts, either in these latest 2022/23 season accounts or the previous ones. To try and close the massive gap, on and off the pitch, the NUFC owners (as indeed is the case at other clubs, such as Aston Villa) planned to make significant losses in at least the short-term, as they knew investment had to go into the club, to enable transfer fees and wages to be paid, that will hopefully bring in the players needed to help long-term bridge the gap off the field in terms of revenues, as well as competing on the pitch.

What the real story is, from these accounts and in general where Newcastle United (and others ) are at. Is that if Eddie Howe and the club want to spend a lot more money, then due to FFP restrictions, they can’t just spend that money, they may need to sell a player or players to do so, to give them the FFP legroom.

Sven Botman Eddie Howe Newcastle United

Also very important

When you read what Eddie Howe says, another massive thing is getting misreported by most of the media.

They are claiming that Eddie Howe has ‘admitted’ that he may have to sell a Bruno Guimaraes and/or Alexander Isak, to allow this needed extra FFP legroom.

Eddie Howe on Friday made absolutely clear (read his quotes again above) that this is NOT necessarily the case, far from it. The NUFC boss declaring:

“To sign players, we may have to sell players. It doesn’t necessarily mean ‘star’ players, whatever is meant by that term, but certainly selling players will be something this club will do now for the foreseeable future.”

I would be amazed if Eddie Howe sells any of the likes of Bruno, Isak, Joelinton, Botman and Gordon, his very best players.


What about if somebody came in with a £20m offer for Sean Longstaff, that could potentially then allow Newcastle United to have up to £100m to spend in terms of FFP flexibility.

Or how about Jamaal Lascelles? He did really well in Botman’s absence and this month is it possible somebody might offer say £8m-£10m, which could then allow Newcastle United up to £40m-£50m more in terms of FFP flexibility?

This is how mad the whole thing is and it is why Chelsea think they can spend a billion in a few windows and due to selling a lot of mainly younger homegrown players for far less money, can still stay on the right side of FFP.

As you can see, if Eddie Howe desperately wants to bring players in AND has the backing of the NUFC owners to do so.

Rather than needing to say sell a Bruno, Newcastle United could potentially be able to, using my hypothetical examples, sell Longstaff and Lascelles for a combined £30m to allow them to then spend up to as much as £150m.


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to

Have your say

© 2024 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks