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Opinion

This will be key to the long-term success of Newcastle United

3 weeks ago
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The recent news that Lewis Miley had signed a new long-term contract at Newcastle United was a rare bright point in a January, where the conversation around the club was about players moving on rather than incoming transfers.

Miley’s impressive performances after being thrust into the first-team picture following an unprecedented injury crisis, raise the tantalising possibility of Eddie Howe one day being able to name a midfield made up entirely of local boys, with Elliott Anderson and Sean Longstaff both also key members of the first team picture.

Between the three of them they have made 58 senior appearances for Eddie Howe’s side this season, which would surely have been more had it not been for a serious back injury suffered by Anderson, which has kept him out of the first team picture since October.

The ability to bring through homegrown talent will be absolutely vital, as clubs across football face up to the realities of not breaching financial fair play regulations.

With clubs having less spending power, the benefits of bringing through talented youngsters are two-fold.

Firstly, it can save teams an enormous amount on transfer fees if you have young talent that can go directly into the first-team picture.

Secondly, selling home-grown players can also have enormous benefits in terms of financial fair play.

In an article published by The Athletic in September 2023 football finance expert Kierain Maguire explains more:

“The reason the sale of academy players is so beneficial to a club from a financial fair play perspective is that the profit on the sale is taken immediately to the income statement.

“If you have an academy player, the book value of that player is zero because you haven’t paid a transfer fee. Chelsea sold Mount for £55million, therefore on the income statement you have a profit of £55million.”

Clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool have done this brilliantly in recent years and it’s a model that Newcastle are clearly looking to replicate with increased investment in young players, with the signing of Alfie Harrison the latest statement of intent in that regard.

With thousands of young kids playing football across the North-East, getting a steady stream of talent, capable of playing in the first-team or being sold on for profit, will be key to the long-term success of Newcastle United.

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