WITH Newcastle United having released their financial accounts for 2022-23 this afternoon, chief executive officer, Darren Eales, met a select group of the North-East press to discuss the club’s current position.

The discussion covered a wide range of topics, with Eales discussing the January transfer window, the impact of the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules on the club’s plans, the future of sporting director Dan Ashworth and the ongoing consultation over the future of St James’ Park.

Here are the highlights of Eales’ chat with our Chief Sports Writer, Scott Wilson…


“It's a difficult window to get value when you’re in the middle of the season and you are trying to bring quality in. Clubs aren't willing to, or are less willing in January, to lose those types of players. Summer is always better from a value and a planning perspective.

“Secondly, we have had a number of injuries and we have got some very good players coming back in the second half of the season. When we look at the squad and talk about strengthening, we have players coming back who will have an impact.

“Like everything, we have to approach it on the medium to long-term basis rather than kneejerk reactions. You have seen from the accounts the level of investment in the squad. We always have to be mindful of the PSR stuff and making sure we are always going to be compliant long term. For us, January isn't a great window for us to be doing business. That doesn't mean we won’t do any business, as we saw with Anthony Gordon last year, but it's difficult to do any major surgery.”


“No, there is no intention as things stand to do any loans from the PIF clubs in Saudi Arabia.”


“Let’s look at how FFP works. If you have a £50m player you can sell, and you bring in another player of the same value on the same wages, then you might think, ‘What's the point in doing that?’ You might say it is risky as we've already got that player here and we know what they can do.

“But under FFP, if you sell a £50m player and bring in an identical one on £50m and the same wages, but amortise that cost over the five years (of the contract) of the player you are bringing in, that's only £10m a year, so you are creating £40m of headroom.

“That’s the reality of the FFP model. If you are churning players, you create more headroom. We have seen lots of examples of this elsewhere. Liverpool sold (Phillipe) Coutinho and brought in Allison and (Virgil) van Dijk. (Jack) Grealish went from Aston Villa and they reinvested and reloaded. Declan Rice at West Ham.

“It's just the nature of the beast. If you trade players on, it creates more headroom . You have to keep growing that headroom, increasing commercial revenue and player trading.

The Northern Echo: Star midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is one of Newcastle United's leading assetsStar midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is one of Newcastle United's leading assets (Image: PA)

“Now, on any player, at any time, it depends on circumstances. It’s difficult to hypothesise but, if we’re offered £1bn for a player, then no one could argue against that making sense.

“Any decision we make will always be against the backdrop of the medium to long-term benefit for the club. It’s difficult to say specifically on certain players, but I can say that, if we’re going to get to where we want to get to, at times it is necessary to trade your players, whether that is because of the contract length of the player in question, the offer is too good to refuse or you need to reload in certain areas.”


“The Everton judgment showed that there were teeth to the PSR regime, and I think that's something that's probably focused a lot of minds within the Premier League, that this is something that's real.


“To be clear, right from our takeover, we've understood that that's the regime that we're in and our business plan and everything we do are premised on the basis that we're compliant. We're compliant in the year we're talking about here and our plans are always to be compliant going forwards, that is part of our business plan and part of our model.

“But I think it's fair to say that a lot of people probably didn't expect it to be the level that it was, and that's has certainly focused minds."


“Dan has spoken on the record recently about being happy in the project. We go back to our days at West Bromwich Albion where we worked together. Dan's done a great job, there’s a lot more work to be done, and we’re hopeful he’s here for the long term. He’s certainly enjoying his time at the moment.”


“If you look at St James’ Park, then clearly that’s an element with potential for growth. With the amazing support we have, we feel that if there’s an ability to be able to increase the capacity, that gives us an opportunity to grow those matchday revenues by the virtue of having more people in the stadium.

“I don’t want to second guess our process, so we’ve done the stadium feasibility exactly for that reason. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have told me what we can and can’t do at St James’ Park, that aren’t architects. Everyone seems to be an architect.

“St James’ Park is a great location at the heart of the community, up on the hill, and if we can expand St James’ Park, then clearly that would make sense. But we have to know what’s possible. That is our number one approach, and that’s what our experts are doing now.

The Northern Echo: Questions have been raised over the future of St James' ParkQuestions have been raised over the future of St James' Park

“We’ve got world leaders looking at it in terms of what is architecturally possible and what that would mean from a capacity and revenue perspective. To look beyond that is to be second guessing, but at the moment, if there’s a way that we can expand St James’ Park, then all things being equal, that would be the route that we’d like to take.”


“We’ve been transparent since the takeover that we’ll always look at options and whether or not there’s the potential to move elsewhere. That’s an ongoing process. But what I would credit the ownership with is, not withstanding that, we’ve invested more than £10m into the current training ground to try to help the club in the short term.

“That speaks to the level of commitment from the ownership, and their willingness to do whatever is possible within the FFP regulations to try to help the team. When you’re investing in something like the training ground, that’s a capital investment outside the PSR (profit and sustainability) regime, but it’s another example of where the ownership are committing to giving whatever they can to the club to help Eddie and the players do as well as they can.”


“Our vision is to be a sustainable top-six club that is competing for trophies. That is our aim and certainly, as a club, that is what we talk about every day when we come in to work. That is how we are making our decisions.

“It is about being sustainable top six and competing for the trophies. It is very difficult to say, ‘We are going to win this trophy or that’, but certainly that is our aim. We want to be a top-six sustainable club, and we want to get there as quick as we can,  but we have to do it plotting within the rules and within what is possible.”