NEWCASTLE UNITED manager Chris Hughton has been told to scratch around in the bargain basement for new players ahead of a first season back in the Premier League.

Hughton will have to concentrate on attempting to bring in loan deals and free transfers after learning there will be no money made available to buy players unless he raises the funds himself, with £4m-rated Steven Taylor the most likely departure.

The news which will frustrate fans emerged from St James' Park last night when Mike Ashley outlined a five-year plan that started by informing Hughton that winning the Championship title will not spark a flurry of activity on the transfer front.

Through a statement issued on behalf of the Tyneside club’s board, Ashley feels it is the only way forward as he looks to address the financial shortfalls of the last two years.

The Newcastle owner secured a £20m overdraft earlier this year and that is on top of a recorded operating loss of £37.7m for 2008-09 and an estimated loss of £32.5m for the last year spent outside the Premier League.

And while Ashley is committed to a future as the club’s owner – unless a white knight figure emerges in a dire global economic climate – he feels tightening the purse strings further are essential at a time when football clubs across the country are finding life hard.

That means those Newcastle supporters expecting millions to be invested in the playing staff ahead of a first season back in the top-flight, which is worth around £40m in television revenue alone, will be disappointed.

The statement read: “It is clear to the board that no organisation can be successful, until the financial position is stabilised. The board have therefore structured a five-year plan in which the ultimate goal will be to ensure that the club is run at a ‘break even’ manner by the year 2015-2016.

“The first-team squad that won the Championship this year will form the basis of the team for next season in the Premier League.

“There is no plan for new capital outlay on players.”

The message that had been coming out of St James’ for weeks had been there might have been between £10-15m for Hughton to spend during the close-season.

Now, after the board’s decision to go public with their plans, attentions will turn to the loan market, with Hughton likely to be knocking on the doors of Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea in the hope of acquiring some top-flight quality during the short-term.

Hughton’s remit next season will be purely to keep Newcastle in the Premier League and, if successful, next summer his reward is likely to be that he has a transfer budget to work with, however small.

Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias feel football generally is in a worrying financial state, highlighted by the situations at Portsmouth and even Liverpool, and their “plan” has been put together in the hope it will lead to long-term success.

The statement also hinted neither of the men at the top are likely to break their silence over their operations at St James’ Park, but they are keen for supporters to know that they want the club’s Academy to form the basis of their new strategy.

The statement said: “The board and supporters are aware that Newcastle United currently has a footballing Academy brimming with talent, skill and dedication. As part of Newcastle United's quest for a team that truly represents the values of the Geordie nation, the club will look to promote, where it can, from within and for the Academy to become a leading light as one of the best, if not the best, in the UK.

“The days when players such as Alan Shearer, Steve Bruce, Peter Beardsley and Michael Carrick had to leave Newcastle to begin their illustrious football careers elsewhere are over.

“Newcastle United is more than aware of the great passion for the game of football that exists locally and is intent on ensuring that every great Geordie footballer has the opportunity to play for his home team club.”

The statement concluded that “all those involved with Newcastle United be they supporter, member of the media or an individual with an interest in football, can be aware of what the board will strive to achieve over the next five years.”