The excellent Swiss Ramble have laid bare the complete and utter lack of investment from Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.
What has Ashley spent on Newcastle?
When analysing how much money the Glazer family have put into Manchester United, the Twitter account listed some of the Premier League clubs in order of investment in infrastructure.
#MUFC have only spent £118m on infrastructure in the last 11 years. Obviously, this is dwarfed by #THFC £1.4 bln (new stadium and training ground), but it is also lower than #MCFC £378m, #LFC £238m, #BHAFC £181m and #AFC £132m, where owners have invested in the future. pic.twitter.com/JjURq7UIgX
— Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) May 4, 2021
Unsurprisingly, Newcastle rank bottom in a list that also includes the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City, so it’s not as if it is only the traditional Big Six who are outspending the club. While there has at least been investment in the playing ranks of late (though hugely ill-advised you could argue, given a club-record £40m was spent on Joelinton), the lack of commitment into improving life behind the scenes is surely holding the club back.
In fact, back in May 2020, The Athletic went as far as to say that was actually the case.
Indeed, Rafa Benitez is understood to have wanted improvements to the club’s training ground after making some initial changes when returning ahead of the Championship campaign in 2016 and initial plans back in 2013 to build a new base never got off of the ground.
Is it going to improve?
That seems incredibly unlikely without a takeover.
Given the potential deal that would see Ashley sell the club to Saudi Arabian investors is currently in the arbitration process, no change looks at all likely. Should that fail and Ashley remain in charge, it’s hard to see him suddenly throw lots of money into the club’s facilities having ignored them for so long, particularly as the team are doing just about enough to retain their Premier League status as it is.
Sadly, it seems Newcastle United will just have to make do for now.