Newcastle Direction Vindicated By New Premier League Rules

There are new financial rules that Premier League clubs have accepted last night, and will subject the 20 clubs to new financial constraints – and it’s about time.

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These new rules will have immediate affect and will leave Liverpool, Portsmouth and West Ham United under pressure to satisfy their auditors if they are to avoid PL intervention.

Richard Scudamore, the League’s CEO, announced the 20 member clubs had voted in favour of a new regulation that will allow the league to intervene and in some extreme cases, impose a transfer embargo if it believes the PL club is in danger of falling into administration.

In addition the 20 clubs ratified the introduction of a quota system governing the use of  “home-grown” players,

Scudamore said the PL could intervene “when the auditors have a question about whether the club is sustainable”.

Portsmouth and West Ham over the past 12 months have had financial difficulties, and Liverpool will also be under scrutiny after their auditor, KPMG, raised concerns about the club’s financial prospects in their most recent accounts. However they have since negotiated a new massive loan, under improved terms, which makes things look somewhat better financially for the Merseyside club.

Scudamore said.

“As of now, all our 20 clubs will have to abide by the same financial criteria,”“They have to submit accounts annually and, they will have to file accounts into the league at the same time.”

“If there are any qualifications or comments in those accounts, then the board of the Premier League will be applying a test that is designed to make sure you can keep going as a football club.”

“If the board believes the club is at risk of not being able to meet its fixtures or its obligations to its creditors or to the Premier League’s contracts and partners, then it has to step in and agree a budget for the running of that club.”

“And it has the ability to embargo any transfers or to stop clubs renegotiating upwards any player contracts and remuneration. You can’t add to the most significant of your cost bases, which is your talent base.”

“Our view is the current owners are just the current custodians and the clubs will be there before them and long after them. It’s absolutely right that the clubs are sustainable and that they are able to meet their obligations to fans and the competition.”

“Portsmouth got through to the end of last season and, had our rules applied through the summer, there may have been a case for us in intervening. Touch wood, we have never had a club in the Premier League go into administration yet and we don’t want one.”

The changes are likely to be welcomed by Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president, and Michel Platini, the UEFA President, who have continually expressed concerns at the lack of financial regulations applied to Premier League clubs, and the absurdly high overdrafts of clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United.  These two clubs are not businesses, but are simply mortgaged to the hilt of their value.

The PL next season will also introduce a new quota system, that will force clubs to register 25-man squads containing at least eight “home-grown” players.

“Home-grown” is a player who has trained for three years under the age of 21 by a club within the English and Welsh professional system. So it doesn’t have to be a British player but someone like Tamas Kadar who joined the Newcastle club 20 months ago, and Haris Vuckic would qualify by the time he is 21 in 4 years time. Indeed the vast majority of our Youth squad will qualify under these new rules.

It means that most of Arsenal’s players will be “home grown” since current captain Cesc Fabregas, as just one example,  joined Arsenal at just 16 from Barcelona. So “home” in this case means the football club – and not that they are English or Welsh players.

This has been put into effect to have clubs strengthen their youth systems, which is exactly what Newcastle have embarked on since January of last year, when Chris Mort introduced the new world-wide scouting system for young talent.

And it has already paid some huge dividends with players like Nile Ranger, Tamas Kadar, Ryan Donaldson and Haris Vuckic to name but a few.

Once the new ownership is worked out on Tyneside, and we have to say we hear new stories every day about two American bids, and Barry Moat about to buy the club, but w have chosen to ignore these and concentrate on the more important stuff of how great the lads are doing under Chris Hughton so far this season – and long may it continue.

Surely we will further enhance the Youth System, in addition to our world-wide overall scouting system, so we can find those new “cheap” players like Seb Bassong, who by the way is already looking the part at Tottenham, and has been highly praised by Harry Redknapp.

What a player we lost there due to our relegation. 🙁

Scudamore added:

“This rule will clearly encourage youth development and the promotion of young players, but — and we don’t apologize for this — it goes nowhere near a nationality test because we don’t believe that is right.”

To be fair, getting the financial books in order and putting together a world-class Youth System is the direction Newcastle have been on over the last 20 months, and once we get a new sane owner in – these directions can again be set in motion.

Things are starting to look brighter at Newcastle these days – but with 120 league points (40 games) still to be played for, there is an awful long way to go this season. We think 90 points will get us automatic promotion next May.

But 3 points at Blackpool tomorrow night will be very nice, thank you very much, and further help the growing optimism we sense on the Tyne.

21 comments so far

  • Archie Brand

    Sep 15, 2009 at 5:01 AM

    Comment #1

    Does anyone else think that the powers that be have completely missed the point by referring to “home grown” players rather than English or Welsh?

    Isn’t the move intended to ensure that we develop our own young national players, and dont get left behind at International level by bringing players in from other countries?

    Personally I can’t see the point of “Home Grown”?

    Its a bit like the British car industry. Rather than fix the problems with our own car production facilities we started building Nissans and Toyotas.

    Madness. Complete madness!

  • Alex

    Sep 15, 2009 at 5:44 AM

    Comment #2

    One thing these new rules will do is bring the premier ship clubs outside the big 4 closer too them . How many players qualify as “home grown ” at Chelsea , Liverpool and even Man utd these days . Arsenal will have a fair few that do qualify . I also think that Man city fans will be waking up to this news and thinking the party is over . Maybe we will get some sort of reality back in the premiership with these rules , a level playing field a closer run leauge and no more stupid signings such as an Michael Owen for example 🙂

  • Archie Brand

    Sep 15, 2009 at 5:51 AM

    Comment #3

    Oh, and bye the way Ed.

    If there are reports on the Club being bought, even if it’s by a consortium of retired Yak herders from Mongolia, then I would hope you would mention it on your Blog. Even if its just a one liner and a link.

    Some of us just dont have the time to scour the net for articles.

    Yes the Lads are doing well but that is not the only thing happening with the club.

    Personally I think we do get too involved in the gossip, but there’s a difference between being engrossed and being aware.

    I visit your site every day because I can be fairly sure that if anything has happened it will be mentioned.

  • Solaidback

    Sep 15, 2009 at 6:46 AM

    Comment #4

    Read to today that Ashley may be willing to drop his asking price due to this fraud investigation as he won’t have the time to run a high profile club like the TOON & put up with the pressure of the investigation!!!
    So watch out boys, we could get new owners sooner than we hoped for 🙂

  • Stuart79

    Sep 15, 2009 at 7:29 AM

    Comment #5

    Newcastle direction vindicated?

    What down?

  • Stuart79

    Sep 15, 2009 at 7:34 AM

    Comment #6

    Seymour Pierce have said they have had to sieve through about 25 interested parties to buy the club.

    Most were publicity seekers.

    Well at least we know what the hell he’s been doing for the last 6 months!

  • Bigbadbob

    Sep 15, 2009 at 7:50 AM

    Comment #7

    Newcastle direction vindicated? What, all over the place?
    So selling all your best players and relying on loan players and kids whilst raking the cash in is the way forward for ManU and Chelsea is it, and relegation thrown in for good measure?
    If we fit in with any proposed league rules its completely by accident and anyway, as the opposition fans always chant, premier league, youre having a laugh!

  • jordi

    Sep 15, 2009 at 7:51 AM

    Comment #8


    A new owner could never come in sooner than I hope for!

    I read the article earlier and cba to read it again but isn’t it just more speculation without any valid quotes? Great if true though.

  • estechco

    Sep 15, 2009 at 7:57 AM

    Comment #9

    whilst you did elude to it Ed, it worries me that the Youth policy has essentially stopped since DW went and MA took his ball home. Even our chief scout has recently realised his role was a sham. Hope our new owners contintue looking for the next Vuckic, Ranger, Kadar etc

  • UTD111

    Sep 15, 2009 at 7:59 AM

    Comment #10

    Since when have scottish players not been british then??

    And if Premier League clubs are adjudged to be stretching things financially – what about Real Madrid??

  • Bigbadbob

    Sep 15, 2009 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #11

    And what about Man United, 725m in debt and struggled last season to cover the interest on the loans?

  • Jan Stavik

    Sep 15, 2009 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #12

    Let’s first make sure Toon will play Premiership football next season… Then we can worry about these kind of issues!

  • bowburnmag

    Sep 15, 2009 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #13

    jordi – total legend mate. Pretty gobsmacked by the donation to be honest. As per your comments, thanks to Ed too, without his blog you’d not have been able to contribute.

    My knee feels a bit better but I reckon it’s still going to be a struggle. Things like this make it worthwhile.

    Anybody that feels like digging deep –

    Ed, I won’t bombard with links but if it’s OK, in the run up to the weekend I’d like to occasionally let people know because some like jordi and others, have been good enough to put their hands in their pockets for the charity.

  • bowburnmag

    Sep 15, 2009 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #14

    I see the value in protecting the game but you have to wonder about the conspiracies behind it, i.e. as a ruse to keeping control of the quality of English football to prevent us dominating European football.

    However, in terms of bringing the ‘outsiders’ closer to the ‘top 4’, I’m not sure that’s too true because it’s not necessarily always about a money in this game. It’s about the lure of the clubs and certainly more so at the age of the ‘homegrown’ kids we’re talking about.

    Any kid being courted by the likes of Chelsea and Man Utd will choose them over the Pompeys and West Hams. Yes, the likes of West Ham, Boro amongst others have proven to have good academies but I think you’ll find that once the onus is on them, the ‘top 4’ will just push harder and get what they want via that route.

    You’ll see academy staff being poached, kids being snapped up at a younger age, potentiall some kids being pushed too early. Ultimately, whatever the agenda, it’s probably a good thing for English football in terms of preventing a financial collapse. But it will bring it’s own issues.

  • dave 1961

    Sep 15, 2009 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #15

    i for one don’t think they would do anything against the top 6-8 clubs they will just let them do what they want and pick on the likes of hull or burnley so i believe nothing will change.

  • Nick 69

    Sep 15, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #16

    UTD111 // Sep 15, 2009 at 7:59 AM

    Since when have scottish players not been british then??

    And if Premier League clubs are adjudged to be stretching things financially – what about Real Madrid??

    Nobody said scottish people werent british, but being british has nothing to do with it, it says home grown, not british. And home grown would be from the countries who participate in our football leagues, scottish teams don’t, which is why it is english and welsh

  • Whumpie

    Sep 15, 2009 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #17

    Archie Brand – good question, but there is an explanation: this new rule doesn’t fall foul of EU employment rules. Clever compromise, I think.

    I’m more interested in what sounds like a poor and rather vague fudge on the financial side. I thought they were going to force clubs to balance their books (or at least within a percentage) rather than ‘be able to intervene if they look shaky’.

    I don’t really see how it’ll help. Yes, we need to avoid clubs going under, but will the FA have any magic wand to help with that?

    They should be focused (as I think Platini is) on stopping clubs like Chelski and Citeh buying cups. I’m actually quite glad to be out of the Prem at the moment, because it’s descended into a farce where the boys with the richest dad win.

    The quota rule will help, but not for long – they’ll find a way around it. But hey – it’s a start.

    Anybody know what the quota will be and when?

  • jordi

    Sep 15, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #18


    Looking around the net its a 25 man squad announced at the end of each window (which to me means they can have more but not play them in competitions). Of that squad no more than 17 can be over 21 and not ‘home-grown’ which is spent 3 years at an English or Welsh club when under 21 years. To me this means that a club can sign a foreign player at 16 and then when he’s 19 he is classed as ‘home-grown’ so really the rich clubs will just still cherry-pick the talent in my opinion, just from a later age. Kicks in next summer I believe but I could be wrong about that.

    The clubs have to submit their accounts regularly so any problems can be nipped in the bud hopefully and the ssanctions mentioned were preventing clubs from adding players or increasing existing salaries while ‘in trouble’. With the Prem over £3Billion in debt something had to happen and the clubs voted it in so they must support it.


    No probs mate, hope it goes well. Get some pro-plus and brufen cocktails in and you’ll blaze it 😀

  • waddler

    Sep 15, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #19

    Totally agree with everything you say above.
    We have a great chance to build on the talent in the academy and kids out there will see they will get the chance at first team level if they have the abilities needed to become top proffessional footballers.
    Why would they need to go to any other clubs, especially as they could move on at the end of a contract if and when they produce regular top class performances.
    We may soon have a new owner or group of owners and as long as they stick to the only thing Ashley managed to get right in his time at the club, academy development we are set fair for the future.
    The top teams apart from Arsenal are going to struggle to find 8 home grown players under 21 years old who have been at their clubs for over 3 years, we are ideally placed to do just that.
    It will mean clubs have to develop for the future rather than spend to be winners, also we will see salaries and transfer fees of the top players dropping which could in theory be passed on to the supporters through lower admission charges.

  • jordi

    Sep 15, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #20


    I don’t think the 8 have to come through the club ranks though mate, they can be ‘home-grown’ by any English or Welsh club and then poached by the rich ones 🙁

  • punk skunk...

    Sep 15, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #21

    Yea, yea, yea, whatever!..
    …The top earnin’ clubs will still be able to get round this, like they always do & even if they get caught out, they’ll still be offered a loop-hole out, i’ll wager!..
    …BTW, what happens if these rules are broken (with regard to ‘home grown’ players)?..
    …Also, won’t this just mean more robbin’ kids from smaller clubs, a la chavski, by ‘big’ clubs?..
    …fifa, uefa, i despair, try stoppin’ divin’ & cheatin’ first…Gits!..


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