Mon 18 Mar 2024, 13:29 · Ash Harrison

Newcastle United and PIF played a blinder in the January Transfer window - opinion

Newcastle United and PIF played a blinder in the January Transfer window - opinion
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Newcastle United only made one signing in January and that was youngster Alfie Harrison from Manchester City.

The 18-year-old prospect is nowhere near the first-team as yet, so essentially, despite all the injuries and the poor form, Newcastle United made no additions to their squad in January despite the clear need to.

And you know what? Now that the dust has settled, and things have transpired the way they have, we're actually okay with it. In fact, it was a good move by the club.

Before you click away from this article and vow to never read another word, allow me to explain what I mean.

Alfie Harrison
Serena Taylor via Getty Images
Alfie Harrison was our only winter signing

We wanted, nay, needed players in January

Everyone at was screaming into the void for fresh blood, new players who had working limbs and could last 90 minutes plus on a football pitch without folding like a cheap suit and needing three months off to recover. We know how detrimental it has been to our season not strengthening when we had the chance.

However, we said it back then and now we are absolutely convinced this was the case - our board was playing the long game.

When the club with the richest backers in world football comes out and declares 'poverty', saying they can't afford to sign anyone because of ridiculous financial restrictions, everyone scratches their head and thinks "Well, that can't be right".


Newcastle were instrumental in forcing the change in PSR rules

Lo and behold, a few weeks later, changes to the Financial Fair Play/Profit and Sustainability rules were mooted, discussed, approved, and are now set to be fast-tracked.

Newcastle continuously called out the FFP restrictions when asked about transfers all through January in what was a clear ploy to highlight how restrictive and unfair the regulations were. Yes, they did so at the detriment of our season, but while they've not opened the floodgates, they've definitely cracked them and now Newcastle will be able to spend more and more as time goes on.

By the time January came around, Newcastle were out of the Champions League and loitering outside of the European places. Relegation was never a threat, but Champions League football looked unlikely too, so it was a calculated risk to throw caution to the wind and take the hit on this season, a season which the board was already expecting to be less successful than the previous one and make their stand. And it worked.

We're not saying Newcastle was the sole cause for the upcoming PSR rule change, but if we'd have gone out and spent big in January, there'd have been less impetus on changing the rules this summer.

Now the club just needs to double down on bringing in commercial partners who can boost our revenue and therefore our transfer kitty. We'll just write this season off, we'll all soon forget about it anyway.