Newcastle United achieved their target of returning back to the Premier League within a year after they lost the status at the end of last season. Now the question is what’s next after regaining top tier status.
Rafael Benitez came late last season and he was supposed to rescue them from danger. It seemed he came too late as the Magpies still went down. They pressured him and he accepted to remain even though he had contractual back up to walk away. After seeing them through their promotion bid, Benitez would likely guide them in their first season back up.
The Spanish tactician invested £55 million to get 12 players. He made a profit of £30 million from the players that were cut off and they brought in £85 million in revenue. With his experience and the relative better investment in the team compared to other Championshipsides, you would expect that Newcastle get promotion by March but the second tier of English football is complicated.
Aside Newcastle, only Burnley have secured an automatic promotion back to the Premier League within a year in recent times. So Benitez seem to deserve his £5 million annual salary.
There are rumours that some parties are interested in buying the club. Otherwise, Mike Ashley would continue to assume control of the club. There are reports that Qatar maintains interests in the side as do Chinese investors. The club has a huge profile and teeming fans, the location is very good and there’s a good manager in place. With Benitez now used to the team and with the ice between him and Didier and Nicholas the management wearing off, it seems he would stay.
An important issue is the financing of the overhaul required to compete in the Premier League. A centre back, a left back, midfielders and strikers are required if they want to stay in the top flight. Numerous players have been linked with the team but finance is the issue. Ashley’s long term vision for the team is crucial if a takeover does not happen.