Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe says his side are operating with three different potential budgets ahead of next season, as they continue their push for a Champions League spot.
Howe’s side are third in the Premier League, level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and fifth-placed Manchester United. Brighton & Hove Albion in sixth are seven points behind Newcastle having played one game fewer.
The uncertainty over Newcastle’s final position prompted questions to Howe over whether his side have different plans depending on whether they qualify for the Champions League, the Europa League, Conference League, or drop out of the European places altogether.
“Yeah, I think to a degree,” Howe said on Tuesday ahead of Newcastle’s Premier League trip to West Ham United. “I think we need all eventualities covered so we’re not behind the curve depending on what happens.
“We’re in the process of doing all that work now, me to a lesser degree because I’m preparing for the games, but behind the scenes we are.”
Asked whether Newcastle could push back on financial fair play with a top-four finish, Howe replied: “I think that would be an outcome, yeah. That would be an outcome of what we do.
“I can’t think about the outcome, I’ve got to think about how we get there. That’s what we’re working towards. Definitely, depending on what happens with where we finish that will dictate to a large part what we can or can’t do in the summer.”
When Howe took over at Newcastle in November 2021, they were bottom of the league and facing the prospect of relegation. Howe guided them to an 11th-placed finish after a successful second half of the season but pushed back on suggestions that now qualifying for the Champions League would come too soon for his squad.
“It’s a dangerous thing for me to ever say to anybody,” the 45-year-old said. “We want to achieve whatever we can.
“We want to push as hard as we can. There’s no part of us that’s trying to keep anything down because that goes against my internal beliefs. We’re going for everything and ultimately the league table will tell us where we get to.”
Feisty, aggressive, relevant: Newcastle are making up for lost time
(Photo: Getty Images)