Mike Ashley pledges ‘kitty’ for summer rebuilding at Newcastle

SPENDING SPREE? ... Alan Pardew.
SPENDING SPREE? ... Alan Pardew.

ALAN Pardew says Newcastle United must spend big – and spend wisely – once the last ball is kicked this season.

The club’s squad is in dire need of an overhaul this summer after two years of under-investment.

And United’s billionaire owner Mike Ashley has set aside a transfer “kitty” for squad rebuilding and strengthening, according to manager Pardew, whose side’s Premier League form has dipped alarmingly.

Ashley, set to be formally appointed to the club’s board, is expected to take a more hands-on role over the coming months.

“We know, in the summer, we have a kitty to spend,” Pardew told the Gazette. “We’re going to need to spend it well, particularly in offensive areas.”

The limitations of Newcastle’s squad have become apparent in recent months.

Pardew’s side has lacked creativity since the January departure of midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who needs to be replaced in the next transfer window.

And ninth-placed United – who yesterday appointed Lee Charnley to the position of managing director – have also struggled to score without 13-goal forward Loic Remy, who could return from injury against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

On-loan Remy looks destined for a move to a Champions League club in the summer, and the club needs to find two forwards, with long-serving Shola Ameobi also set to leave at the end of the campaign.

Newcastle, beaten 4-0 by Manchester United on Saturday, haven’t made a permanent signing in the last two transfer windows.

But Pardew has been assured by Ashley that there will be significant funds to spend, though the club will remain prudent.

In a statement, Charnley said: “Our challenge is to make sure we spend the funds we have available in a careful and considered way in order to ensure that we get the maximum benefit from every pound we invest in the squad.

“We will continue to operate in a financially responsible manner and live within our means”

The kitty, presumably, will include the £20m fee banked from the sale of Cabaye.

Charnley, formerly the club’s secretary, will lead the club’s efforts in the transfer market.

The club has been without a managing director since Derek Llambias resigned last summer.

However, departed director of football Joe Kinnear won’t be replaced.

Twitter: @milesstarforth