Eddie Howe hints at 'unseen' Newcastle United work of Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi
Eddie Howe’s spoken about the “huge strides” made by Newcastle United – on and off the pitch.
However, the progress at Newcastle, taken over last October in a £305million deal by a consortium led by Amanda Staveley, is not limited to the results of Howe’s team, which has been strengthened over the past two transfer windows.
There has been significant investment in infrastructure over the past 12 months, while the women’s team – who will play at St James’s Park next weekend – have been brought into the fold.
And Howe, appointed just over a year ago, feels that co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi, along with the other members of the ownership group, are making the right decisions at every level.
Asked to assess the development of the club since he joined just over a year ago, United’s head coach said: "The club's made huge strides. The owners have been unbelievable for the football club.
“I'd love to think they've got some big appointments right. Obviously, I'm one of them, so I'm not saying it’s right, because I can't say that about myself.
"But they’ve made some very good appointments in key positions, and they've done it in a stable, low-key way as they try to build the club, I think, in the right way.
"I fully respect them they've got a good work ethic, they've got the club at heart with every decision they make for the benefit of the club.
"But they've also shown real love in lots of different area when you go to the Academy, or the Newcastle Foundation, they're putting a lot of time and energy into things that aren't always seen and that deserves a lot of respect."
There have been a number of key appointments this year. Darren Eales and Dan Ashworth joined as chief executive officer and sporting director respectively, while chief commercial officer Peter Silverstone was hired last month.
Ashworth joined from Brighton and Hove Albion, where he had been technical director.
"What I found when I first came here was some incredibly loyal, passionate and long-serving staff,” said Ashworth last month. "And the passion that the supporters have, and the staff that have been here a long time, is absolutely incredible.
"I think that everybody would admit that there are certain areas of the club that have been run on more of a skeleton framework, and a survival basis, like 'if we can stay in the Premier League – that's fine or enough'.
"That's not enough any more. So, consequently, you have to upscale the majority of departments and facilities in order to try to achieve our goals, which are to finish higher up the league, to compete for trophies, and aspirational targets the trajectory the club is going towards over the next few years.
"So, consequently, there’s a building out of structures and capacity in order to be able to achieve that.
"Some things are probably stocked and fit for purpose. Other areas need improvement in terms of head count.
"Some, it's a facilities issue. So the training ground is going through a period of improving our capacity.”