Lee Charnley outlines Mike Ashley's financial commitment to relegated Newcastle

Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley

Lee Charnley says Newcastle United's Championship promotion push was only made possible by a cash injection from Mike Ashley.

The club today published its latest set of financial accounts.

Relegated Newcastle recorded an after-tax profit of £4.6m (down from £32.5m), while the club’s net debt rose to £127.3m.

Charnley said the league leaders took a "risk" this season by investing heavily in players last summer, though this spend was offset by the sales of Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum and Andros Townsend.

However, the drastic reduction in TV revenues in English's football's second tier will mean a "net cash outlay in 2016-17".

“Our approach, following relegation, was to make further sizeable investment in our playing squad in preparation for the EFL Championship season ahead and our annual wage bill is, we believe, still above and beyond many current Premier League teams," said Charnley.

"Whilst not without financial risks, this strategy was adopted in order to maximise our chances of promotion at the first time of asking.

“Outgoing transfers will ultimately generate a significant net player trading surplus for the summer 2016 transfer window but, due to the cash profile of the deals, this will result in a net cash outlay in 2016-17.

"Our adopted strategy has therefore only been made possible by the cash injection from our owner, who continues to provide interest free funding to support the club’s operations, never more important than during this financially challenging season."

The results also show that a company controlled by owner Ashley loaned United £33m, of which £18m was used to repay a personal loan made by the billionaire to the club.

Newcastle say the balance of £15m provided “additional essential funds for operating activities”.

Managing director Lee Charnley also warned of the financial consequences of last season’s disastrous relegation, which will be illustrated in next year’s figures.

United lead the Championship by two points after last night's 1-0 win over Burton Albion at St James's Park.