Derek Llambias

For the second year in succession, Newcastle United have posted a profit. And while last year's impressive financial figures were boosted by the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool, this time around revenue, turnover and attendances have increased.
At a time when many other clubs are losing money, the Magpies were £1.4m in the black. Not only that, but the period covered by the latest accounts coincided with the Magpies finishing fifth in the Barclays Premier League.
It also meant that when the team's fortunes took a turn for the worse in recent months, the money was available to buy the players who have taken Alan Pardew's side into the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Overseeing the success on and off the pitch is Managing Director Derek Llambias and he spoke to DAN KING about the facts and figures and what it means for this season, next term and many campaigns to come...

"Boring" isn't a word usually associated with Newcastle United. The Club was, after all, involved in the greatest match of the Premier League match era - the thrilling 4-3 defeat to Liverpool in 1996 - and came back from 4-0 down to draw with Arsenal with a last minute goal little over two years ago.

It is a Club which has seen numerous managers come and go, broken British transfer records and courted controversy over the years, not to mention boasting a team which was christened 'The Entertainers' during the 1990s.

But when Managing Director Derek Llambias reflected upon the Club's accounts for the year end 30th June 2012, that's the word he chose to describe them.

Many clubs are operating with huge losses but for the second successive year, the Magpies have made a profit - this time £1.4m - and increased turnover by 5.4 per cent to £93.3m to re-enter the list of the world's top 20 revenue-generating teams. Perhaps, rather like George Graham's Arsenal side who famously ground out 1-0 wins week after week to win the league title, being boring isn't such a bad thing.

"I think accounts should be boring - and these are boring, thank you," said a smiling Llambias as he spoke to from his office at St. James' Park.

"We're very happy we've posted a profit this year and we're delighted we're staying within our model. We will continue to stay within our model to provide decent players on the pitch and also to give affordable ticket pricing to our fans. It's working very well.

"We could sit here and say 'we've had a disastrous year, we've done this, and we've done that.' It hasn't been an incredible season position-wise in the Premier League but we're attacking the Europa League.

"It's been difficult because we didn't have enough depth in the squad but I can now confidently say we're going to give it 100 per cent for the Europa League and we're going to give it 100 per cent to get as high up the league this year as possible. Going forward we will expand our squad and year on year, we hope to be in a position of strength."

In January this year, United were floundering in the league and did not look capable of mounting a serious challenge in Europe. However, Llambias' model means the Club does have money to spend when the time is right and so six players were brought in during the last transfer window.

Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran, Mathieu Debuchy, Massadio Haidara and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa have already made a huge difference to the team's fortunes at home and abroad while there are high hopes for Swiss teenager Kevin Mbabu.

"We had a net £31m spend in January so I think for us it was a huge achievement to get the players we did in that period of time," Llambias admitted. "Yes, we brought two of those players forward but it was necessary at the time for where we were in the league. And also with the Europa League, we needed the extra strength so we're very pleased with what we've done."

Moussa Sissoko

Last year's profit of £32.6m was significantly boosted by the £35m sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool and Llambias insists that every penny of that fee has now been reinvested.

"And more," he said. "It's been well and truly put back into the Club. Whatever you say about that deal, it kick-started us into a different sphere."

This year's figures provide a clearer indication of the Club's performance off the field and their increased turnover saw United climb into the top 20 of Deloitte's Football Money League - one of seven English clubs in the list.

Llambias believes Newcastle are now there to stay but unlike many of their rivals, the Club is also on target to meet UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations.

"We definitely belong in the top 20," he said. "I think hopefully over the next two or three years, we'll improve on that. That's something for us to achieve.

"We've got better commercial deals. We've got two commercial deals which are the biggest the club's ever made so they will reflect on our figures in '13-'14, which will take us up the league.

"Also the new TV money will come in so you'll see more and more Premier League clubs go into that top 20, for sure.

"As for the Fair Play regulations, we're definitely okay with that side of it. But we would obviously like to improve our squad going forward - which we will do. There are still funds in the pot for a summer spend."

Providing Newcastle are still in the Barclays Premier League next season, that pot will be boosted by millions of extra pounds in television income.

The league sold its UK live TV rights for 2013-16 to Sky and BT for £3.02bn - an increase of more than £1.2bn on the amount paid by Sky and ESPN for 2010-13 - and that will mean more money for every club. So how will Newcastle use that extra cash?

"Good question," replied Llambias. "I think for us, we'll stay within our working model but it's a question of how we spend it.

"There will be a fund for new players - we need more depth, which we're working on now - so it gives us a very healthy position. But it also puts us in a position to try and maintain affordable football for our fans."

Coming soon on Derek Llambias on the six-hour Sunderland sell-out and making football at St. James' Park affordable for all