Eddie Howe has cleared up comments on Newcastle United’s ceiling after Jurgen Klopp congratulated the Magpies on their limitless prospects following last year’s Saudi-backed takeover.
Newcastle have capitalized on their buyout by an owner group that includes the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, the richest owner in world football.
No club spent more in the January window until Newcastle broke their transfer record by signing Alexander Isak in August for £59m, who scored on his Premier League debut against Klopp’s Liverpool.
So when Magpies sporting director Dan Ashworth spoke last week about the club having “no ceiling” – a phrase that head coach Howe soon echoed – it angered Klopp.
“Now I hear Newcastle say ‘there is no ceiling for this club’,” said the Liverpool manager. “He is absolutely right, there is no ceiling for Newcastle. Congratulations; some other clubs have ceilings.”
Howe was asked about Klopp’s reaction ahead of Newcastle’s next home game against Everton, and he felt the sentiment was unfair.
“I think it was probably misused,” Howe explained. “I think Dan meant in his comment that there is no ceiling on our ambitions.
“In the long term, the club has huge plans and huge ambitions. But at the moment the reality of what we’re working on and what we’re working with has a ceiling, because of all the things I’ve been sitting here explaining every week – Financial Fair Play, we’re still on the training ground. what is being repaired.
“We do not live the life that is being discussed. We live in a completely different reality.
Eddie Howe on Alexander Isak:
“We don’t think we’ll see Alex before the World Cup. Unfortunately, he had a hip injury. It was very frustrating for him as a new player in a new league. I thought he acclimatized well and got injured with Sweden.” pic.twitter.com/NE7jXTy3sM
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 18, 2022
“Our payroll is strictly controlled, we try to do everything in a very stable and controlled manner. Although we were spending money on players, I don’t think it was extravagant or inconsistent with the rest of the Premier League.
“I think everyone should be careful with comments and opinions. It’s just my belief.”
Newcastle were initially linked with a host of big names in January, but instead they turned their attention to younger talent such as Bruno Guimarães, Sven Botman and Isak.
“Things could have gone completely differently,” admitted Howe. Although Newcastle are in sixth place, he added: “We are very, very far from where we want to be.”
Asked if he was disappointed with the response to his and Ashworth’s comments, Howe replied: “I try not to spend too much time thinking about it. I just understand that one or two comments may not be entirely accurate – then I should stand up for us.