Newcastle chairman dreams of club being ‘number one’

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Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan said on Friday he wants the Magpies to become the “number one” club, but made it clear that the ongoing development of the team will adhere to the sport’s financial fair-play rules.

During an interview published on the club’s social media, the Saudi Public Investment Fund supremo said the board of directors now expects the club to be playing at the very top level of European football on a regular basis, and will build a “squad of stars.”

Reflecting on the recently concluded season, the most successful at St. James’ Park for nearly two decades, Al-Rumayyan said: “It’s a great achievement to start with. So, did we expect to do that? Yes. I mean, we have the ingredients for success.

“You have a club that’s the only one in a city. I would say people who reside in Newcastle are fans of Newcastle. We have the will and want to achieve the best positions we can. We have the right people, and when I say the right people, I mean the management, the technical director, the manager and the right players. Because, remember, the players are one of the most important components. And to top it all we have a great fan base.

“If you have the right people and the right will, and then you have the right processes and funds, if you put it all together it’s a great recipe for success. That’s what we are achieving right now.”

Reaching the heights as “number one” club will require qualification for the Champions League each season, Al-Rumayyan said.

“It’s a huge priority of course,” he added. “But remember when we were 19th and in the relegation box, we still had the fans coming in and they were not so happy, right?

“Now the difference, at least, is we have, most of the time, happy fans, seeing what the players are doing and what the club is doing, which is really quite intriguing, is a big turnaround from being in the relegation box and this season is magic all over again, right?

“And this magic is coming from different components: the players, (manager) Eddie (Howe) and his team, the engagement from the board members, the engagement from the fans. All of these put together made us who we are today.”

Al-Rumayyan also recalled the first time he experienced the atmosphere at the club.

“I remember the first moment I walked into St James’ Park,” he said. “It was one magical, electrical moment for me.

“It was not the first time I have stepped into a football stadium. I have been to many other world sports, the Super Bowl and what have you. What I felt, and I am not saying it because I am the chairman, what I felt when I walked in, it’s just magical.”

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