AFP: Eddie Howe has targeted a period of sustained success for revitalised Newcastle after the ambitious boss ended his club’s 20-year absence from the Champions League. Fuelled by Howe’s astute management and the financial muscle of their Saudi-backed owners, Newcastle have enjoyed a remarkable rise over the last 18 months. A 0-0 draw against Leicester on Monday sparked raucous celebrations at St James’ Park as Howe’s third placed side confirmed their qualification for next season’s Champions League.
Once regarded as the laughing stock of the Premier League, Newcastle are emerging as a genuine force for the first time since Kevin Keegan’s ‘entertainers’ came close to winning the title in the 1990s. It is an astonishing transformation for a team who were mired in the relegation zone when Howe was hired just weeks after the £305 million ($376 million) takeover from unpopular former owner Mike Ashley in October 2021.
Saudi’s Public Investment Fund holds an 80 percent stake in Newcastle, with their presence in the Premier League still a bone of contention for groups who have complained about the country’s human rights record. But as the public face of Newcastle’s renaissance, the articulate and engaging Howe has helped the club navigate that PR problem.
Nayeemul Islam khan
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