Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has warned Newcastle that the ability to spend vast sums of money does not mean they will become successful.
The Magpies were taken over by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund at the end of 2021 and are now able to compete financially with some of the world’s biggest and best teams.
In their first full season under PIF’s majority ownership and Eddie Howe’s management, Newcastle look shoo-ins to qualify for Europe and are still in with a good chance of reaching the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2003.
But ahead of United’s trip to St James’ Park on Sunday – a rematch of February’s Carabao Cup final – Ten Hag sought to offer some advice to Newcastle in their attempts to dethrone the status quo of English and European football.
“Money is one thing but another is strategy. When I was at Ajax. we had a low budget in comparison to many clubs in the Champions League and still won the group, went to the semi-final and were close to the final [in 2019]. So it’s possible to beat teams with higher budgets,” Ten Hag said.
The Dutchman then flipped the question back onto how his own side are doing, adding: “We are going in the direction. I think we are building a base this season but have to progress. We are setting higher demands and standards for our players every time.
“Let’s make clear one thing, we have to play in the Champions League. We’re Manchester United and have to be in it, there can be no misunderstanding.
“Even when we’re not, we are still attractive for the top players. I noticed that last year. This club attracts big people. Casemiro is a very good example, he has won everything but was willing to come.
“But I want to make the point clear that we have to be in the Champions League and there are two ways to it. One is in the Premier League and finishing in the top four or there is winning the Europa League. Those are the two chances.”
On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders & Rob Blanchette discuss Man Utd’s trip to Newcastle, Marcus Rashford’s wages, David De Gea’s contract, the club’s financial results & Sir Alex Ferguson’s induction into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
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