How Newcastle can follow Man City to build a super club in six steps – new sport96

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The controversial £ 305million acquisition of Newcastle United by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium has made them one of the richest clubs in the world – but the club still needs a “revolution” to be successful.

So says former Manchester City Technical Director Mike Rigg, who was tasked with redesigning the roster when the City takeover was completed by its Abu Dhabi owners in 2008.

If many fans dream of world stars arriving in the next transfer windows, how can Newcastle – and the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which now owns 80% of the club – ensure future success and what pitfalls should they avoid?

Speaking to The Sports Desk podcast, Rigg shares his six steps to building a club to challenge the existing elite.

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  1. Create a new way of thinking quickly
    Rigg, who had previously been Blackburn’s chief scout with manager Mark Hughes, arrived at Manchester City shortly after the takeover of Abu Dhabi.

Hughes was already in City, but Rigg had to build a new network of scouts. Crucially, he was supported by an established team of Chief Executive Garry Cook, new Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and, seven months later, Football Administrator Brian Marwood.

“Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak was a turning point,” Rigg said in an interview with the BBC podcast The Sports Desk.

“He had a three-pronged attack; it was what was going on on the pitch, what was going on off the field, and ownership from the front.

“He came to the Carrington training ground and turned it into 10 days during an international break. It created a way of thinking in everyone that we had to do the same and he gave me the resources to build my team.

“So I brought in a team of scouts and we set out to develop a strategy where we had goals for every position on the pitch, whether we needed them or not.

“Our scouts had certain countries for which they were all responsible and the job was to make sure we got to know the best players, their agents, their clubs, which clubs need to sell, which clubs are willing to negotiate, which types” the agents were interested.

“In the beginning it was easier to sign players like Nigel de Jong and Craig Bellamy, but if players didn’t want to come to Manchester City at the time it was difficult to follow them. That’s one of the problems a club like Newcastle has . ” It’s all well and good to have a list of the great players, but when they don’t want to come to you, you’re a busy fool chasing something that is out of reach. “

  1. Get away from “payday” players and sell the “new story”
    Newcastle could now claim to be the richest club in world football.

But Rigg, who was also the technical director at QPR and Burnley, as well as a former head of talent management at the football association who worked alongside Gareth Southgate, says Manchester City has succeeded by sticking to a pay structure.

“We talked to a lot of players back then who would have been to successful Champions League clubs and they said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to City, but you have to pay me four times my price now,” he said.

“We dropped a lot of players because it was all about money and if you put players on ridiculously high salaries compared to everyone else in the squad, the existing players will have doubled their salaries.

“The second side of that was talking to the players and the agents about what we were ready to build. Mark Hughes and Garry Cook were really good at it. It wasn’t about keeping a legacy like Manchester United was what we were about have spoken.” build a new story.

“It was about showing people plans for the training ground on the Etihad campus, about the types of players we wanted to sign and when we wanted to sign them because not everything would happen in one transfer window.

“The story we were trying to sell to them was supported by Khaldoon and Abu Dhabi at every stage.”

  1. Moving to Newcastle is not a problem
    Newcastle could potentially offer premium contracts to top players, but would they or their families feel comfortable in the city compared to London or Manchester?

“I’ve never had to convince a player to come to Manchester,” said Rigg, who signed Sergio Agüero, Yaya Toure and David Silva for City.

“That wasn’t a discussion we ever got into. If they don’t want to come because there is a lack of restaurants or designer shops in Manchester, we would kill them. If it was a discussion of their lifestyle as opposed to their football intentions, it never really got beyond the first level.

“Newcastle is a great city and there is an international airport there if people need to travel. It’s not Russia or the United States, where it takes four hours to get from one place to another by flight.

“If players want good weather, you go to other countries. They come to this country to play in the Premier League.”

  1. Prepare for the groundbreaking signings
    Manchester City was able to make a statement immediately after the takeover as the transfer window was still open in September 2008. Just.

Brazilian striker Robinho’s signing on the deadline was made at the last minute, but in the next window in January City bought Nigel de Jong, Craig Bellamy, Wayne Bridge and Shay Given.

The following summer they signed Carlos Tevez, on loan at Manchester United, Emmanuel Adebayor, Joleon Lescott and Gareth Barry, and the following season they signed Toure, Silva, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko.

“The signing of Carlos Tevez put City on the map because it made us ‘loud neighbors’,” says Rigg, referring to a term coined by then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

“Not only was it an impression on the public, it was amazing on the training ground and it really raised the standards.

“When we signed players like Yaya Toure from Barcelona, ​​other players looked at it and said, ‘Manchester City is serious’.

“But at the same time we built the academy, we invested in the women’s team. It’s not just about buying players at the top and hoping that it works. It’s about completely reforming the entire club.”

  1. Owners need to trust people to get their job done
    The Newcastle takeover has sparked a lot of debate over who will run the club. This was a key factor in the Premier League’s approval of the deal.

Rigg says it’s important to trust people to do their jobs after running his department completely autonomously.

“I came into contact with Khaldoon a couple of times a year and he also played on the training pitch, by the way, he was a decent player,” says Rigg.

“Garry Cook and Brian Marwood were the leaders who built this relationship with Khaldoon and I spoke to them daily. But Abu Dhabi never told us where we were going or what we were doing with the players. ”It was 100% support the whole time and they trusted us.

“We had to deliver and be transparent, so there was a lot of planning and presentations to the board. Not every player will be a success, but there was no interference.”

  1. Prepare for bumps in the road
    Manchester City’s success has made Newcastle’s path to the top four – and even winning the Premier League – a lot more difficult than it did when it took over City over 13 years ago.

And Newcastle will probably start from a position further back than City.

“This is not Manchester United or Liverpool keeping up their success. It is not an evolution, it is a revolution so it will be a challenge,” said Rigg.

“But it’s going to be an exciting time all around; for the fans, for the people in Newcastle and for the Premier League, even for the other clubs. I’m sure a lot of them will lament the fact that this happened, but maybe in secret. ” , they are all happy as it further strengthens the position of the Premier League and will attract some of the best players in the world.

“There will be bumps in the road for Newcastle but I remember when [former manager] Roberto Mancini first came to the club he took everyone to the Carrington dining room and said everything will change as soon as we do win the first cup – and he was right. “

An FA Cup win against Stoke in 2011 was followed by their first Premier League title a year later.

“For Newcastle, it’s not just about winning the Premier League overnight, it will be the steps along the way,” said Rigg. “It’s doable, it just takes time, it takes investment, and you need a plan. You could throw a lot of money into it and it might not happen right if there isn’t a strategy.”

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