The Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton has warned the club will have to take a realistic approach as they prepare for life back in the Barclays Premier League.
The Magpies secured their return to the top flight with six games to spare on Monday and have now set their sights on lifting the Coca-Cola Championship title. Planning for next season is already under way, but the big spending which characterised their last rebuilding exercise under Kevin Keegan in 1993 has been consigned to history.
Owner Mike Ashley will provide funds to recruit new players, but they and the wage packets on offer will be limited. Hughton said: "The game has changed. Even Chelsea, with the owner they have, are not investing the sort of money they were a few years ago. That's the way the game has gone. There generally isn't the money around and clubs do have to live within their means, they have to work hard, they have to work on a youth policy and bring players through. That's the realistic side of the game now."
The fact that Newcastle will play in the Premier League next season at all is a cause for celebration for a club which has undergone such upheaval in recent years. Twelve months ago Hughton was part of the coaching team at St James' Park as Alan Shearer failed to drag the Magpies out of a tailspin which was to end in a humiliating relegation.