MAGPIES REVEAL FINANCIAL BOOST

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NEWCASTLE UNITED have announced a 15% increase in turnover to £32.2 million for the last six months.

The club, who are currently struggling in the bottom half of the table in 13th spot, also revealed an operating profit of £6.8 million for the period before players' transfers; an increase of 17% on previous figures.

Newcastle's St James' Park stadium is now operating near its capacity of 52,200 which has helped in boosting turnover, and Newcastle United plc chairman John Fender admitted that the latest figures show how the club have been planning for the future.

"The results of this half-year show the beginning of the rewards for the planning and investment of previous years," said Fender.

"We have the supporters and the venue and must now deliver the success on the pitch which everyone associated with Newcastle United expects and deserves.

"The Board's commitment to deliver this is undeterred, despite recent disappointing team performances," added Fender.

Meanwhile, the Magpies could use their new found wealth to make a new bid for Nottinham Forest's highly rated midfielder David Prutton.

Newcastle boss Bobby Robson is a long-term admirer of the England Under-21 international and he is believed to be lining up a £4 million bid for the playmaker.

Robson has been promised funds to bolser his squad for next season after being restricted in his transfer activity this term and he has targeted the midfield positions as an area he is very keen to strengthen.

Forest boss David Platt is keen to hang onto one of his most prized assets, but may face a fight to keep him at the City Ground if Forest fail to win promotion to the Premiership soon.