Newcastle make 'stupid' admission as Sandro Tonali ban leads to transfer change

Eddie Howe has admitted that Newcastle United would be 'stupid' if the Magpies did not change 'certain things' following Sandro Tonali's ban.

Tonali was handed a 10-month suspension for betting breaches from his time in Italy, which runs until August, just a few months after joining Newcastle from AC Milan. The midfielder was given an additional suspended two-month ban by the FA last week after placing between 40 and 50 bets following his move to Newcastle, including four wagers on his side to win.

An independent regulatory commission heard that the saga had a 'profound effect' on Tonali, who 'does not want to experience it again', and the panel said that the £55m signing provided an 'extraordinary and unprecedented' level of assistance by self-referring and fully cooperating. Howe has referred to Tonali as a 'very good human being', who voluntarily took a very substantial pay cut following his original suspension, and the Newcastle boss has repeatedly stressed that there was 'no way' the club could have known about a private addiction that the Italy international even kept from those closest to him.

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However, loan coordinator Shola Ameobi previously revealed that the way Newcastle recruit and the manner in which the Magpies 'scrutinise every incoming player will be different now because of what's happened' and Howe has echoed those comments.

"Of course it will make you think, rethink and double check, but I still don't know how you go there," the Newcastle boss told reporters. "I still don't know how you go to those levels so it's a difficult one to say with certainty that when you sign a player, you're going to know 100% everything that's happening in their life.

"I think that's impossible, but it will certainly make us more aware, of course. It would be stupid if we don't change certain things or try to get as close as we can to making sure that we don't end up in this situation again."