The real value of Newcastle United and 10 things you can do with that money
When you’re as loaded as Newcastle United FC’s owner and sportswear billionaire Mike Ashley, it seems like you’re almost expected to play the part of the eccentric rich bloke. Ashley, who’s reportedly worth around £3.75 billion, was recently on the news after making an unusual bet to the tune of £43 million with Goldman Sachs, through his company Sports Direct International, that Tesco’s share prices will rise in the long-term.
Why is that crazy? For starters, if the share prices don’t go up then Ashley’s company will have to sell 23 million shares to Goldman Sachs anyway, and pay them the difference between the current and optioned price on top of that. If the shares do go up, Goldman Sachs still get the shares at the optioned price, whilst Ashley will receive a premium on each. If you can’t make heads or tails of Ashley’s reasoning then you’re in good company, because neither can we.
A different kind of bet
One wonders how Mike would fare if he had to play some sports betting. The man does own a Premier League football club after all, so if he’s going to be a good sport then he’ll certainly bet on his boys winning the league. Sure, with the team’s poor showing so far under manager Alan Pardew the odds of their winning outright are a paltry 2,500 to 1, but all things considered that’s probably still a more sensible wager than his Tesco gamble.
Mr Ashley’s a very private person, so don’t expect him to pop over to the nearest bookie. The billionaire would probably be lounging near a pool, laptop at hand, browsing one of the many UK online sportsbooks(check them out here if you’re interested) while getting a backrub.
He’ll hover the mouse pointer lazily above his team’s name, probably thinking about whether there’s a cashback bonus he can sign up for and then realising that he can hedge his risk by using the free welcome bonus credit he got after opening an account. The smart guy!
Lost my money? No biggie
Anyhow, even if he were to lose his £43 million bet on Tesco, a drop in the ocean of wealth Ashley has, he can still recoup his losses by selling Newcastle United. The most recent estimates place the value of the club at a minimum of £100 million. Oh, the things you could do with that kind of money…
Things such as:
1. Buy your own private island. How would you like it to own a small piece of earthly paradise in some tropical ocean. And this is the best time of year for buying, too!
2. Live the high-life at the Ritz. That kind of money could get you serious length stay in the hotel’s most expensive room.
3. Ride around in style. Did you know that you could buy a 1968 Phantom VI Rolls Royce limousine with around £100 grand? And not some old, second-hand vehicle, but one still in mint condition. So what could you buy with £100 million?
4. Be king of your castle. You can buy Cessnock Castle in Strathclyde, which boasts 20 acres of ground, and still have enough change left over to throw a fancy castle-warming party.
5. Fancy a drink? You can trade Newcastle United for 25,000 bottles of the most expensive cognac at Harrods’ at nearly £4,000 per bottle.
6. Show off that bling! Football players come and go but diamonds are forever. With the money you’d have in your pocket after selling Newcastle United you can walk into Tiffany’s and emerge with a six-carat solitaire diamond ring.
7. Sail the seven seas. Get away from the hassle of running a football team and take your closest friends on a round-the-world cruise all expenses paid. Yes, life’s good when you have the dough.
8. Remember that castle you bought earlier? If you think one of the mantelpieces looks bare, why don’t you pop back to Harrods and buy the ‘Sparkle Queen’ (and one or two more bottles of Cognac)? The ‘Sparkle Queen’ is a ceramic doll that is encrusted with gemstones, making it the most expensive toy in the world.
9. Take to the sky. With that kind of money you can pay for a seat on a spacecraft that will let you experience zero-gravity for a few seconds at the outer reaches of Earth’s atmosphere.
10. Settle down on a narrowboat. You can buy an elegant floating home in central London complete with a kingsize bed, a number of terraces and a wood-burning stove, but no pets are allowed on board!
Alas! Us mere mortals will probably have to keep on dreaming about all the things we could do if we had a bank account the shape of Newcastle United’s. As for Mike Ashley and his extraordinary bets…!
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