With the new mega TV deal recently announced for the Premier League, many Newcastle United fans were resigned to that being the end of any hopes of getting rid of Mike Ashley.

The theory being that the extra broadcasting revenues coming online from 2016/17 ensure the club is far too lucrative for him to let it go.

Mike Ashley of course sees Newcastle United as being just the same as any other business he might own, it could be a shoe shop or a failing sports brand for all he cares.

He has the same philosophy regardless, which to be fair most business people have – buy a company that is ailing and then in the future hopefully sell at a big profit, fingers crossed banking cash in the meantime.

The current TV deals and failing to meaningfully invest in the squad have ensured that Mike Ashley is now making large profits out of Newcastle United, the imminent financial figures for 2013/14 are expected to show a profit of around £50m or more. Whilst the January business Ashley did in selling Mapou and loaning out players will help to ensure healthy returns on this season.

So on his longer term game, why would he sell now?

The simple answer is, if somebody offers him enough. Which to be fair has always been the case, I don’t believe for one second that there hasn’t been serious interest in buying the club from Mike Ashley, the problem being of course that nobody has been willing to stump up enough to sway him into selling.

Now though, outside factors are coming together which could well see a flurry of clubs changing hands in the Premier League and Newcastle United could very well be in amongst them.

Low interest rates, FFP (Financial Fair Play) and the massive TV deals are now coming together to make Premier League clubs look very attractive.

So there are  two sides of it.

Firstly, here is the attraction of potentially making serious money, with the introduction of FFP helping to lessen the risk of losing money and the ever growing TV deals growing revenues massively.

Secondly, the fact that interest rates are so low and private lenders are desperately looking around for a better return on their investments, means that it’s very likely there will be more prospective buyers of football clubs and with access to bigger piles of cash.

So we have the prospect of more potential club owners in the future doing it via borrowing most or all of the money. Rather than needing another Abramovich, a Mansour, or….an Ashley, to buy a club outright with cash.

Of course this would lead to the potential of what could happen if things turned bad, which basically means relegation in terms of the football business.  Arguably though, a well run Newcastle United shouldn’t be at risk of being relegated, or at least no more so than the likes of sayTottenham.

Things are so depressing at the moment in terms of lack of ambition under Mike Ashley, that worrying about somebody purchasing Newcastle United largely via debt is not something that would keep me awake at night.

Julian Dupont, who is a director at Fitch Ratings in London says that the view of football being a risky investment is changing:,

“This shift is a combination of factors. Recent regulations such as UEFA’s Financial Fair Play or the English Premier League’s own Profitability and Sustainable regulation are forcing clubs to manage their businesses in a more structured way.

“The sports market is starting to look more like the US in that respect where clubs can be very profitable where there is a reliable business profile.

“Football is one of the few markets where revenues are both growing and increasingly largely contracted.”



  • GToon

    Mark, that sounds fine but will it get rid of Mr Greedy? I doubt it. If anything it will make him stay longer. Easy money really isn’t it. His plan is basically along the lines of: get to January, if we are safe sell players, if we aren’t safe keep them and sell them in the summer, receive the TV cash, spend a tiny amount on new players and then start all over again.

  • DownUnderMag

    If Ashley can coast by for another few seasons on this current level of investment, hopefully getting some player sales for a bit extra profit, then I can’ see him budging.  I think the only reason he will sell is if it becomes unprofitable which just isn’t going to happen unless there is a major shift in the clubs transfer and wage structure policies.

    The other scenario (besides a Rangers takeover for easy Champions League and being FORCED to sell up NUFC by some ruling from on high), is that if we are in trouble with flirting relegation, we will likely see some short term investment as he looks to protect his investment, followed by quick sales to recoup that money once safety is assured.  If we were to get relegated then we will be a much less profitable organisation long term, but there is also a danger of the club being worth less as well, so either more investment is required or more likely a sale for someone else to try and rescue the club.  

    With salaries and fees likely to continue to increase thanks tot he TV revenue, it may actually become harder to turn a profit like he has done as well while still protecting his initial investment.  But I think this would only apply in a few seasons time at the earliest, so I wouldn’t count on him going anywhere just yet.

  • Greggy164

    Come on man. Nothings gonnae change until fans become serious about getting him out.

    As long as you stay in top league and run at a profit he is happy. He has no desire or ambition when it comes to fitba.

  • toontom68

    Sadly this new situation only means that the price Ashley would accept to sell will have increased significantly. No,he’s going nowhere.

  • Greggy164

    He tried to have us believe that he wanted Rangers to get 1 over Celtic. He must think we are aw daft.

  • Greggy164

    GToon  From whats known of his history he will squeeze every penny out of Newcastle

  • Greggy164

    DownUnderMag I dont think its so much for the Champions League. Its UEFA that takes to do with adverts on C/L nights.

    I think its more likely for the club merchandise and stuff like that. Im sure Theres the statement about Rangers joining the SD stable.

  • Brian Standen

    Actually it all makes sense, so much money bounces round in football mainly cos of TV rights ! The value of the club and all premier league teams increases massively with the influx of TV money! However the arguement against is it is all pro rata! The arguement for is that only a few clubs remain untapped with regards to potential and newcastle are one of those. I still hope someone with more football ambition than Ashley takes an interest

  • DownUnderMag

    Greggy164 DownUnderMag yeah I did think of the revenue for advertising…can’t put SD on the stadium, but that’s not to say he can’t rename Ibrox as he did with St James’ or put the SD logo as the shirt sponsor…  I wouldn’t even say renaming them Glasgow SD Rangers would be out of contention as an evil plot from this guy…

  • Steve1221

    TV money makes up such a large percentage of income that we no longer have any more potential than any other club in the league.

  • Greggy164

    Steve1221  Skysports bankrolls your leagues. The Champions League is set up for the rich to get richer

  • Greggy164

    DownUnderMag  But we have to believe thats hes here for the benefit of our club

  • newcastle7

    No one wants to buy us as the club has been up for sale for five years so get over it.The people who go
    on this site might think its great organising sack Pardew dot com ,fcb out boycott the club but what you do not realise is the rest of the world regard you as complete morons and would not touch you even if the club was free.
    Suppport the team.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Greggy164 Other than buying shares out of his own money, I can’t find any sign that he paid Greene/Rangers anything at all back in 2012 for the 49% retail deal. That’s also when he got the Ibrox naming rights for 1 quid. The extra 26% retail and the two seats on the Board only came when he started the loans back in November 14. Now of course, he just ‘gave’ back the naming rights but got the ground advertising rights in its place also. I hope King makes it all public when he kicks them out – the forensic analysis he warned of.

    @Steve – I disagree. Any club trying to buy cheap is soon simply not going to be able to do so. Euro clubs will pump up their prices because they know EPL clubs have bags of cash. Ashley continuing with  his model will simply not be able to find the cheap players he wants anymore .domestically or overseas. He’s going to have to spend just to stay in the league.

    I can see the logic behind the article and it’s been touted a lot.  Debt free and profit bearing accounts with lots of revenue guaranteed to come in. Maybe that;s why we have no new ‘coach’ no new signings and players loaned out or sold?

  • Sickandtiredstill

    newcastle7 Support Ashley’s team (or what’s left of one) you mean? No more, Simon. Run along and tell your boss that.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    DownUnderMag Greggy164 He’s not aiming for CL coverage, just tv exposure from anywhere he can get it. Llambias said exactly that in the posted minutes of the now disbanded Rangers Fan Board –

    DL: We can’t speak for Mike Ashley. SD has a football priority going forward and affiliation with 5 different clubs: Oldham, Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth, Newcastle and Rangers. Their model is taking over as many retail operations in football clubs and putting them ‘into the SD machine’ for ongoing retail revenues. I believe they can help Rangers sell more shirts overseas than we could ever have done on our own.

    http://www.thecoplandroad.org/2015/02/rangers-fan-board-meeting-minutes.html

  • Greggy164

    Sickandtiredstill Greggy164  He has things sewn up at Rangers.
    If they sell T shirts he makes money. If they dont sell T shirts he still makes money

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Greggy164 Sickandtiredstill Exactly right. They have to buy them off him to sell in his shops! Pay full price for stuff they make for coppers.

  • Greggy164

    Sickandtiredstill Greggy164  With Bosman but you dont need to pay transfer fees. Offer players crazy wages near the end of their contracts

  • Greggy164

    Sickandtiredstill Greggy164  There has to be a forensic audit of the accounts at Rangers

  • Greggy164

    Sickandtiredstill DownUnderMag Greggy164  Yip

    I read the minutes the other night. The Fan Board did well to stay after the opening statement from Llambias. I think if I had been in their shoes I would have taken the bait

  • Demented_Man

    newcastle7 It’s supporters like you who are regarded as the real morons, with your supine exhortations to ‘support the team, not the regime’.  Truly pathetic.

  • Porciestreet

    newcastle7 
    Why support a team that is openly non-ambitious…? It’s foolish.  Would you spend your life savings on a Ferrari that had no engine…definately not, so why support a team that is not trying to win anything ?
    In a way, I have respect for all those who continue to trudge up the hill in the hope that something will change in the fans favour, but I really cant understand your willingness in persisting when the club and the board have openly stated that we don’t want cups and all we “Need” is to get as high as 10 in order to make Nikey Mikey another skip full of readdies. When this vampire has gone and someone with a little more ambition for not just the football, but the fans and the region in general is doing their damdest to rebuild the sporting side of the Toon, then everyone will be back supporting the club as a whole.

  • Pottsie

    the problem with the theory behind this post is you will get a like for like replacement, either a big bucks money man or even worse a group of faceless vultures hiding behind some form of city fund who might not even know they own NUFC.

  • SimonM68

    The analysts are saying that next round of TV negotiations will see the revenues increase yet (substantially) further and that would be built into any price. For someone to try and take the club on whatever multiple of earnings Ashely has in mind isn’t the way major players in the business world work, because you’d be buying at or very near the top of the market.
    It’s like anything else – property, shares, commodities – all the smart money has been made before the majority of people realise it might be an ‘opportunity’.
    The other thing is, the more money is up for grabs in football, the more unscrupulous characters who have no interest in the team or the supporters will be attracted. And we’ve already seen the ‘fit and proper persons’ angle is just a sham…..
    I’d love to think you are right Mark, but I doubt it.

  • No Brainer

    The worst case scenario really, a purchaser who is involved in the club for profit if they want just 5% per year that’s 7mil out of the transfer fund, further to a borrowed purchase price probably with an interest rate of 5%-10% on a purchase price of £300-£350m that would mean at least another £15 mil out of the transfer/wages pot. Further to that the players will be taking a very large share of this extra money too.

    Yes that would keep me awake at night,

  • Toon69

    The problem you currently have is, there are quite a few clubs in the PL that are in the very same boat as us, meaning they’ll get as much of a share of the TV as we will but wouldn’t cost as much to buy, it’s nothing to do with size of club or fan base anymore, it’s all about where you’re located, take for instance, teams like Palace, Stoke, WBA, QPR, Villa, etc etc are all clubs that could finsihed around the mid-table area, all of which would probably sell for half if not less than what Ashley wants for the Toon ie £260m & all of whom are situated arond the London & Midlands area’s . So if some billionaire decides he wants to buy a club, why would he want to buy the Toon of someone like Ashley, especially with us being in the North?
    Also, there are quite a few club in the Championship who’re vaible choices for someone wanting to invest & not have to pay out a quarter of a billion quid for them…..

  • wor monga

    What’s the point of articles like this one…first off Ashley
    has no history of buying businesses and then selling them on for profit…more so
    he has no history in selling anything when huge profits are guaranteed to come
    in every year just by keeping them…

    It makes less business sense for him to sell now than at any
    time since he took over, because with the TV deals the club has now become the
    perfect mechanism to generate huge profits…and simply maintaining it’s PL
    status each year will satisfy that basic requirement…

    whether we agree with it, or not, the profits will go to the
    owner, along with the millions of £’s worth of free advertising for his main
    business…leaving the club having to create much of it’s own funds from
    transfers/ gate receipts / league finishing positions etc.
    The truth is that anyone waiting for Ashley to
    go is very likely going to have a very long wait…and that’s the harsh reality
    of the situation.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    wor monga He’s tried to sell the club twice already. That’s history there.

  • TristramBoris

    MA more likely to float than sell to a private buyer. this will also enable him to get around the dual ownership issue depending on how he structures it

  • Sickandtiredstill

    TristramBoris Nah, then he would have other shareholders to contend with and much needed corporate governance to comply with. He can do as he wants right now, answerable to no one and throwing club money to Sports Direct.

  • Greggy164

    Porciestreet newcastle7  Its a tough call to make. Newcastle is a different situation to Rangers. I dont know what action is best – boycot/ dont boycot.

    I do believe that any chance there is to embarass, abuse and heckle Ashley and co should be taken. I dont mean physical violence.
    I cant understand why he is still allowed to wear a scarf and come and sit amongst the fans at Newcastle. I dont think he will ever come sit amongst the Rangers fans. It would be fun to see him try ha.

  • Greggy164

    Demented_Man newcastle7  A bit harsh there. Newcastle7 is a belter but ye cannae say fans that go are morons. Fans that do go cannae say that people who boycot are morons. I dont know whats the best thing to do but abusing each other doesnae help

  • AlexPatterson

    Sickandtiredstill wor monga Due to fan pressure, he let the press think he was trying to sell. I don’t think he tried that hard to be honest.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    AlexPatterson Sickandtiredstill wor monga 
    He didn’t let the press think anything. He actually issued a written statement.
    It’s also fact he went to Dubai to meet Middle East buyers, with Llambias, Jimenez and Wise. But he got on the lash and screwed it all up and no one wanted anything to do with him because of it.

  • Greggy164

    Pottsie All we want is someone who will do their best for our clubs.

  • Greggy164

    1957 Good point made. There isnt many people with the means to buy a club in EPL.

  • No Brainer

    So which is it? He sxrewed it up or they didn’t want anything to do with him!

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer
    Plainly the fact that many UK and Middle Eastern newspapers, and business sectors, reported on that at the time means nowt to you once again.
    Thank God he and you can’t control or manage the press.

  • No Brainer

    Sorry, the question still wasn’t answered which was it no one interested or he ballsed it up.
    As for managing the press how do you know what I do for a living? Coukd just be that I manage a group of newspapers?
    Thanks for coming slong to entertain.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer Hahahahahahahaha!, ‘Course you do. A website traffic driver yesterday, a newspaper group manager today. You are fookin deluded, man.

    A couple of examples from the press you may manage therefore………………….

    “Ashley had been due to hold talks with Dubai officials over a possible sale of the club, at the Mina A`Salam Ramadan Tent, in the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel. 
    The meeting was due to begin at 11pm, and followed the handing over of sale documents for the club earlier in the day, in which Ashley stated he wanted no less than $860 million to sell Newcastle FC – more than twice the sum he paid for it in 2007.
    Sources close to the talks say an offer had been made to buy the club on Tuesday, of around $360 million. A follow-up meeting was planned to discuss the offer. However, Ashley arrived at the Bahri Bar, just five minutes walk from the Ramadan Tent, at just before 10pm last night and began ordering drinks. 
    He was joined at the bar by Newcastle United managing director Derek Llambias and director of football Dennis Wise. While standing at the bar Ashley was overheard to tell Llambias that he wouldn`t go to the Ramadan Tent saying the earlier offer was an “insult”.
    Wise and Llambias briefly left the bar on several occasions to answer calls on their mobile phones, while Ashley himself remained. The group left shortly after 1am on Wednesday morning. Dubai officials had gathered at the nearby Al Majlis beachside tent, where Ashley had been invited to join them for talks over dinner. 
    THEN AFTERWARDS –
    “MIKE ASHLEY is once again hawking Newcastle United around Dubai as he bids to drum up more Arab interest in a Toon takeover. 
    Keith Harris, the man Ashley hopes will find a buyer for United, is in Dubai talking to would-be investors. 
    It is understood that Harris, chairman of investment bank Seymour Pierce, is revisiting Gulf business magnates who Ashley approached personally during a trip to Dubai last September. 
    Having reputedly demanded pounds 400mplus for the club back then, Ashley would now readily accept a quarter of that figure. 
    But despite that – and while talk persists of rival interest in United from neighbouring Oman – Harris may struggle once again to find takers for the newly-relegated Magpies. 
    Everton top the list of Premier League clubs seen as a sound potential purchase in Dubai, with Tottenham also attracting interest and actively looking for investment in the Middle East. Despite Newcastle’s high profile, the brutal fact is that they are now a managerless Championship side facing a massive drop in revenue. 
    And Ashley built few bridges when he last tried to woo Dubai’s business elite, with the Middle East media accusing him of behaving disrespectfully during his trip there. 
    It is also Harris’ second attempt at striking a deal for United, the former Football League chairman having been first brought in by Ashley last year.”

  • No Brainer

    So once again you have been led up to the river and drank it all in.
    I asked which was it ballsed it up or no one was interested.
    And here you are providing some reports for us all to see that he engaged with some potential buyers, believed the offer to be too low for him to sell and as a result didn’t even bother to engage with the tyre kickers further.
    Having read that report myself I wondered if any one else on here had hence the fishing for what someone making contradictory sratements actuslly believed.
    Your assistance greatly appreciated.
    read all about it read all about it

  • Sickandtiredstill

    No Brainer There there there. Keep taking the pills. Tomorrow you can post as an astronaut.

  • No Brainer

    Hold the front page.

  • Greggy164

    Sickandtiredstill No Brainer  Caught him again ha