Interesting news on Saturday morning, with reports that Mike Ashley has been in talks with prospective buyers for Newcastle United.

The Times say that after initial talks, certain potential new owners then signed ‘no-disclosure agreements’ which would then have given them more detailed access into the finances/workings of the club.

There have been a lot of false dawns when it comes to claims of a possible sale of the club and after 10 years under his control, many Newcastle fans have given up hope.

As the Times say, the club has effectively being up for sale for many years, but with Mike Ashley setting a price that far exceeded its market worth, he has been happy to sit on his asset and watch it increase in value – plus get related benefits, especially the worldwide free promotion of Sports Direct and the rest of his retail empire.

The newspaper though says that after setting a new valuation of £400m in the summer, Ashley has now indicated that he will knock that down to £380m to get a deal done.

What a fair valuation exactly is, is very hard to say, but The Times say that still ‘brokers believe that he is being optimistic’ with what he’s asking.

A bit like your house though, it is simply worth what somebody will pay.

With a net spend of only £11.5m this summer and Rafa Benitez having made an overall profit in the transfer market of almost £30m since his arrival in March 2016, plus the wage bill one of the lowest in the Premier League, the finances of the club will be looking positive.

Then despite this tight (strangle?)hold on the finances, Rafa Benitez has somehow moulded a team that is looking very likely to be able to fight its corner in the top tier.

Then on top of that, maybe most importantly, the overseas TV deals signed already show another massive rise in cash for PL clubs as from 2019/20, with now all the signs also indicating that the domestic TV deal is also going to go far higher from that date.

So in many ways there is a strong argument as to why somebody should want to buy Newcastle United at this point.

Let’s just hope that Mike Ashley doesn’t price the club out of the reach of potential credible buyers – just imagine how good it would feel if Rafa Benitez had real backing in the upcoming transfer windows, when you consider the minor miracles he appears to have managed with scarce resources.

The biggest positive to take from The Time report is that if true, then at the very least Mike Ashley wants to sell the club.

Earlier this year it was revealed that one of Mike Ashley’s long-term inner circle, Justin Barnes, had been sent up to St James Park to take all the major financial decisions above Lee Charnley, with claims that the move was to prepare the club to be sold.

Hopefully on this occasion it will be a case of two plus two equalling four.

The Times:

‘Mike Ashley has dropped the asking price for Newcastle United to £380 million in an attempt to complete a sale.

Newcastle have effectively been on the market for several years without finding a buyer, but there were fresh negotiations with Chinese investors last summer and Ashley said that he valued the club at £400 million.

In talks that have led to several potential buyers signing non-disclosure agreements in recent weeks however, Ashley has indicated that he would sell for £380 million, as well as emphasising that Newcastle possess a world-class manager in Rafael Benítez.

Ashley is determined to get more than double the £180 million he paid for Newcastle ten years ago, although brokers believe that he is being optimistic.’



  • toonterrier

    Oh what a shame. Just when I was beginning to like him. Cheerio fatty. Enjoy your new life in the sun. See there is a god.

    • East Durham Mag

      We have heard these rumours before cross your fingers and hope. I sometimes wonder if Fatty likes to build up our hopes just to p*ss on the bonfire.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    He`ll get nowhere near £380m

    • Tom page

      MMM,
      The club under his regime isn’t worth £380m – he knows it & so do all those with any real money. He’s telling his ‘porkies’ again; a spin job to the stupid reporters of his favourite paper. The club is worth only around £250m & that is all the fat,stupid, useless article will get in the end, if he’s lucky.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        Which valuation model are you using? I’d say it’s good value at £380m if the article is correct.

        • Tom Page

          Of course you think it’s worth £380m – if you didn’t agree with your boss he’d sack you. All you have done is verify my thoughts of where you opinions come from. Ashley’s servant!

  • Mxpx

    Him being in negotiations and actually selling are two different things sadly I’d love an owner that will actually let us compete in the transfer market though

  • Andy Mac

    Let’s be clear about this, he paid £134m for the club.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      He paid £131m for the club and it took £129m to fix the balance sheet. It also took another £15m to get through last season (who’s fault is not the debate, that’s how much it cost)

      • Leazes Ender

        The balance sheet was balanced he drew in the repayment plans to save interest payments….. his choice to run the club on a perpetual shoestring!

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          I’ve explained to you many times, the club was technically insolvent, he gave it liquidity

  • Son of Wilt

    With our luck he’ll probably sell it to Peter Ridsdale or that loon that Leeds have just got rid of.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Club wouldnt be in debt as well to him had sports direct paid its advertising bill. Effectively the new owner is being required to pick up the sports dorect tab in the price. Ashley thinking once again hes a clever so and so getting 10 years free advertising. Man is a leech.

    • Wor Lass

      They`re supposed to be paying now, I think, but nothing will show until the accounts are published at the end of the financial year. The only thing I would say in any form of mitigation is that we also aren`t paying any interest on the loan. I don`t know how much that would be but it could be as much as the advertising revenue, I suppose. That`s the trouble with his business practises – they`re always shady and impossible to fully unpick. He`s a real smoke and mirrors man.

      • ToonNL

        He must have surely recouped the 100mil by now. A lot of money has gone elsewhere than on the pitch..

        • Toonrobbybobson

          To be fair the money doesnt really vanish. He might have taken some out in the past to offset the amount owed to him in the form of a Directors loan to the club… he had to to put more back in when we got relegated (being mainly his fault is another story). However yes. If he had been paying the going rate for SD advertising it gets the money owed would have been wiped out. Hes not done it like that for the sole reason of hoping a new owner essentially pays him for his debt and the club itself thus filling the void he didnt pay for advertising. They will have picked up his tab for his advertising essentially. He thinks everyone are mugs.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            No, the club’s value to a buyer is the same regardless of the debt owed to MA. If the club had no debt the price to pay is the same

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          No, the club was losing money for his first 4 year s

      • Georgia Peter

        Porciestreet;
        The guy is a Tape-worm. You don’t reallise just how much he’s taken from the equasion untill you fall ill and then it’s too late.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      The club would not exist if he hadn’t bailed us out. Had nufc been paying interest on the debt, it would have been far higher.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        While ive tried to give the benefit of the doubt many a time to Mike Ashley there is no way that the amount of interest is to the tune of how much free advertising SD has had.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          The advertising would create about £2m in revenue per annum. The interest would be £9m based on the rates of the bonds Nufc had taken out.

          So no, the advertising would not exceed the interest paid.

      • Leazes Ender

        Why didn’t he come in six months earlier in 2006 when he set up the NUFC merchandising site…. he was aware of the clubs finances which were mortgages based upon future earnings.

        There was no debt that was any different to any other club, that is the way football was and is…. have a go at buying players on football manager……. it was normal you clown.

        He didn’t bail us out…. he relegated us twice, he was the route causation of his own financial mess!

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Terry, someone had to fix the liquidity problem and sort out the losses, he did that . If nobody came in, the club was finished.

          I’ve explained many times to you, either you are very stupid or you are playing at being a little touched. I used to think you were just winding me up, I’m not so sure now.

          • Leazes Ender

            No it wasn’t, if you say it was then back it up!

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Just read the 2007 accounts, then the years thereafter.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Terry, liabilities exceeded assets, payments due to football creditors exceeded the amount we were getting from the premier league. Wages were crippling and we were losing over £2m a month.

            Someone had to finance that.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          The debt was no different? What does that mean? Debt is exactly the same, whoever borrows debt, the issue is whether it can be paid.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      If the club was paying interest at the rate it was on its debt pre Ashley, it would be paying over £9m a year, around 3x the amount they could pull in from advertising.

  • Steve Pearce

    It is essential that any new owner is a person of integrity, honesty and has only the interests of our club at heart. They must be committed to spending heavily in the next two transfer windows and should look at the possibility of cancelling the contracts of any players judged to be surplus to requirements – even if they are new signings. If there is to be foreign ownership it is essential that there are board members with executive power including a fan’s representative in place that are from our region. All this should ensure that we never ever have to tolerate such a vile and despicable person such as our present owner sullying the great name of Newcastle United ever again.

    • Georgia Peter

      Porciestreet;
      Wholheartedly agree Steve, but sadly, any Millio/Billionaire that arrives will not be far away from our current model as, there hasn’t ever been a person of such wealth who ever made it honestly,…..They just don’t exist sadly.
      However. lets just hope that whomsoever we do eventually get, their 5hyte doesn’t smell as bad as Nikey Mikey’s.

      • Guest 2

        Nonsense. Just look at Ashleys fav club, Chelsea. Are you seriously suggesting if someone like him came along, or Arab Royalty lashing money on us – you are going to be upset?

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      A look at Sunderland who are on the brink of administration should tell you that the investors must have integrity & honesty but any investor will do so I for their own betterment. You say “they must be committed to spending heavily” no, they must be committed to spending cleverly and carefully.

      Don’t be surprised if this is a joint ownership deal, and don’t be disappointed, that will be good for nufc.

      • Steve Pearce

        No – he’s grown bored with being a football club owner and he needs the money to help finance his growing business empire.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Which should tell you a few things, investors need a reason to invest, far better if they don’t make a loss and even better if they run things in a way that does not put the future at risk.

    • Haitchdee

      Don’t think you could reasonably expect all those things Steve. Alan Shearer on the board would do for me.

      • Steve Pearce

        Yes! The fans, the club and indeed the people of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne expect and deserve no less. That fat stinking bag of pus has sullied us all and we should ensure that we never have to put up with such ownership again. Actually my money would be on a local syndicate being in the mix and probably gaining control of our club. Brian Johnson. Ant and Dec and Barry Moat are but four names that spring to mind. With Alan Shearer on the board as fan’s representative or indeed Chairman we would be in safe hands – but he’d lose his MOTD job as he would no longer be seen as impartial. No matter, these are exciting times to be living in and the sun is beginning to break through the clouds at last!

        • Haitchdee

          We could pay him to kick MOTD into touch. Too anti north east for me. All we can hope for is whoever buys in has the club’s best interests at heart. I’m not keen on the Mega priced players Good team players please. Maybe a Cole,Ferdinand or Shearer type to finish off,Mick Quinn would do.

          • Steve Pearce

            This is indeed an excellent point Haitchdee – Newcastle United has always been about dedicated team players and not spoilt rich kids who only play for money and not the club that employs them. Look what happened when we broke our transfer record – we got a player who was already crocked with injuries as he was burnt out and peaked far too young. All we want is to be guaranteed the money to buy the players that Rafa wants as he is the best manager we have ever had and he will be the one to at last bring us the cups we all crave!

        • Georgia Peter

          Porciestreet;
          Surely there are enough very wealthy Geordies out there somewhere that would want to contribute seriously to the cause. Perhaps, who knows…? Surely, all Ashley is interested in is the filthy wonga (sorry) and won’t care too much who he sells to so long as he gets his 50 pieces of silver.

  • Rich Lawson

    Good news,I’m glad it’s in The Times and not The Sun,makes me a bit more hopeful we might be about to get shot of this parasite !

    • Georgia Peter

      Having struggled through the era’s of Westwood and Mc Keag I have never sensed the amount of total vitreol towards Cashley, and God knows it has to end soon.

      • Geordiegiants

        I agree it never seemed as personal with Mckeag.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          However, when it came to fans coughing up to buy the club in the McKeag era, the fans let the club down. Fans don’t seem to put their money where there mouth is

          • Geordiegiants

            Couldnt agree more.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            That is the biggest gripe with me and forums like this. To challenge people who have risked their money in this club, you must be prepared to do something similar and we know, as individuals, we can’t afford to buy someone like Mike Ashley out but we should be able to group together to make the commitments to back up our words/ anger

      • Rich Lawson

        They weren’t such high media profile embarrasments.

  • TwinFire

    Well, getting into 4th spot may have been all Ashley wanted! Maybe he didn’t mean finishing fourth when he said what counts as the trigger for him to sell the club.
    Certainly, the feel good vibe is there for any investor after last week. Could it be that its enough to get the biggest one ‘over the line’?

    I would also state to anyone who is worried, what could possibly be worse than Mike Ashley as owner of this club??? I mean really? How much worse can you actually run a club that what we’ve seen in the last 10 years?

    SELL SELL SELL!!!

  • Leazes Ender

    Thats £130m clear profit for him as well as the land he’s stolen at Strawberry Place and Little Benton and ten years of non payment of advertising….. leaving the club absolutely crushed under his fat posterior.

    Our club couldn’t afford to carry the Hall and Shepherd regime and this great thick lump of a Chelsea supporter has been like a bale of hay on the camels back…..

    ….. Problem is what’s the next torment in the ten plagues of Egypt.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Stolen? The club nearly doubled its money on that land you utter fool

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Where`s the money ?

      • Tom Page

        The Club? Are you kidding? I bet I know who pocketed any money resulting from that sale!

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Eh? The club did, it’s all documented mate

          • Soldier

            how much was it then

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            The club paid £300k &£500k for each plot, it took a loan on which no installments were paid, SJ developments paid £800k for project j & and £500k for project k in 2009, Mike paid off the loan as well.

      • Leazes Ender

        It was worth a lot more as an asset to the club than as a gift to a Chelsea fan. I can’t see your angle on that one!

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          How, it was bought in 2006, we then had a banking crisis and commercial property bombed yet SJ holdings paid more than the club paid. Good business in those circs

      • magpiefifer

        Someone,anyone buy the tatshop owner out!!!

      • Geordiegiants

        You really are being silly. That land was worth endless amounts of money to the club.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Eh? It was breaking even on rent as a car park.

          • Geordiegiants

            Yeah for the minute.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Now it’s going to be flats but that’s not something the club could do.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Once the lily livered government scuppered the casino option, it was of no use to nufc

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Not endless, the lease had an end date and sub letting it to a car park company bought in over a year, about 1/2 a week’s wages for an average player. Hardly worth keeping.

          • Geordiegiants

            The lease was renewable, and was earmarked for expansion. Newcastle United will be around for hundreds of years when we are gone.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            It i the lease for 3 years, it cost as much in interest than it made in revenue.

          • Geordiegiants

            You are being stupid.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            That is the fact, the income just covered the interest.

          • Geordiegiants

            I’m not saying that isn’t correct, I’m saying, the club will be around for hundreds of years yet, and although short term it made nothing for us, long term it was very important to the clubs future.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            It wasn’t, the only use to the club was the casino idea, even then, the ground would not be extended on the basis of that land.

            The gallowgate can be extended but it will only be cost effective to extend corporate hospitality and the extension will be modest / cosmetic.

            The land issue is a myth

          • Geordiegiants

            load of shyte

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            It’s true, building the gallowgate end up is possible just far too expensive

          • Geordiegiants

            The gallowgate could probably be extended without the land, looking at the Milburn stand. It’s not just extending the Gallowgate, its about the future of the club. Who knows what’s around the corner or what we may need it for.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            You can’t run a business like that, holding on to non-performing assets ‘just in case’ is mad, especially when the club was still hemorrhaging money.

            The land was bought in 2006 specifically to build a mega-casino upon as the govt of the day suggested it would grant licences in areas that needed a boost. It backed down from that policy leaving the club with a car park it didn’t need. In 2009, the land was sold at a profit, no mean feat.

  • Mike

    id put all my savings and i aint got much into anything reasonable to get rid of this leach

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Why not start a takeover consortium with other fans and be proactive. Talk us cheap

      • Rich Lawson

        I think you’ll find that’s is Bobbi.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          I’m afraid people are all mouth on this subject. In 1988 the Mag was launched and the idea then was fans would own the club. We had the chance in 1990/91, I sent off a cheque for around a months salary to buy into the club, not nearly enough fans did the same and the share issue collapsed. Fans let the club down back then, they need to front up and put some money in now.

          • Rich Lawson

            I’m game,I’d love to own shares in the club,but I don’t think my meagure contribution is going to set the ball rolling,What’s your best suggestion ? (Seriously)

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            For a trust, (nust don’t seem inclined) where a business strategy is drawn up and investors can put money in. Yes, it will take a lot of fans and decent money. Some can afford more than others.

            I actually think a 50:50 owner ship would be good

          • Rich Lawson

            Yes I like that,one big investor who could presumably fund transfers and a good representation of fans.Would one person be prepared to settle for what on paper looks a non-controlling interest tho’ ?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            That one investor is Mike Ashley in my model. I was going to dig out my typewriter and write a Mag article for the first time since 1997 with my full thoughts and sums.

          • Geordiegiants

            You have been going to do a peice about it for weeks, all talk and no action.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            heh heh, good one

          • Rich Lawson

            Do it.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Just waiting on the Mag to publish my article

          • Rich Lawson

            Good luck with it Bobbi,I look forward to reading it,I’m sure it will be the cause of much debate on here.

      • Georgia Peter

        Porciestreet;
        Yes , talk is cheap but the cost per capita for a fan based consortium will most definately not be. It needs a major backer.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          It needs 50,000 fans to come up with £10,000. Most fans have that in equity on their house.

          • paul mclaughlan

            This is sarcasm I’m presuming.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            No, put your money where your mouth is. The fans could own this club but everyone is all mouth.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Why would I put my money where my mouth is? I’ve never once said us fans should invest 10k into our club. I for one couldn’t afford to anyway.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I’ll repeat myself, I have a gripe with some fans. To challenge people who have risked their money in ‘our’ club, you must be prepared to do something similar and although, as individuals, we haven’t been successful enough to buy someone like Mike Ashley out but we should be able to group together to make the commitments to back up our words

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          It does but how many nufc fans are there? I’d say around 250,000 with some passion for the club. Those 250,000 have more wealth and assets between them than one individual.

  • Mark Spark

    haven’t we been here before?I tend to think its another heavy handed attempt to smoke out any interest on the club.Hopefully its true and that the next owners are better.I cant see him getting £380m,I would hope a deal could be done for whatever he has spent on the club plus a small profit so he can save face(in his mind)

  • Mark Spark

    Plus if all parties have been in contact for weeks and have signed NDA`s the news must be getting leaked by the NUFC PR department.I smell BS

    • Georgia Peter

      Porciestreeet;
      Could also be a very good reason why Rafa has not yet walked. I’m sure he’s privvy to inside info regards the future and in fact has the full SP.

  • Paul Busby

    As much as I want Ashley out of the club, we have to be careful what we wish for. Its like when Pardew left and we ended up with Carver, then McLaren…

    • Guest 2

      Under whose watch did they arrive? Or Kinnear, Wise and Co? Fatty couldn’t have done much worse to this club and yet you say careful in what we wish for?

      • Paul Busby

        Trying to reply but the mag wants to moderate my replies and refuses then regardless of what I say

        • Guest 2

          Probably coz you are posting [email protected]

          • Paul Busby

            Actually its cuz I was using certain words to describe Ashley.

      • Paul Busby

        Oh there we go.

        Look at Boro, Leeds, Cardiff, Blackburn, Villa, and of course the Mackams.

        It can definitely be worse.

        • Guest 2

          He got us relegatecd twice and narrowly avoided at least another two times, man.

          Absolutley zero evidence we were ever going to go bust. I bet you are afraid of the dark.

          • Paul Busby

            You’re mistaking my comments as defending him. I think he’s a horrible cancer and want him out, I’m just saying we need to be prepared for any replacement being equally, or even more cancerous, as there is plenty of example of other pretty big clubs being dragged down farther than we have, and struggling to recover.

    • Ernest Nwajiobi

      Be careful what we wish for? no offence Sir but your words are negative.

      • Paul Busby

        Answer me this. How much effort and value do you think Ashley will put into making sure potential investors or buyers actually care about the club and it’s fans?
        If you answered anything other than not at all, you’re a happy clapping fool. If the money is there he will take it, he doesn’t care about anything else once those papers are signed.

  • HappyToons

    Never forget the Nigerian consortium many moons ago. The biggest MA prank apart from Joe Kinnear. MA tries his best (pretends) to sell but alas it doesn’t quite happen with the imaginary secret buyer, so we are quietened to put up with him with little complaint, as he continues the mode of pretending to want to sell but can’t sell. So he wins as keeps his cash in his sports direct logo wallet whilst we are struck dumb.

    If there was a prospective buyer it wouldn’t remain secret for long. I am optimistic we will win the League this season and have exactly the same optimism that MA is on his bike!

  • Martin

    I long for the day when the Sports Direct signs are brought down. However, if anyone genuinely thinks that a group of Chinese investors are likely to have the long term interests of the football club at heart, they are deluding themselves. Much better is the German model where generally 51% of voting rights still are with the club members who elect the board of directors together with the other 49% of votes. Investors can still invest but they do not have majority control. How long would Penfold and Ashley last under that system?

    • Peter

      A very good post…here’s hoping!

    • Geordiegiants

      Our fans are not proactive enough, they just sit in silence letting anyone and everyone f uck us over, so they can spend time with their kids or mates they don’t see any other time.

      • Martin

        Not sure we need the fans to that proactive. The major change would need to be legislative change so would impact on all football clubs. Without making a party political point, it would seem to be very in tune with the current Labour Party. Selling out the ownership of our largest football clubs to China however is no solution. It doesn’t seem that radical that all members or perhaps season ticket holders have a say in who runs a club, and anyone who invests in a club does so on that basis.

  • Kristofer

    More rubbish us fans could do without. Stop reporting on this nonsense and creating more bad blood between fans and club. This only fuels more issues when the club and players are doing well on and off the pitch! Same old media rubbish causing issues!

  • StevieB

    It could make sense why the minimal was spent yet Rafa stayed, maybe he knows a new owner is round the corner 🤔
    Also does anyone know for a fact (not a daft guess) if mikes taken any of his “interest free” loans out of the club ? Cause that will be the major hold up of any sale .
    There will be plenty of people willing to pay the reasonable valuation of a club of this magnitude ….the problem will occur when he lumps the 90-120 million on top for his loans back also .

    • Geordiegiants

      Think it’s more than that. Anyway it will all be factored in to the deal.

      • StevieB

        That’s what I’m saying though, it’s like buying a used car, spending a load of money maintaining and doing it up then trying to sell it for what it stands you not what the current used car market says it worth 🤔
        People won’t be bothered about what you’ve spent over the years, they’ll just pay current value

        • Geordiegiants

          So if thats your view why is say an xr2 worht £7 or £8000 now and 3 years ago they were worth £2000?

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Your car analogy has some legs. As an income generating company, NUFC offer and investor around £40m a year in profit (perhaps more). In the outside world, a regular income of that figure with such low prevailing interest rates make this club valuable.

          If you buy a used Range Rover, say 10 years old, it’s worth about £4,000. You look it over, you are pretty happy that it’s a fair price but you do an HPi check and you find £1,440 is owed on the car. What do you do? You are still prepared to pay £4,000 for it so you just need no know that finance is paid, the safest way is to take the £4,000 to the bank and see the finance paid off and the remainder goes to the owner and you drive off in your new football club errrrr Range Rover.

    • Guest 2

      Course he has. He’s repaid himself 29 million (11 in 2012 and 18 last December). Those are in the accounts. However, the ‘repayments’ were made via St James Holdings as further loans – so the total amount remains the same. NUFC therefore has 144 million of debt – all owed to Ashley companies rather than him personally. He ensures he gets repaid (paid again concerning the 29 mil) every penny he has put in along with a healthy profit – a no lose scenario few business owners can ever expect

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      In this case, the amount someone pays for the club is the same whether it has debt or not. Keep it with nice round figures, the clauses in the loans mean a 100% change of ownership means the loans are either repayable or on notice to be repaid.

      So, if you value the club as a revenue generator at £400m all in, it costs £400m with £111m being repaid to Mike Ashley personally, £33m to St James Holdings and £256m for the shares.

      Whilst money has not been taken out, there have been a few changed over the 10 years:

      2007 –£100m Loan from Mike Ashley in his own name to clear debt on balance sheet at takeover
      2008 – Loan increased to £111m to pay for the losses in 2008
      2010 – Loan increased to £139.8 m to provide liquidity and working capital to cover losses, the club lost a VAT case under the previous era and the bill was payable in 2009/10 and the instalments of the big transfer fees from the previous era were paid off.
      2011 – Loan increases to £140m although a profit was made, more transfer fees were settled.
      2012 – £11m repaid to Mike Ashley having been re-established into the EPL, debt now at £129m all owed to Mike Ashley personally.
      2012-2016 – Debt remains at £129m interest-free all owed to Mike Ashley personally.
      2016 New interest-free loan drawn from St James Holdings Limited (wholly owned by Mike Ashley) in the amount of £33m, this represented £15m of ‘new’ money as £18m was repaid to Mike Ashley in his personal capacity.

  • Stephen Paylor

    380 million will include the debt owed to Ashley meaning he will make 130 million plus whatever he has sucked out over the years. Not a bad life is it when your mike Ashley

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Given that he’s taken nothing out and he could have put that £260m in the building society at 5% and it would be worth £400m now

      • Kneebotherm8

        His free SD advertising over 10 years paid his potential interest gains on his 260 mil investment,so if he manages to get 380 mil sale,then he’s made a tidy profit. Good luck to him,as a business man he’s made good investment/return in the club.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          So, you think the club could sell the Sports direct portion of perimeter advertising would be £21m a year? Perimeter advertising for most clubs tends to be around 40-50% of the club’s sponsorship deal, our sponsorship deal is £6m.

          Your sums don’t really add up.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Neither does your 5% building society interest figure.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            5% was available in 2007 as fixed interest bonds

          • Kneebotherm8

            Not fixed for 10 years,base rate,as you say,then was around 5%,it’s been 0.5 % since April 2009 and 0.25% since August 2016. Yours are the sums that don’t add up.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            There were 10 year bonds at 5% back then, Nufc were paying 9% on part of its borrowing.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            We’re not talking about an Abbey National savers account but in the City, there were fixed bonds to invest in at the time. Much of NUFC’s borrowing was in the form if bonds which were paying 9%.

          • Kneebotherm8

            It begs the question, why oh why did he invest in NUFC? Given that he’s stated it was a snap decision to buy the club with not enough thought going into it and being lumbered with unforseen debts of 129 million quid. We all know,of course, that the nufcdirect domain was set up, by his company,six months prior to his purchase of the club.
            The club is,quite obviously,a vehicle for his SD company.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Why? The big question was why pay so much for the shares? as a business, the club was worthless and in hindsight, he should have waited for the club to go into administration or work with Barclays who were the biggest creditor.

            As to why buy the club instead of put it in interest bearing bonds, almost certainly he needed a shelter from Capital gains tax. I suspect he looked at Nufc and thought it obvious what was wrong (without realising how wrong), hed put things right, have a bit of fun and sell for a profit. If, at the same time he could advertise Sports Direct, everyone is a winner.

            As for domains being registered, i think there can be a lot of reasons for doing this, we know of two parties doing due diligence on Nufc at that time, it’s highly likely that either could have looked at the merchandising deal at Nufc and needed to sound out other companies like SD (who do the fulfillment for quite a few clubs) and SD registered the domain just in case (it costs about £12) .

          • Kneebotherm8

            He’s got far too much commercial nous to believe he was suckered into that deal.
            Without realising this and that is absolute rubbish,he looked into that deal well in advance of making the purchase.
            No due diligence? Someone’s having a laugh.
            As far as waiting for the club going into Administration, then that’s exactly what he’d have done if that was liable to happen, he’s done that scenario on a regular basis in his sports retail empire.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            But nothing else makes much sense. It’s possible that Hall managed to bluff him into thinking he had to move fast on the deal. Perhaps Hall hinted of other interested parties who were further down the line, perhaps Barclays had found someone, perhaps he simply thought there was another buyer and he could cut himself in and make a quick killing?

            Only two things could have happened to NUFC in 2007, it either went into administration or an investor could come in with fresh money.

          • Kneebotherm8

            I think he had the vision to see where the premier league was heading with world wide exposure increasing massively to European,Asian American markets. His investment in NUFC has been a major success for his company and he’ll still get a premium on his original investment when/if he decides to sell. It’s been one of his more successful business deals.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            In which case, he’s have surely waited a few months and pick up the club for next to nothing?

            I’d doubt he’d call it a major success, it’s taken a lot of his money. If he doesn’t get a decent price, he’d surely look at it and think it would have been cheaper for SD to simply pay a couple of million a year for advertising at another club.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Your assumption/presumption that the club was about to fold is not a fact,and if it were a fact then Mike Ashley would definitely have taken that option.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Looking at the accounts, there really looked like there was no way to go for the club. It had already been blown out by two parties and unless the bank were willing to up the borrowing again (unlikely) I think the money runs out by October that year.

            You are right, there is no way of knowing for sure, the bank will never make that public but on the face of it, the club needed a fire sale of players, a big investment or go into administration. I actually think the bank would have stepped in and forced a change as RBS did with Liverpool but we were a plc at the time, it would not have been quite so easy for that to happen.

  • justchampion

    You’d think Newcastle city council would put a biz case together to buy or at least part own the club. Surely the long term benefits are a no brainer. With silly TV money to come I’m sure it would be self sustaining.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      What? The council can’t clean the streets without an equal opportunity case. I can think of nothing worse than a loud of public sector no-marks wanting a say in running the club.

      You’d have our first team on strike if they don’t get double time on boxing Day.

  • Guest 2

    Been here before, three times. 2008 and Dubai/Arabs, 2009 and two far east consortiums, and 2011 with an Indian multi Billionaire.
    Price discussed in 2008 was 400 million, 2009 it was 100 million. 2011 it was 200 million. Non disclosures in place then also yet Sky and the Club still somehow managed to leak .
    Load of all horlox this story I think. More tub thumping which surely only proves how desperate he is to get out – while also ensuring nowt will change if he can’t.

  • MadMag83

    I heard it’s Kim Jong-Un after a backup plan if North Korea goes belly up.