Mike Ashley has confirmed that Newcastle United is up for sale.
Monday afternoon has seen a statement released in the name of St. James Holdings, which is the financial vehicle Ashley used to buy the club.
Newcastle United publishing the statement, which says ‘A process will now commence of identifying new ownership for the club that will be capable of delivering the sustained investment in and dedication to the club that is necessary for it to achieve its ambitions’.
The announcement also states that Mike Ashley is prepared to defer ‘substantial payments’ to help ‘interested parties’ to complete a deal.
At face value this does seem a positive mood, as the vast majority of fans look to see Ashley and NUFC part company.
However, there will still be plenty of scepticism with many false claims of potential sales of the club over the past 10 years.
Two points maybe of special interest:
Firstly, how much Mike Ashley will expect a buyer to pay. If he is asking for far more than the market worth, then it can’t be taken as a serious move to try and sell.
Secondly, most supporters would expect that any new owner would have the necessary funds to buy the club up front, rather than in instalments (deferred substantial payments). As the club would need substantial investment over and above any asking price, if Newcastle United is to take a substantial leap forward.
If the possibility of paying in instalments would simply be a way of getting a quick sale then fine, just so long as it wouldn’t mean any new owner(s) couldn’t afford to invest on and off the pitch at NUFC.
Statement from St. James Holdings Limited:
‘As a result of increasing press speculation regarding the future of Newcastle United, the owner of the club, St. James Holdings Limited, wishes to clarify its intentions.
As one of the Premier League’s oldest and best supported football clubs – and for the benefit of its many fans and supporters in the UK and across the world – Newcastle United requires a clear direction and a path to a bright and successful future.
To give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level, at what is an important time in its history, its present ownership has determined that it is in the best interests of Newcastle United and its fans for the club to be put up for sale.
To give an incoming owner the maximum possible flexibility to make meaningful investment in the club, including in its playing squad, the sale process will give interested parties the opportunity of deferring substantial payments.
A process will now commence of identifying new ownership for the club that will be capable of delivering the sustained investment in and dedication to the club that is necessary for it to achieve its ambitions.’