Mike Ashley and whether or not he will sell Newcastle United, has been the background story to Newcastle United season so far.
Yet again we have been told that the owner is willing to sell the club…but after over 10 years, many fans doubt Ashley’s sincerity…
The media have claimed that a number of interested parties have signed non-disclosure documents in preparation of a potential purchase of NUFC but we have heard that all before as well.
Then we also had the Amanda Staveley sideshow at the Liverpool match, believed to be involved in putting together deals to buy one or more Premier League clubs, but with claims it is really Spurs and Liverpool that are targeted.
On top of all this, we don’t even know if (if you assume he does want to sell) Mike Ashley is prepared to take a fair bid for Newcastle United.
Further press reports have claimed he wants in and around the £400m mark but what is the club really worth?
One football finance expert has now claimed that the club is worth only around half that figure.
Football finance expert Dr Daniel Plumley of Sheffield Hallam University speaking to Shields Gazette:
“That (Mike Ashley) asking price (of around £400m) is arguably over the odds.
“Current brand value, based on factors such as league standing, revenue potential, fan base and global exposure, has Newcastle valued at around £190-200million.
“This is almost double that, so I would argue it is a high asking price.
“It’s probably also linked to what Mike Ashley has injected in with regards to his own funds and trying to recoup some of that which is fair enough, but based on market brand values it might be tough to achieve that figure.
“I’m speculating slightly here, but (NUFC hasn’t been sold) probably due to some of the negative press surrounding Ashley and the current structure of the club plus the high asking price.
“Another issue is league stability. When the club dropped into the Championship the brand value would have reduced somewhat.
“It’s now back up because of Premier League status but the club need to stay there to keep the value high and maximise revenue from TV rights and commercial opportunities.
“Any potential buyer or investor must be prepared to build incrementally and look at longer term strategic decisions in the current market. That said, there are still good potential growth opportunities for clubs particularly in the overseas market.”