Only one story dominating and now Sky Sports have given their latest update on the Newcastle United takeover tale.

Mike Ashley having released a statement on Monday, formally announcing the club was up for sale.

This was swiftly followed by an appearance by Ashley’s legal representative appearing on Sky Sports, lawyer Andrew Henderson helping to push the story further (read that below).

Sky Sports have now on Thursday lunchtime put out an update from Ashley’s lawyer, with Sky Sports man in the north east, Keith Downie, quoting Andrew Henderson:

“Since Monday, a number of additional parties have come forward which we believe to be credible.

“We are also continuing to engage with a number of parties with whom we had entered into negotiations prior to Monday’s announcement.”

This follow a report on Wednesday from Press Association Sport, saying that four ‘interested parties’ had already signed non-disclosure agreements’ allowing them to study the club’s books, and that Andrew Henderson has also been ‘inundated’ with calls regarding buying the club.

The lawyer acting for Mike Ashley on the potential sale of Newcastle United, reported to be having the lengthy task of separating ‘time-wasters from genuine candidates’.

As always, what is fact and what is spin is impossible to call for certain, just so long as we get the right final outcome!

Andrew Henderson speaking to Sky Sports – 16 October 2017:

“There has obviously been a lot of press speculation about Mike’s intentions towards the club.

“I think that there is a view that over the years there has been a considerable investment, perhaps a feeling that all that can be done has been done.

“So it is probably just a recognition that it might be time for a change.

“Our intentions at the moment are to see if the club can be brought forward into new ownership by potentially Christmas.

“That would allow for a period for serious interested parties to put themselves forward, for a diligence process to carry on, and then hopefully by Christmas for a sale to conclude with the sort of flexibility around terms we have discussed.

“If that weren’t possible then there is no desire to sell the club for any price to anyone. There is a lot of responsibility that goes with owning the football club so we would then look at that at the relevant time.

“That’s the objective but nobody has a crystal ball so nobody can say for sure what happens and when.

“I think back to the question of price, it will depend on what somebody is prepared to pay for the club.

“Football clubs have a scarcity value, nobody is making 150-year-old football clubs with the kind of traditions that Newcastle United have so obviously there is value there but then in terms of what the number is that will be dictated by how many people, how many serious people are interested, how many serious people can deliver and so we then get to how long will that take, how long do we give them.

“I think that is a matter for negotiation but certainly not all in year one so that’s how we would be approaching it.”

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    You never know even with “Sky Sports” because they are a bunch of second hand rumour merchants when all said and done.
    If this is true then it could look like Ashley’s first couple of attempts to sell the club were rubbish like a lot of fans suspected.
    Now all of a sudden they are coming out of the woodwork Left, Right and Centre to buy the club if reports are true !

  • steve pearce

    `Stale news Sky and Porter – Amanda Staveley has already agreed to further talks. But dues due diligence include barring vomit spouting jumped up cockney barrow boys from bidding…

  • Guest 2

    What ‘investment’? He’s paid off loans, mortgages and overdrafts but only by replacing them with debts to himself.
    The Academy wasn’t built. Commercial revenue has not been grown in 10 years. Advertising and merchandising was stripped from the club. He’s developing the Gallowgate land for his own profit. He’s paid out millions due to ridiculous management. The club is under a HMRC investigation too. He’s also repaid himself 29 million.
    Some investment.

    • Andy Mac

      Agreed. The one thing for sure that needs to change under new ownership is the training centre at Darsley. Its an embarrassment to the club especially when compared to the makems purpose built facility or Brighton’s for that matter. Rafa did his best with some cosmetic surgery last season but it needs a major refurb project asap.

      It’ll also be interesting to see the first years accounts under a new owner where half the commercial revenue hasnt been siphoned off !

      • Guest 2

        As far as things are known he’s never done any deals since he arrived that would grow our commercial revenue from what it was in 2007. It’s still less than then as far as I am aware.
        That, despite stating the club needs to be self sufficient.

        • Andy Mac

          Indeed those truly ironic words of the weasel Llambias, “we need to wash our own faces” when the flannel and soap were never available as they’d been sold to Sht Direct

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      The Halls and the Shepherds got back one hundred and thirty five million for less than a million pound investment Mike Ashley might break even at best.

      • Guest 2

        Fatty saw the books and agreed to pay the price. He BOUGHT a football club.

        Please outline what investment he has made to the club since he arrived. He replaced external debt with his own. He hasn’t invested a single penny into the club beyond any of that – and it’s all now club debt which assures he’ll get it back one way or another..

        Bought no players from his own money. Repaid himself 29 million. Hasn’t built a new academy nor training ground etc etc.

        He has lined his own pockets further by the advertising, merchandising, and the Gallowgate land.

        Breaking even is not even going to be close to how much he, and SD, have profited.

      • Danimal

        Change the record Mike.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    To be fair when most people invest in a bank they do not expect to get back less than they have put in. He has invested £135m to buy the club invested £36m paying transfer fees off for players who were not even at the club and invested £80m more paying off the stands and other items. Yes £129m or more is an interest free loan to be paid back to him but this has saved us around £100m in interest to Barclays who were charging us an arm and a leg before Mike Ashley took over. What he could have done is let Barclays have the debt and charge us £10m a year interest and then pay £10m for his sports direct advertising but these two things cancel each other out.

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      Don’t worry about Ashley. He has got substantially more out of buying Newcastle than he has ever put in. For example, the price of SD shares increased eight fold on the back of all the publicity generated by him being NUFC’s owner and all the free advertising.
      In any case, a club is not a bank.

    • HarryHype59

      You and Fleckman suffer from Stockholm syndrome!

      The irony is he could be selling the club for twice the amount if he had developed it correctly! His short sighted penny pinching and overall lack of ambition has cost him at least £200m.

      Oh the irony!

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Try the Halls and Shepherds who got one hundred and thirty five million back after investing less than a million a bit like Mike Ashley
        getting a couple of billion back .

        • Danimal

          They gave the fans a great time. Unlike your “man”.

    • Alex

      So, Barclays charging an arm and a leg, right? How much would that be?

    • Danimal

      Your hero is scum. Get used to it.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Wonder how HMRC`s due diligence is coming along, ha ha

  • FatParosite

    This sale is a rouse….. don’t bother getting your hopes up. When the lawyer injects phrases like “If that weren’t possible then there is no desire to sell the club for any price to anyone.” You know there is a PR battle going on for extracting the right price or saving face in the January window.

  • Coble’s Return

    Early days. It is like selling your car. You (the vendor) want to draw attention to the shiny alloys, the oversized spoiler and the purple under-lighting, whilst the buyer will be keen to point out the chronic rust, the missing exhaust and the woefully inefficient engine. The due diligence will be all important in defining what is for sale, what condition it is in and therefore what a buyer is prepared to pay. I still think that once all the shouting is done, Ashley will look at this as his best opportunity to offload the club.
    Can someone explain the status of the land below the Gallowgate? Is it still in Ashley’s control and therefore could it be included in the sale?

    • HappyToons

      Good analogy. NUFC is that old prestige classic sports motor with a great engine which can be repaired with a lot of work and a new wealthy owner. But it requires more than a few cheap plastics to do it. We have a world class driver in Mr Benitez who is also a top mechanic! Just give him the funds to get on and restore the beast and trust him to do it and drive us on!

      Lord Westwood used to simply cover the rust with a respray then get the fastest driver once and a while ‘Super Mac’ with a speedy 0-60.

      Keegan did everything right but seemed to get bored with it all and it was never properly stripped down and repaired, despite the expensive shiny new parts

      Mike Ashley knows what he is doing. He knows if Rafa left we would immediately become a candidate for relegation. He knows the requirement is massive investment to even maintain Premiership status. Especially to keep Rafa happy and challenge the top 6. So like we all know and continually read…is there a better time to sell? He doesn’t want to invest his own money and knows another relegation would be costly

      In some ways Ashley is the Arthur Daley of business as he is one clever bloke to make Sports Direct work despite the recent downfall. Only an Arthur Daley would employ Joe Kinnear!!!

    • HarryHype59

      Ashley reminds me of an owner who failed to maintain his car and get it serviced as he was too tight to pay! The car doesn’t run correctly as a result!

  • HenrySlade

    Much has been made of Ashley’s payments in ‘installments’ offer to potential buyers. However, I reckon he’s just doing this to mitigate an inflated asking price that he’s got in his mind. He’s probably banking on the premise that someone will be stupid enough to pay over the odds for the club if they don’t have to stump up the full wedge up front. Bearing in mind the calibre of potential buyers, I don’t think this strategy will work.

    Also, if Ashley does manage to sell, as much as I really want to see a new regime in charge at NUFC, I can’t help thinking about the likes of Fernandez at QPR, Xia at Aston Villa, Tan at Cardiff City and a whole host of other useless owners who trashed the hopes and dreams of their clubs’ supporters.

    So let’s hope that we’ll soon see the back of Ashley, and that it won’t be a case of out of the frying pan…and into the fire.