Monday afternoon has seen Mike Ashley release a statement.

The club’s owner claiming that Newcastle United is now up for sale.

As well as Ashley’s statement, his lawyer then gave an interview to Sky Sports talking further about the claimed intention to sell (you can read both of these below).

A simple question for you then:

‘Is Mike Ashley serious about selling Newcastle United and willing to take realistic price?’

Vote now please.

Statement from St. James Holdings Limited (Mike Ashley):

‘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.’

Andrew Henderson (Mike Ashley’s lawyer) speaking to Sky Sports:

“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.”

  • benton mag

    I struggle a lot to understand most mag articles as most are anti nufc but the news today is ashley has issued a statement saying the club is for sale so why are the mag having a vote the club is for sale at a price that ashley will accept simple don’t need a vote don’t need a negative article

    • Leazes Ender

      Because after ten years of lies its a logical question…. is it just another one of the Chelsea supporting idiots games to wind-up the fans.

    • Mark Potter

      Because they publish so much false news, they need their readers to tell them whether this is real.

    • Jimmy_toons

      Ashley would give Jim Carey a run for his money with a lot of the tosh that has been attributed to him, or has slithered from his mouth. As far as I’ve been aware, United have been up for sale for 8 years or so and the money mad Maoist has been willing to, and will sell, as long as he makes a boat load of cash. As far as he is concerned, it’s all about the bit, and as much as he can get into his grubby hands on, just look how he kept his interests in Rangers.
      By making a statement at this stage then one would presume something is in the offing, but I’ll wait and see. False dawns and Ashley go together like… like Mike Ashley and making money, any which way he can.

    • Jail for Ashley

      Is anti Ashley the same as being anti NUFC, that stance has allowed Ashley to take the pi$$ for so long.

  • Steven05

    I think what works in our favour is the huge transfer fees now. January is not far away and he knows we have to spend.

    All he wants is a big stadium for his advertising at minimum cost. sunderland may well be in administration soon…

    Stranger things have happened

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    I don’t want to vote either way in case it jinxes the whole thing !
    I will just wait to see if any concrete interest materialises first before we get too excited.
    I’m expecting a few phantom bids from Sunderland fans contacting Barrack Road in the next few days lol

  • fastre

    If he sells and the whole adminstration changes, does the HMRC investigation still aim at NUFC?

    • Peaky Magpie

      Good point,they should retain his passport and be aware of his current address.

    • Leazes Ender

      It sticks to those wot dun it.

    • Lord

      Unless there is strong evidence of criminality, the HMRC will be targeting the employer (NUFC) and probably levy financial penalties on the club if found guilty.

      If there has been some really obvious tax evasion and there’s decent proof of it being done intentionally maybe someone like Charnley would be liable to a criminal investigation. But it’s unlikely given the benefits of the tax savings lie with the employer (NUFC) not an individual – jail time is usually reserved for people who have benefited personally.

  • Toon

    Vote now, why?

    • Leazes Ender

      To stop the opposition winning.

  • Lord

    There’s two questions in here and I don’t necessarily think they have the same answer.

    Yes he’s serious.

    No he won’t take a realistic price.

    • Gallowgate Dave

      Aye agreed. I think he is serious but only with a daft offer. With seemingly never ending, inflationary busting TV deal hikes someone might give him his wish. I just hope it doesn’t bankrupt them and it becomes Ashley’s final revenge.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      What is a realistic price in your opinion?

      • Biggs


        Remember he sold all the assets

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Which asset? Geremi? Pardew?

          £250m for the shares is £6m under the asking price

      • Lord

        I’d say about double annual revenue (about £120m if memory serves) plus a bit more for commercial revenue potential that is currently outsourced and a bit more for stadium advertising that SD probably get at under market value. Putting all that together, about £265ish

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Turnover is vanity and it’s a strange valuation method but as if by magic, £265m for the shareholding and repay the £144m loans = £409m

          You are not far off Mike Ashley’s figure.

          • Lord

            Turnover is the main metric used when evaluating the value of football clubs – profit is not a good indicator as most clubs run low to negative profits.

            The exact multiplier to use varies by whoever is valuing but most methods I have read about take the revenue as a starting point then modify the multiplier by things like wage to revenue ratio, stadium ownership, club following and, of course, general success. I’m sure squad value also must play a part.

            We’re lacking on the last two points but have good ticks in the box regarding support, stadium ownership and prudent financial stewardship.

            The top 6 clubs are all valued at a 1bn EUR or more right now, then you get the next two down, Leicester and Everton which are in and around the £400m mark.

            I can’t see we are worth that, not with our squad value, lack of success over the past couple of years and flat/declining commercial revenue outside of matchday.

            I think he could push £300m, but £400m seems too high, just as £200m is too low as suggested by that university expert the other day.

            Ultimately, though, it’s just like valuing a house on a street where no-one wants to move. You might well have to pay over market value in order to move in.

            I will add, whilst it’s time for MA move on, I do worry about Chinese ownership – the story of Inter and AC Milan’s decline shows that Asian ownership doesn’t necessarily bring in a Man City style Resurrection

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            When you read the piece by the university bloke, he values the shares at £200m and therefore it takes £344m to get Mike off the tiller. It was selectively reported in the Mag and shields gazette.

            Yes, revenue is used in both the mmm model and the Kieron Maguire model but both use wage ratio as their estimation of profit is determined by the biggest cost. Both models put us above Everton in value.

          • Lord

            I’m not following, sorry. If a club has debt, then that needs to be wrapped into the price surely, not added on to the market value.

            If I have shares in BT, say, but I’ve borrowed money to buy them, I don’t sell the shares for market value and then add on the debt to the buyer. It’s my debt to pay once I receive payment.

            If the club is worth, say, £300m on the open market then that’s what a buyer would expect to pay, surely, not £300m + NUFC debt to MA?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            He didn’t, he was valuing the shares at £200m and identified this would provide MA with a profit of £70m on the purchase.

            The debt is separate but in a takeover position, it would need to be repaid or more likely / re-financed. The £400m quoted is was the amount you need to get MA out of the club, that is £144m repayment of debt and £266 for the shares so £200m is £66m short from MA’s point of view but not that far off i.e. an amount he’d not dismiss lightly.

            The announcement of paying in instalments relates to the loans, basically, it allows the new owner to finance it debt separately.

  • ToonNL

    “the sale process will give interested parties the opportunity of deferring substantial payments.”

    Translation: get this club off my hands once and for good any way you can.

    I for one welcome our new corporate overlords, for now

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    I notice the club is up for sale on tick buy now pay later any new owner will double admission prices and will struggle to buy a left back never mind a centre forward . Be careful what you wish for dark times a head.

  • Paul Busby

    Selling yes, price nope

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      What price is unrealistic

      • Paul Busby

        Cant say I’m an expert in these things. I just don’t see Ashley being realistic about it.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          The club will generate £40m – £60m profit. The asking price is said to be £400m.

          Put it this way, if you put £400 in a bank and it gave you £40 a year in interest, would you be pretty happy with that?

          • Paul Busby

            Ill wait and see what the ACTUAL price tag is.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            So you accept 400m is fair?

          • Paul Busby

            No. I’m not accepting anything.
            I’m NOT an expert in the topic, but given past experience with Ashley, I’m extrapolating events to the educated presumption that any price tag he puts on the club will be unreasonable.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            Silly analogy. You’re comparing being guaranteed a 10% per year return from interest payments when football is a precarious business and there’s no guarantee of a £40 million return every year. You’re confusing interest returns with investment performance.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I’m not confusing anything. Keep control of costs in the premier league with similar TV revenues and this is a profitable business. Folk on this forum say we are missing out on a minimum of £20m perimeter advertising income as well as £20m commercial income so we’re guaranteed £80m – £100m a year. that makes £400m very cheap indeed.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            That’s not what you said though. You compared a guaranteed rate of 10% interest in the bank (£40 interest on £400) to a 10% Return on Investment (£40 million profit after a £400 million purchase). This assumed return is based on many variable factors, not least staying in the Premier League. If we dropped out of the league you could see huge losses instead. Therefore a guaranteed 10% return would be worth more to most people than a projected 10% return on investment that is by no means guaranteed and even puts your initial capital at risk. I see how patronising you are with other forum members when it comes to the financials and just thought I’d return the favour.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Don’t forget, we will also get £40m extra from commercial income and perimeter advertising. Leazes ender and maximus mouse said it was true.

            Of course there is a risk but you don’t get 10% growth / interest anywhere & if Leazes’ is right (how can he not be) that figure is closer to 25-30%. Surely any buyer is going to be confident of not making the mistake of getting relegated.

          • Gallowgate Dave

            I’m sure Ashley was confident he wouldn’t see us relegated. Until we were. Twice.

            I have no idea how much we miss out on with advertising and commercial revenue but I’m convinced Ashley isn’t the man to drive either of those due to a lack of vision, lack of investment, lack of interest (bothered far more about Sports Direct etc than sporting success with us) and lack of appointing anyone credible, just acolytes.

            I was interested in your open letter a week or so back and found myself agreeing with you (always worries me on the odd occasion I do agree with you!). I too would be prepared to invest money in the club, especially the figures you mooted in your article and I share your frustration sometimes that people moan but wouldn’t actually risk their own cash and don’t understand the concept of risk vs reward. One of your comments was about NUST and how you felt they didn’t want to try and raise money for fan investment, have you had contact with them and did they confirm that? I ask because I joined NUST for that reason and just drifted away bored that nothing ever seemed to happen.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I emailed them a couple of months ago, basically with a few ideas of getting the ball rolling. I tweeted a few of the individuals to confirm the email but as yet, did not get a reply except Michael Martin blocking me! Political differences were cited.

            My plan was to do a few more articles to test the support and take it from there but the Appearance of investors at the Liverpool game and Mondays announcement may mean that a fan buyout would take too long to work. I do however, think we should put up or shut up. Despite the appearance of sucking up to Mike Ashley, I’d like a different approach but I fear the alternative to Mike Ashley could be worse. If fans risk the money, then we only have ourselves to blame.

  • Chris Stanton

    Ashley will, in my opinion, still be the owner of NUFC in the summer. This is Ashley telling us that there is no money available for the January window.

    • Biggs

      I totally agree. This will be used as the excuse why money is notspent in January ultimately leading to Rafas departure.

      Then once Rafas gone we will be told he couldn’t find a buyer

    • Leazes Ender

      People are learning fast….well …. fast-ish… ten years on.

    • Robert Doyle

      spot on

    • HarryHype59

      I share your view on this! Ashley is a master of deception! The absurd price of £380m means he isn’t serious about selling the club!

      The prolonged saga of selling this club will be used as an excuse not to spend in the next window.

  • GToon

    “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.” Is that some kind of joke? The team that sells all its best players, constantly restructures it’s playing staff after either a relegation or catastrophic transfer window has apparently benefited from considerable investment. Really?

  • Mrkgw

    Sooner that a sale is concluded the better. Ashley seems to have lost interest in the club and we need to close this sorry episode in the history of the club. The ownership hasn’t worked out – that much is blatantly obvious and this current regime need to ship out (Ashley, Charnley and Moncur).

    • Georgia Peter

      Never thought I’d be saying this about Bob Moncur, but the guy has become a bumlick, and your’e right,…his colours are firmly nailed to the mast.

  • S.G.M.

    After reading all the comments below there is one line that has a ring to it “Dark days ahead”