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Update from The Times on ‘quick sale’ of Newcastle United – A bit dubious

4 years ago
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Saturday has seen The Times give an update on the ongoing (alleged) buying/selling of Newcastle United.

Their Deputy Football Correspondent, Matt Hughes, claims that both Mike Ashley and interested parties who have already signed non-disclosure agreements, are all keen on ‘pushing for a quick deal’.

Hughes says that the three prospective buyers want a deal sorted by the new year at the latest, before the new TV deals (to start from the 2019/20 season) are confirmed in February.

Whilst for Mike Ashley, The Times journalist says the NUFC owner wants to sell the club before the January transfer window opens, to avoid having to splash out money on players, now he has decided to sell the club.

The Times:

“There are three separate groups of potential investors conducting due diligence at Newcastle United in addition to PCP Capital Partners, which is run by Amanda Staveley, who held informal talks with club officials at St James Park last weekend.

“Unlike PCP, the other interested parties have signed non-disclosure agreements and are pushing for a quick deal, ideally before the next Premier League TV rights package is completed in February, which they all expect to have an inflationary effect.

Mike Ashley, the owner, also wants a quick sale as he is keen to avoid an outlay in the January transfer window on an asset of which he is in the process of disposing, having conceded that Newcastle’s squad requires strengthening.”

Not quite sure how big an update this is, or whether just a rehash of what has been said before.

Mike Ashley has never been bothered in the past when it comes to logic or fan/media pressure to do with spending in transfer windows. At one point Newcastle went 18 months without buying a single player, so can’t imagine the owner worrying about that.

As for buying the club before the next TV deals are announced – various parts of the world have already concluded deals to show Premier League football in the 3 year period starting August 2019 and they are showing a certainty that overseas TV cash is already guaranteed to surge further upwards. Whilst the UK deal is set to go the same way, with the added possibility of new bidders such as Google getting involved. With no chance of TV cash going down, it is just a question of how much it will go up – so no real uncertainty on this issue.

There has also been claims that the NUFC stories emanating from The Times headquarters in London, are likely to be the work of Mike Ashley PR goon Keith Bishop feeding the story/stories to the London based journalist.

Whereas the reliable George Caulkin who covers north east football for The Times, has adopted a more cautious approach, summed up by his coverage of Amanda Staveley’s appearance on Sunday at the Liverpool game.

George Caulkin – Wednesday 4 October:

“Amanda Staveley met Justin Barnes, Lee Charnley & Keith Bishop in the Newcastle boardroom following the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

“These are the earliest of early days – meeting wasn’t planned – but lines of communication open & a willingness on both sides to talk more.

“That’s a million, billion, trillion miles away from anything resembling a deal being done, of course, but it’s something.”

The bottom line is that probably there is a slight uplift in terms of hope from recent events/reports but as George says,still a canny few ‘miles away from anything resembling a deal’.

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