Things are continuing to warm up on the Newcastle takeover front.

Monday night seeing Sky News break the story that Amanda Staveley was heading up a bid that had seen a formal offer ‘in the region of £300m’ made for Newcastle United.

This was then followed by various confirmations that the club had indeed received an offer last week but that it was far lower than that £300m claimed figure.

Much talk was of complications/problems for Mike Ashley in how the offer was ‘structured’,

The first of those to be publicised was the alleged existence of a relegation clause, with money set to be repaid by Ashley if Newcastle ended up in the Championship in May.

You can kind of see where that one would come from, considering this is a season which continues to hang in the balance.

However, further reporting of claimed extra clauses surely stretch credibility…

Former Sky Sports journalist (and always supportive of Mike Ashley and failed former NUFC head of buying players, Graham Carr) Graeme Bailey claims Newcastle would have to win the Premier League for a full £300m to be paid.

Whilst Teamtalk go even further, by saying that it would have to be winning (not just qualifying for) the Champions League to bring about that figure.

I can understand taking possible relegation into consideration.

I could also imagine the possibility of including a sweetener of extra cash for Ashley if qualifying for the Champions League in the next say five or so years, because firstly it could potentially happen in the future with investment and lots of things falling right, whilst secondly qualifying for the Champions League would automatically mean loads of extra cash – some of which could be used to pay any such clause/incentive.

Payments dependent on actually winning the Champions League and/or Premier League are so beyond the reach of what is likely to happen, to make any such clauses laughable and surely nothing of that sort could be key to any deal.

Newcastle fans have already pointed the finger in the direction of Mike Ashley’s PR man Keith Bishop as a potential source for putting about these claims of Premier League/Champions League clauses, to make it look like the Staveley camp are being unreasonable and Mike Ashley is the one just wanting to get a fair deal done…

One other interesting fact to come forward is that it is Freshfields who are said to be the solicitors acting for Amanda Staveley. One of their top men is a certain Chris Mort, who of course was put in charge of Newcastle United for a year by Ashley, on temporary secondment from his normal job at Freshfields.

He would be able to tell Amanda Staveley a tale or two about how Mike Ashley runs Newcastle United…

Graeme Bailey‏:

“The offer for Newcastle from Amanda Staveley & PCP Capital Partners is £300m but that is only if Newcastle went on to win the Premier League, and they also want relegation release clauses – offer is way, way off the mark.

“Also there is no exclusivity agreement with this group.”


“Staveley’s group have also stipulated that the £300million price will only be fully achieved if Newcastle go on to win the Champions League in the next 10 years.

“TEAMtalk understands Ashley is very unhappy with the offer and PCP have not been granted exclusive negotiating rights and any deal is far from completion.

“Ashley told Sky Sports in August he was looking for £400million from the deal and so Denton’s solicitors, acting for Ashley, have some hard negotiating to do with Staveley’s solicitors Freshfields.

“PCP’s funds come via a combination of Staveley’s own equity, as well as from their investors – mainly made up of Middle Eastern investors.”

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    I know what Fatso will tell them and it begins with F

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    The only clause which should be in the takeover is any payments to H.M.R.C which is very unlikely. If they want the club pay the going rate and get on with it or go away.

    • Brian Standen

      Pay a fair rate – going rate and fair rate could be different! But relegation clauses are just plain silly! Get ownership before Christmas, give Rafa a modicum of transfer budget and relegation won’t happen!

      • TheFatController

        There is no going rate for football clubs – they are not homogenous and thus are difficult to value.

        Consequently the ‘going rate’ is what someone will pay. And no one is paying anything currently.

        So if Ashley wants to sell, market forces will tell him what it’s worth, not him.

        I don’t go into sports direct and expect to see trainers priced at £800 ‘because Mike Ashley wants that for them’ – their trainers are priced at what people will pay for them. If adidas were £5 we’d all be buying them as that’s value – so when no one bids on the club it’s because £380m is not seen as value.

        • Monkseaton Magpies

          It is Mike Ashley who is control of the situation. He will have a reserve price which he will not drop below a bit like selling a house eg offers above £350m.Think he will take £325m which is £25m more than what I would value it at.

          • TheFatController

            I think he’s got out of control of the situation for two reasons:-

            1. Hrs only got one bidder so there’s no bidding war which he would want desperately Sen he clearly does want rid

            2. If he doesn’t accept the PCP bid, he’ll have to tell us we’re stuck with him, Rafa will walk or lose the feel good factor and we’ll drop like a stone as we’ll spend nothing in Jan whilst others will spend big to save their PL skins …

    • TheFatController

      What is the going rate sorry? He’s had no bids for 10 years. If he’s not selling, he can say all he likes it’s worth £380m

      But if he’s selling, buyers determine the worth, not the seller. The seller is only right on their valuation when someone matches it with money.

      Shall we wait another ten years til Ashley’s valuation is proved right by someone paying him £380m?

  • paul mclaughlan

    Jeez, stop reading every news outlet then passing the tripe onto us.

  • mentalman

    So far we’ve had relegation clauses, sponsorship clauses, champions league clauses and now the gutter press are trying to convince us that MA whats the sale to go through in 60m per year installments. The only believable parts of these are MA trying to install clauses for Sports Direct’s advertising to continue and also perhaps anything above the 300m may be paid in installments

    • paul mclaughlan

      Us fans should get sanity clauses written in too.

    • whitleylad

      Given the time of year we might also get some santa clauses.

  • Martin

    It is reported that Chris Mort at Freshfields is actually acting for PCP on the bid.

    • Damon Horner

      Chris Mort is a legal partner and this is very lucrative so it wouldn’t be a shock once Freshfields were confirmed as acting for PCP.

      • Mark Potter

        It would be surprising, given his previous personal involvement in the club as an employee of the seller, and he was said to be a friend of Ashley. It might be regarded as a conflict of interest for to act for the buyer.

        It’s not like Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are short of lawyers, that they need to give the case to him to supervise – they have over 2700 qualified lawyers working for them, across the world. And 471 of them are partners. Put away the idea that Mort runs the firm. All lawyers operate in partnerships, and every lawyer, except those who are quite junior, can expect to become a partner in a firm sooner or later. Mort is not one of the three managing partners, and there is nothing on his bio on the firm’s website that suggests he is especially senior.

        Of course, being a partner of such a major firm is a very lucrative gig, he’s been very successful in his career. But he wouldn’t stay successful if he took on work for one client (PCP) and in the process gave them the inside track on another client (MASH). He can’t breach client confidentiality without risking his career.

        • Damon Horner

          Genuinely what could be breached? It’s a takeover not a lawsuit, they already know the company accounts and active contracts so anything not disclosed would make Ashley liable surely?

          I don’t know the ins and outs of Freshfields but I work for an accountancy firm so just assumed the partnership of employees would work similar and it’s a different ratio, I accept that could be wrong.

          It’s not necessarily something though a Managing Partner would actively work on but again it has been the case with my work.

          Not too sure if this would be considered a conflict of interest because surely he is going to come across former clients in his work and surely there is nothing to disclose which could affect the deal?

  • Paul Patterson

    The whole club under Mike Ashleys ownership went down hill after Chris Mort left. He seemed a decent guy and saw what was coming.

  • Damon Horner

    All guesswork. PCP might actually have been unreasonable in their offer, lets just see how the negotiations develop.

    • TheFatController

      Given he wants to sell, no offer could be unreasonable, an offer can only be labelled ‘not what the owner thinks it’s worth’.

      Your house is only worth what someone will pay. If they’ve offered, say £250m, and no one else has bid, that is the money you can get for the club currently. If it was a steal at £380m, there’d be more than one bid of less than £300m for the club, that’s market forces.

      Clearly it’s a buyer’s market. If Ashley wants to stay owner til it’s a seller’s market and people will pay £380m he may be waiting a long time. I’d advise he takes £300m, given he has no other bids and hasn’t had any for 10 years now…

  • TheFatController

    MA will make out it’s a PL club with ground, manager and fan base in place

    AS will point out that last year we weren’t a PL club, and as a result of the transfers in the summer we are still a championship squad.

    Ashley will point out the potential for return on investment if the club succeeds to CL level, a level it has been at before.

    AS will point we are £250m minimum from CL.

    Clauses are a means to negotiate around these arguments and counter arguments, by allowing for best case and worst case scenarios to be insured for /against for both parties …

    ‘In the event of relegation, you will compensate us £xm..’

    In the event of the club reaching CL, you will be rewarded with £xm…’

    Ashley is in some dream world that we’ve not been relegated twice in the past decade and haven’t finished top half just once …

    • Mark Potter

      Yeah, like you put clauses like that in selling your house or your car? No. Caveat emptor. The buyer does their checks and decides whether they like the car/house/football club. If it turns out to be a pig in a poke, then they have no redress. They take the loss. But they also take the benefits if it turns out to be a nice little earner.

      Negotiations btw are much more likely to be about things like Colback’s salary and how much they can expect to get rid of him for, what plans the manager has for new players in January and how much that will cost, what sponsorship deals there are, and how PCP investors can improve revenue streams, how do they avoid FFP rules, and yeah, why exactly did the club pay over the odds to agents on a number of occasions? What is the structure of season tickets, how many fans have guarantees or at least expectations of getting their ticket renewed at the same price for the next x years, how much can they charge away fans, do you still get a blanket in the platinum club, and how much do they earn from selling pies and weddings.

      • TheFatController

        Why are you classing information on the club’s structure and remuneration structures as negotiation?

        That’s the due dilligence, not negotiation. Why would they sit down and negotiate what Colback costs / is worth ? Why would they discuss earnings from pies?

        Negotiation is when you know all the detail on the things you have listed and you then agree the worth of all of those things that you are taking off their hands.

        You actually can have the clauses if you are paying in instalments, which Is a structure mentioned. So your analogy about selling cars and houses is wrong because if you buy with mortgage or on HP you get plenty of clauses on default etc. In your contract of purchase (that covers the instalments period)

        You state with certainty there can be no clauses in a purchase of a business yet all the reports mention that Staveley has put clauses in. Either you’re wrong or she is? My money’s on Staveley’s knowledge of negotiations for a PL club ahead of yours, just a gut feeling I’ve got …

  • Soldier

    I don`t think they have any chance of buying Newcastle, the bids far to low and Cashley won`t accept clauses. i think the bidders have underestimated him

  • Amanda Staveley knows fans will tear Ashley apart if he doesn’t sell and that’s why there is so much publicity on the ~300m Bid, which in reality is more likely around 250m. Amanda uses the fans to pressure Ashley into selling for less, which will not happen. I don’t think Ashley will settle for anything less than 300m.

    • TheNutJob

      He`s relegated us twice & there`s been no walk outs or boycotts, add to that he couldn`t care less what the fans think

  • Peaky Magpie

    Simple-Fatty stays,Rafa goes,Pulis arrives !!!

    • TheNutJob

      Pulis, Pardew or a swop, Rafa for Moyes the Muppet

      • Peaky Magpie

        If we were to believe anything gobshyte Joey Barton says that may not be that far from the truth !!😭😭😭

  • Steve Pearce

    So now stand by for torretnts of utter shyte!

    The longer it takes for the deal to be done the more “sources” will blather out to journalists even more outlandish claims for the price of a night out on the hoy.

    I for one can’t wait for the sale to be competed and have already had ten crates of Broon stashed safely in my local to celebrate the passing of The Fat Stinking Bag Of Southern Pus!

    • Coble’s Return

      Pub landlords across Newcastle and Northumberland will have the breweries on standby for the day this completes. The guy who takes the photo of Staveley in front of the East Stand with Black and White scarf aloft will be able to retire on the royalties.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Better still if she`s in a Black & White strip

  • Dillon Tovak

    Obviously everything is pure speculation and guess work.

  • HTL

    Is this business speak for ” HOW MUCH? I would expect a premiership/champions league winning club for that price? ” LOL

  • 1957

    Stavely’s group may want clauses, I’m sure Mike will be setting his own conditions for a low valuation or deferred payments, free advertising for SD and / or control of merchandising perhaps. All part of the negotiating on big deals…the one clause which may be justified is in relation to the HMRC investigation I would want Ashley to indemnify me against losses as a result of wrongdoing by his minions.

    All of which makes me think we are nowhere near seeing the back of our owner

  • Leicester Mag

    Maybe he values the club in the same way as the tat in his off the floor chav ware? Anyone that believes the club is valued at £380M must presumably believe the price tags on his wear once then bin Lonsdale lard pants.

  • Peaky Magpie

    The HMRC investigation is starting to have a serious impact before its even fully investigated i’m afraid.I really hope if proven guilty it’s the individuals concerned who are punished and not the club.However,I’m not holding my breath.