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…
“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.”