We are now just over a week beyond the date when Amanda Staveley presented Mike Ashley with a formal offer for Newcastle United.
Both side have made clear that this did happen via the media, although still much discussion continues as to what was actually offered.
Pulling all the reporting together, the consensus appears to be that the maximum offer made was for something just under £300m, although for the highest amount to be reached it does rely on certain clauses.
The more believable included a claim that some kind of relegation insurance would be agreed to, with the buyer protected up to a point against that eventuality.
Whilst the most dubious came from journalists friendly to Mike Ashley, claiming the bidder(s) were demanding Premier League/Champions League wins within 10 years for Ashley to get the full amount.
Something which appears to have been universally taken by Newcastle fans as being the usual Mike Ashley PR machine trying to ridicule the other party. Much like when Rafa Benitez was only allowed an £11.5m net spend this summer and having to buy £5m Stoke reserve Joselu as our new much-needed star goalscorer, only for Ashley to turn up on Sky Sports saying it was impossible for Newcastle to compete for players such as the £200m Neymar…
Anyway, Saturday has now brought us new claims of new insight as to what is going on behind the scenes.
The Financial Times report that Amanda Staveley has lined up investors from Saudi Arabia and Dubai, if she needs them…
However, they claim their information is that if the price and/or structure of any buying agreement is favourable, then Amanda Staveley and her company PCP Partners could buy Newcastle United themselves, without the need for other investors.
Some fans hoping for/believing in a money no object bid from potential owners where another £50m here or there would be peanuts, may now have their explanation, if the Financial Times are on the money.
The bottom line of course is that pretty much any new owner would be buying the club with an expectation/hope of making a profit in the future, apart from in the unlikely circumstances of it being a Manchester City/PSG type of new ownership, where you become part of something much bigger, that doesn’t need/intend to make a direct profit from the buying and eventual selling of a club.
Eyebrows were raised when Mike Ashley made clear he would be willing to accept payment by instalments to help in the sale of the club.
As well as driving a hard bargain on price, the instalments factor could also lead you to think that this is to help somebody such as Amanda Staveley and her company to buy Newcastle United on their terms, rather than on behalf or in partnership with other investors.
If this was the case then it would appear to rule out money no object arrangements such as exist at PSG and Man City but just because you have very rich owners doesn’t always mean they are willing to invest much of it on their clubs.
QPR had a group of super rich billionaires (Briatore, Ecclestone, Mittal) owning the club a few years ago but it was run on a relative shoestring. There is also a club on Tyneside who have suffered from a billionaire owner relegating the club twice due to under investment and even refusing to spend the club’s own generated revenue when it was desperately needed to reinforce a dangerously understrength squad.
As to who would be the ideal new owners (very rich or mega rich) is impossible to say.
All Newcastle fans want is to see the back of Mike Ashley and see somebody come in who will believe in the potential of Newcastle United on and off the pitch and do their best to make it happen.