Hopes of a Newcastle United takeover by Christmas, continue to be just that, hopes.

It is now a number of weeks since Amanda Staveley’s PCP and a number of other potential buyers were claimed to have signed NDAs (non-disclosure agreements), allowing them to start examining the club’s books and do ‘due diligence’.

Hopes of a quick resolution have been and gone, with reports that already more time has elapsed than it took for Manchester City to be sold to Sheikh Mansour, Amanda Staveley also involved in that club purchase.

These weeks have been tough for Newcastle fans, brought to the brink of hope/expectation that 10+ years of Ashley rule was shortly coming to an end, only to be left staring at the clock, a bit like kids waiting for Christmas.

If there is due diligence and/or serious negotiations taking place, then it is unlikely that they would see spoon feeding the media/fans as high on the list of priorities.

Instead we are seeing embarrassing ‘exclusives’ filling the void, only yesterday (Sunday) two newspapers had attention grabbing headlines.

One in Indonesia was a cobbled together rehash of rumours and other made up previous exclusives, whilst The Star claimed that the club will be sold this week and repeated their previous ‘exclusive’ which claimed insider knowledge of a meeting between Amanda Staveley and ‘Newcastle chiefs’, where bids for Luke Shaw, Andy Carroll, and Ross Barkley were supposedly discussed and assurances made that Rafa would be given £100m+ to spend in January.

With much discussion of the weekend’s Newcastle United takeover exclusives, somebody with a little more credibility has stepped into the debate.

Luke Edwards covers Newcastle United for The Telegraph and whilst his take on the matter isn’t quite as sensational, it is more believable.

He describes negotiations as ‘delicate’ between the club and potential buyers but insists that having spoken to people in the know: ‘things chugging along and still moving in right direction’.

There is also a bit carrot and stick, with Luke Edwards telling Newcastle fans ‘Don’t be despondent but don’t get your hopes up either’.

Nobody thought it was going to be as easy as selling your car, or even your house, and we all know how long that can take…but there are various worries for supporters when they think about whether they can get rid of Mike Ashley at last.

A number of times Ashley has claimed the club is up for sale but nothing has happened, leading most fans to doubt whether indeed he was serious about selling and/or if he was asking for too much money.

Has he ticked those two boxes this time? Probably a majority of fans will believe that the club is genuinely up for sale but not so many will believe he will settle on a realistic market price.

Supporters also worry that a post-Ashley era could still see the Sports Direct branding continuing to deface the whole of St James Park, as a condition of the sale potentially.

It is now exactly six weeks until Christmas Day, lets hope the chugging Newcastle United takeover has reached its destination by then.

Luke Edwards:

“I’m told Newcastle United takeover not close to completion, but things chugging along and still moving in right direction.

“Don’t be despondent but don’t get your hopes up either.

“Negotiations are delicate.”

  • Steve Pearce

    This can’t even be classed as fake news as it really doesn’t contain any news!

    Roll on the sale and the end of this torrent of utter shyte…

  • BillytheFish

    4 weeks is all it takes to carry out diligence on a company, and most large organisations have legal or tax issues they are dealing with, so bearing in mind this is a football club which is an uncomplicated company with no dependencies or overseas interests, if it isn’t done in 4 weeks it isn’t happening.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      I don’t think that is true. I’d expect NUFC’s auditors to take about a month to audit NUFC’s accounts and they are very familiar with the company. You are right, there aren’t too many complications but nevertheless, there are quite a few checks that a new owner will want to be absolutely sure about.

      • BillytheFish

        Good point, but if you were selling your business wouldn’t you have your ducks in a row to make the process simple for the auditor, but i suppose this is Mike Ashley…

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Yes…but Staveley’s role in this is a broker, where she / her company gets hurt is if the brochure does not match reality.

          If Ashley is selling a car, he’s already taken it for a valet, got his mate to put an MOT on it and conjured up a service history (he thinks he’s got his ducks in a row), it’s Staveley’s firm’s role to make sure all that paperwork is legit because if her buyer finds it’s a cut and shut, her firm is liable for a big loss. From Staveley’s POV, the less she finds, the more determined because she’d like to prove her worth.

          • HarryHype59

            “Conjured up a service history”

            Is he mentioning the club has a CAT C category due to two relegation accidents!

          • Geordiegiants

            I think he is letting us know, he thinks Newcastle is a pill.

    • Coble’s Return

      The due diligence is only the start of the exercise though. Any issues thrown up will need to be put to the current owners and addressed (details of the HMRC investigation being the obvious one) and then any potential buyer will have to decide what impact those issues might have on their opening offer. Then the two will negotiate. However, in this case, things may be further complicated by the fact that there are reported to be multiple interested parties. Ashley will want to know how many of those are genuine and what each of them is prepared to offer before the haggling begins. Just because Amanda Staveley has visited SJP and in doing so, has sent the rumour merchants into melt-down, doesn’t mean that PCP is the only, or even the leading prospect for the takeover. She seems to be the real deal to me, but sadly, I don’t own the club.

      • BillytheFish

        Do you really think there are multiple buyers??
        I think 2 at most PCP who are courting publicity which is worrying, and maybe Mikhail Prokhorov who has just sold his Baseball team and was sniffing around last time. Anything Mike Ashley does carries an element of Risk which is of great concern to people who are looking for a straight bat…Ashley will change the shape of his bat by the hour.

        • Coble’s Return

          Multiple buyers – no, but we are told that a number of so-called interested parties have signed the non-disclosure agreements. Some of these will be tyre kickers, but until they formally withdraw, Ashley will not restrict himself. Eventually, it is usual for the seller to enter into a restrictive agreement with a preferred buyer at the exclusion (albeit reversible) of all others.

    • Leazes Ender

      It’ll be hard to unpick S**** D**** involvment from the accounts as they took over the merchandising and repay an arbitrary fee.

      I wonder how much the club received for Strawberry Place land and Little Benton ….and the club shops…… and of course the nil advertising income is a bit of a poser.

  • pedrodelgardo

    Reading between the lines we should think of Amanda Stavely as the new Santa.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    If Ashley buzz words start coming out like : Negotiations Have Become Protracted, Then I would start to worry because it would appear he is up to his old tricks again.
    I know some have said 4 weeks is all it takes to do the due diligence but there is the stumbling block of his loan and a few other issues so I wouldn’t get too disheartened
    The thing that I would give a bit credence to if true would be what Kevin Keegan’s view on the situation is.
    If he thinks there is something dodgy going on then there probably is unfortunately !

    • Damon Horner

      4 weeks to review the books and contracts (players and service) would be fine but it’s the findings and negotiations of the due diligence where discussions and agreements would need to take place, I can imagine Ashley has a few contracts that any prospective buyer might want to find out more about, just in public it already extends to HMRC, SD Retail and his loan, so i’m with you, timescale isn’t really a factor to judge how close or likely this is.

      Keegan though might just be applying his (and most peoples) personal view of Ashley, think we all know if Ashley thinks he can change the goalposts then he will, I reckon though if he does try and get as much as possible Amanda Staveley knows how dangerous of a precedent it is to agree to it and will likely threaten or actually withdraw). All depends on how badly Ashley wants out.

  • Toon Fan

    The reality is that nobody really knows anything at all. The only ‘facts’ that we have are that the club is up for sale, confirmed via the club website and that they would like it to be done by Christmas, confirmed by Ashley’s lawyer to Sky Sports. We also know that Amanda Staveley attended the Liverpool match. That’s it! All this talk of valuations and funds for transfers are hearsay and conjecture.

    We don’t even know for sure that there are interested parties, and that due diligence is in fact taking place. We’re led to believe by ‘those in the know’ that this is happening, but it hasn’t come directly from the horses mouth.

    No point in getting worked up about it until we hear something concrete. IF something is really happening, i doubt we’ll hear anything until its pretty much signed and sealed.

    • Toon fan

      I am Toon fan. :)

  • Leazes Ender

    Is Amanda Staveley doing this for herself or for a client?…… I presumed it was for a client.

    All of this speculation has inferred that she is the prospective owner and not …….Hamad Al Thani

    I can’t wait to see the outcome….. exciting innit.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      End of day no one knows until comes from a buyers mouth or official announcement.

      But we live in hope

    • Nut

      I have heard different things but in both cases its Royalty behind it… putting in the money… some say Qatar, some Dubai / UAE but what I have heard and there is support to back is that it’s another member of the UAE Royal familly. A Brother of Manchester City owners Sheik Mansour wants to buy a club. He supposedly is competitive with him and wants to beat him, he has greater wealth and he is already linked with a bid for Liverpool but since they won’t sell Stavely chose us.

      I have also heard Stavely has agreed to look after his interests as he has more pressing duties currently.

      So that could explain both inferrences.

      • Wor Lass

        I hope he isn`t involved in the embezzlement scandal going on over there.

        • Leazes Ender

          I’m sure he’ll set up an internal independent inquiry.

          • hetonmag

            What do you think of that Leazes a barrow boy dealing with royalty great init.

      • Leazes Ender

        So long as he pays his taxes to himself that’s fine.

        • Nut

          The original word I heard was it was Fazza…. but I am not so sure if he has the funds on his own to do this.

          Then the press has recently been linking the Man City owners half brother again it could be speculation.

          If you remember back to Man C even though the owner had been seen at a game disguised. It was denied for ages he was buying.

          And I wouldn’t be suprised if having learnt from that they’ve decided to put out a lot of misleading leads to throw people off the scent.

      • HarryHype59

        Let’s hope this is all true!

    • Ivan

      Hamad Al Thani died last year

      • Wor Lass

        Hope it`s not a ghost company!

      • Leazes Ender

        Thats his dad….. same name, he was prince regent (bin Khalifa)…

  • Awaymag

    Mike will have his fingers stuck in many pies and anyone who buys the club will pay a big chuck of money for it then will have to pay bit by bit to get his chubby didgets out of everything else ✋

  • Taz

    Not holding my breath on any fkr wanting to do business with the fat [email protected] He is full of shit3.

  • Stephen Paylor

    If we do get a takeover and sign Andy Carroll, Luke Shaw and Ross Barkley in January as reported i might move back to England.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Why, are you a physio looking for work?

      • HarryHype59

        Very droll…but a comment based on fact!

  • Toontone100

    It doesn’t surprise me that its taking longer than the Man City sale did;
    1) Amanda has lessons learned from that sale she would undoubtedly want to respect in this one
    2) Ashley has unusual contracts in place at NUFC from Sports (I’ll pay nothing) Direct … and undoubtedly other ancillary contracts (let alone players etc)
    3) I’m sure his inflated asking price is a long way higher than the worth or offer they may / may not have discussed… and I doubt he’s an easy person to negotiate with – no Dictators are.

    I’ll keep hoping and hoping it can happen before January and even if late …. live in the hope that we can creep over that stay up points line come May.