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Analysts say Mike Ashley deliberately stalled Newcastle takeover so can wait to see new TV deals

4 years ago

Mike Ashley has deliberately stalled in trying to sell the club and/or having further discussions for the time being.

The Mail say that analysts they have spoken to are ‘convinced that Ashley is deliberately stalling on negotiations with Staveley’ because he believes that if the new TV deals rise, he will be able to increase his asking price for Newcastle United.

Interestingly, the newspaper says that analysts also believe that Mike Ashley going very public in his attack on Amanda Staveley, claiming talks had been a ‘complete waste of time’, was a ‘classic negotiating ploy, as he waits for the new TV revenues to be known’.

It is already for certain that overseas TV deals will significantly rise for the next three seasons starting 2019/20 as many countries/areas of the world have already agreed prices.

However, the UK rights are set to be tabled in early February and the winners announced by the end of February 2018.

Amazon are widely expected to enter the bidding and regardless of who is or isn’t putting in bids, it is expected that revenues will be far higher from the UK deals than currently is the case. The Mail say that analysts at Berenberg Bank believe that if they retained their current deals, Sky Sports would end up paying 35% more for the same arrangements, whilst BT Sport would be paying an extra 18%.

The Premier League also recently revealed that more matches than ever before would be sold off to Live TV and for the first time, it will mean a majority of the 380 Premier League matches being screened by live TV and moved for the inconvenience of match-going fans.

The positives in this report are that despite Mike Ashley allegedly holding on to see how much higher a price he could put the club for sale at, The Mail claim that the Amanda Staveley led bidders are prepared to also wait and potentially pay more than they are currently offering, if the TV deals revenues increase AND of course Newcastle reach safety from potential relegation.

The Mail:

‘Newcastle United’s financial future hinges on the imminent new Premier League TV deal, with would-be owner Amanda Staveley’s next offer to Mike Ashley dependent on how much cash the broadcasters are willing to pay, Sportsmail can reveal.

Staveley has no intention of walking away from her attempt to buy the club – despite public attacks on her by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley this week.

But Sportsmail understands that it is now unlikely that a renewed offer will be made by her and PCP Capital Partners until the winners of the 2019-2022 domestic rights are known, by the end of next month.

Analysts believe that the new deal will bring a further increase on the current £5.1bn domestic rights and are convinced that Ashley is deliberately stalling on negotiations with Staveley, knowing that a big new settlement will drive up the price of the club. Staveley had hoped to do a deal before 2018, ahead of negotiations for the new TV deal.

Falling viewing figures for live games has created uncertainty about this round of TV rights, though some sources believe that there may be a 10 per cent uplift. That would mean Staveley having to improve her offer to Ashley, which she is ready to do.

‘If Ashley sits and waits for the new TV deal, he knows the value of the club will probably go up,’ one analyst told Sportsmail.

‘Staveley will also have thought that she would get it cheaper by buying it now, before the new rights are known. If you are looking at the value of a club, it is dependent on revenue. The core revenue of clubs is TV rights money.’

Ashley’s public attack on Staveley this week indicates that no alternative discussions have been successful and analysts believe that such a public play is a classic negotiating ploy, as he waits for the new TV revenues to be known.


But analysts at Berenberg Bank also believe that Sky will face a 35 per cent rise in the amount they pay out for rights and BT an 18 per cent rise, if they retain the same number of rights packages that they currently hold.’


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