The Newcastle Takeover burst into life on Tuesday night, though not in the way any of us were hoping.
Mike Ashley using Sky Sports, as usual (see below), to claim there was actually no deal on offer from the Amanda Staveley led bid and indeed, nothing was even under discussion/negotiation.
The ‘highlight’ of the Sky Sports exclusive being Mike Ashley (through a source…) claiming the attempts to reach a deal with Staveley had been a ‘complete waste of time’.
Back came Amanda Staveley (also see below) with George Caulkin of The Times saying that the Staveley camp insisted a written bid for Newcastle was made in November, with the clear implication being that this deal (widely reported as £250m) was still on the table.
Obviously nobody can take Tuesday night’s events as any kind of a positive BUT when you scrape away the posturing then has anything really changed?
Mike Ashley is making clear that, as we all already knew, that the £250m offer from Amanda Staveley is not acceptable, whilst the Ms Staveley bidders have reasserted their own position, that their £250m bid is still active but they aren’t increasing it, at least not at the moment.
Apart from Mike Ashley, as he has done so often in the past, throwing his toys out of the pram in a typical show of petulance, what is different now?
In a way I actually take last night’s events as a positive, Mike Ashley lashing out has finally proved to me once and for all that he definitely wants to sell the club.
If he was easy either way then why would he be taking such a strop?
The opposing positions have been established for some time, Mike Ashley wants top dollar, as though it is May and Newcastle know they are getting ready to prepare for an upcoming season in the Premier League, whilst the Amanda Staveley bidders are only willing to pay a lower price, at least for the time being, based on the fact that in four months time this could be a club in the Championship.
For all Ashley’s histrionics, that is still the position for me. He isn’t used to people not doing what he wants, when he wants them to do it.
Tuesday night hasn’t changed anything in terms of the chances of the club being sold, it merely confirmed what the current position was/is.
Once everybody knows which division Newcastle United will be in next season, serious talks and almost certainly an increased offer from Amanda Staveley, and potentially others, can/will happen. Whether that offer(s) prove acceptable to Mike Ashley we will only find out when we reach that situation.
The Mag – Tuesday 16 January 2018:
The Amanda Staveley camp have hit back after Mike Ashley’s PR machine used their usual medium, Sky Sports, to deliver a damning attack on the group bidding to buy Newcastle United.
The Tuesday night Sky Sports offensive (see below) saw a Mike Ashley source (Mike Ashley) say that there was no deal on offer and that nothing is even under discussion.
It went on to claim that the whole Amanda Staveley episode had been a ‘waste of time’ despite the valiant attempts of Mike Ashley to do a deal…
Now though, the very reliable George Caulkin of The Times has given the reply from the Amanda Staveley side, with two sources saying that ‘categorically’ there had been a written offer made in November and that the offer had been made via Chris Mort, who ran the club for Mike Ashley when he first bought it.
George Caulkin of The Times:
“Two sources close to Amanda Staveley assert categorically that PCP submitted a written bid for NUFC in mid November.
“Submitted to Ashley’s solicitors through Chris Mort of Freshfields (who of course used to work for Ashley & the club), they insist.
“For their part, Newcastle sources insist that the statement released to Sky – that talks with Staveley have been “a complete waste of time” – are reflective of Mike Ashley’s views.”
The Mag – 16 January 2017:
Tuesday night exclusive from Sky Sports has revealed there is no deal on the table from Amanda Staveley ‘or even under discussion’ with Mike Ashley.
Sky Sports say that ‘a source close to Mike Ashley’ has told them this.
Which when it is Sky Sports, then we can safely assume that this comes direct from Mike Ashley with them being as thick as thieves.
The Sky Sports story says that the source/Mike Ashley says that they are releasing this information because ‘It is only right to let the fans know…’.
Yes, we all know that the cares and concerns of the Newcastle fans are always close to Ashley’s heart, not.
The PR machine rumbles on, saying that Mike Ashley’s valiant attempts to reach a deal with the Amanda Staveley group had been ‘exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time.
Which coincidentally is how the vast majority of Newcastle fans would describe these 11 seasons under Ashley’s ownership.
Earlier today there was a piece put out by Press Association Sport, who had clearly been briefed by somebody.
Things now falling into place as their source was revealing that Mike Ashley had now agreed to back Rafa Benitez in making three January signings
So it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this was Ashley’s PR people as well, trying to put out a positive message that the owner was (allegedly) prepared to back transfers, before then putting out this barbed attack on Amanda Staveley and her backers. However, that ‘positive’ transfer story was only positive in a very limited way, as when you got past the headline it went on to say that Rafa would be able to bring in three signings but only with a very ‘limited’ budget.
So in other words, the manager has to bring in quality signings on a pittance. Never going to happen.
Of course we all believe what we want to, just as when after Ashley’s announcement the club was up for sale in October, his legal representative in his second appearance on Sky Sports came out and claimed that several other serious bidders had come forward, only to be never mentioned again…
‘No deal is in place between Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley’s PCP group for the sale of the club, Sky Sports News understands.
A source close to Ashley said:
“It is only right to let the fans know that there is no deal on the table or even under discussion with Amanda Staveley and PCP.”
The source added that attempts to reach a deal had proved to be “exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time”.
Sky Sports News have contacted PCP and are awaiting comment.’