The Newcastle Takeover debate has dominated the past week.

Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley having a very public slanging match as Newcastle fans watched on.

Rafa Benitez emerged on Friday to say that Mike Ashley told him a few weeks ago that no takeover was going to happen this month.

However, I think it is  important to go back a day or two and look at what has been said by both sides.

I think fair to say that nobody is 100% sure on what the exact position is BUT there is another way of looking at what has gone public, which DOES tell us one very important thing.

Mike Ashley (through ‘sources’) told Sky Sports that there were no ongoing discussions and that Amanda Staveley dealings had been a ‘complete waste of time’.

He also said there was no offer for the club currently on the table.

Amanda Staveley responded and unlike Ashley, she was happy to do a proper interview explaining her side of the story.

Speaking to George Caulkin of The Times she made clear there had been three written offers made for the club and that the third of those was still active.

These are the three bids that were revealed in The Time interview:

£300m, first bid, November 2: £200m on completion. £50m July 1 2018, £50m July 1 2019 — neither paid in the event of relegation. Benítez to stay as manager. Penalty clauses in the event of HMRC fine.

£350m, second bid, November 10: £150m on completion. £50m January 1 2020 £50m January 1 2021 £50m January 1 2022 £50m in the event of qualifying for the Champions League. Benítez to stay as manager. Penalty clauses in the event of relegation and HMRC fine.

£250m, third bid, November 17: £250m payable in full. Benítez to stay as manager. No clauses.

When putting the club up for sale in October, Mike Ashley had made clear that he was willing to take at least some of the payment in instalments, so that aspect can’t be seen as a reason why the first two bids weren’t accepted.

However, the first two offers did include relegation clauses which meant he wasn’t guaranteed the total amounts.

The first offer being a guaranteed £200m plus £100m more if no relegation, though any HMRC fines to be deducted if they materialised.

The second offer being a guaranteed £150m plus £150m more if no relegation, though any HMRC fines to be deducted if they materialised. Plus another £50m if qualifying for Champions League in next few years under the Amanda Staveley bidders.

Third offer, what it says on the tin, £250m with no clauses (the Rafa Benitez one surely not a problem if ambitious new owners arriving).

With the Amanda Staveley bid not going higher than £250m at least for the foreseeable, it then produced other newspaper stories, including what seemed a fairly reliable one from Craig Hope, who covers Newcastle for The Mail and has a decent track record, where he said Ashley’s people had told him that £300m without clauses would be a figure that Mike Ashley could/would accept.

So sifting through all of that, for me the true position appears to be that at this moment in time with Newcastle fighting a relegation battle, Amanda Staveley’s bidders are prepared to pay £250m and Mike Ashley values the club at £300m.

In this smoke and mirrors, a bit like transfer stories, you can’t take anything as being 100% correct but that is the position the rival camps are telling us.

With this position being reached, there appeared to be a bit of a shift in the media and amongst a minority of Newcastle fans. Their take on it being along these lines: if that is Mike Ashley’s price then Amanda Staveley needs to just get on with this, yes she might only value it at £250m at this point but it is Mike Ashley’s house/club and if he says that is the price then just get on and do the deal at £300m – as in the great scheme of things and looking longer-term with ever bigger TV deals etc, this is the chance to buy Newcastle United.

This is the time though for me, when we have to step back and look at the broader picture. not just whether or not Amanda Staveley is/should be buying the club.

If Mike Ashley is saying that Amanda Staveley has been wasting his time, that £250m is an insulting offer, and that Newcastle United at this moment in time is worth £300m of anybody’s money, then why are there not numerous other buyers fighting it out to pick up this bargain?

If three similar houses go up for sale in your street at £140,000, £150,000 and £200,000, the first two quickly sell but the third one is still for sale (10 years later..?), do you blame the prospective buyers for not paying the £200,000???

Or do you think, are the ones wanting £200,000 asking for too much in this market and indeed, are they even serious about wanting to sell their house?

I haven’t got a clue as to whether Amanda Staveley can be trusted but these 11 seasons of Mike Ashley have proved time and again that he can’t, with a constant diet of lies and his PR people using compliant journalists to instead put the blame on fans and various others, rather than the manipulative Sports Direct owner.

Surely the thing we all understand, when buying anything (house, car, lager…), if something is priced to sell then it gets sold, not still up for sale 10 years later.

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  • skarabrae

    Great post.. spot on.

  • You wouldn’t expect to pay the higher price if the cheaper properties are spick and span whilst the more expensive one is mouldy and crumbling from lack of maintenance.

  • Desree

    Just had the same discussion with the missus. If he wanted to sell 250m cash is a compelling offer given

    The main source of rev is guaranteed only for 4 months

    A tax fraud investigations underway.

    Any listed company would see both factors smash the share price and valuation.

  • JonMag

    they can write a 100 articles with a 100 variations, he wants £300m, be it now or in the summer & i think everything`s on hold util then

  • ghostrider

    First and foremost, there’s only 1 big house in the street and that house dominates the street and is admired by all who pass by that street.

    If’s and but’s are all we can go on, as you say…and it’s true.
    However, no matter how much Ashley is hated, let’s look at it from another point of view and take Ashley and co out of the situation.
    Let’s say the club is Alan Shearers club and he values it in the same vein.

    How many would be telling Alan to stick to his guns and not to let the buzzards start picking away at it to render it a shambles.

    Different story I know because Shearer is an idol.
    However, assume 11 years as owner in the same vein.

    Don’t wish your club away just because you’re not happy that the owner won’t play ball with you.

    • TheFatController

      If Alan Shearer owned it and valued it higher, he’d use that equity to buy players.

      If he didn’t, he’d get the same flack for sitting on easily- liquidated cash with a squad flirting with relegation.

      But I doubt Alan Shearer would own the club just to sell it at huge profit, allied to a personality favouring gambling ahead of responsibility because he has money to burn and its fun…

      • ghostrider

        No he wouldn’t get the same flack at all.

        • Damon Horner

          What’s the point in coming out with your bit if you have no intention of believing any responses?

          Simple, if Shearer owned the club for his own personal profit, neglectful of his duties as owner and made no effort to try and make the club competitive then he’d get stick.

          Moncur’s involvement in the Ashley regime is evidence really that club connection will not be a saving grace.

          • ghostrider

            Personal profit?……tell me about it.
            Neglectful of his duties?……what’s he neglecting?
            No effort to try and make the club competitive?……competitive against who?
            What’s wrong with Moncur?….tell me about Monkur that you suddenly dislike.

          • Angelswithdirtyfaces

            Are you agreeing with the Ashley sympathisers that the ONLY purpose of club ownership is to make money?

          • ghostrider

            Are you telling me that owning a football club is all about losing money?
            You do realise that a football club is a business with employees don’t you?

            Do you think all football clubs have to go into debt just to show they are trying to compete?

          • TheFatController

            Most clubs are in debt, just like most homeowners are.

            It’s manageable debt, barring a minority.

          • ghostrider

            It’s far from manageable debt.

          • TheFatController

            Ok, I’m tired of you and your lack of knowledge of the reality of things.

            Clubs that don’t manage debt get points penalties. A handful of clubs have had these penalties.

            Even you, though blighted by a pathological need to be sound right without any knowledge of something, must admit that that means all other clubs are managing their debt, given they have not been penalised by the FA.

            You’ll now reply with something bizarrely wrong just to allow you to type something that infers you are right. You’re one boring guy.

          • ghostrider

            If I’m boring then don’t take me on. Or are you too nosey?

          • Angelswithdirtyfaces

            If you can read, then you’ll see that the question emphasised the comparative priority of profit and/or capital gain as against other reasons for owning a football club. It was even in capitals so you wouldn’t miss it.

            For most people it is actually about sport so success on the pitch, or even being competitive is usually seen as important.

            Never mind. It’s obvious you’ve been conned by the fat man, pointless arguing with you – your knowledge of economics is dire anyway.

          • ghostrider

            If it was about sport then we’d have an even playing field.
            It’s not about sport as a primary goal. That’s on the backburner.
            The game is a business and fixed in such a way as to keep the elite in their place whilst all the rest battle it out in the naive hope their club will get a chance.

            Every now and again we get a bone thrown to us to gnaw on.
            This bone is usually stuff like……taking a struggling club on the verge of relegation and turning their players into overnight superstars to not only beat relegation but to do it in runaway title winning type form.

            Then they bring in a new manager who’s won nothing who then turns that escapee relegation team into title winners by a landslide which just so happens to coincide with the biggest ever flop of all the elite teams in that season.

            A nice bone for us all to gnaw on.

            “Well if they can do it, we can” kind of nonsense that all clubs hang on to.

            And yet…..And yet…… we get told we have to build teams over time.
            Not for some, eh?

            Football is not a sport as we once knew it.
            It’s a parade of the filthy rich.

          • TheFatController

            You are either the most effective troll or least logical, reasoning person?

            But hilarious so carry on.

          • ghostrider

            Not really an answer but, no problem.

          • TheFatController

            Probably not an answer because your questions were directed at Damon Horner and I’m the fatcontroller?

          • Damon Horner

            He’s neglectful because he his business experience far outweighs his board and he has no involvement, his words. He’s left it with a board arguably not fit for purpose.

            Competitive against anyone. Cups are a non-entity. Clubs sold as a stepping stone in transfer dealings and sold at profit. He just wants to exist in this division.

            I personally don’t have an opinion on Moncur but listening to people it’s clear his stock has fallen.

            Now why do you think Shearer can run the club as ge feels unchallenged? As ridiculous as that sounds.

          • ghostrider

            I don’t think Shearer can run the club unchallenged. I said If Shearer did run it like Ashley has he would not be in the hate camp as it stands.
            He might be moaned at a little bit but that would be it.

        • TheFatController

          ‘Argument from ignorance’ (google the meaning)

          You make a conclusion about something you couldn’t possibly know or prove.

          Brilliant. Carry on.

          • ghostrider

            I’m doing exactly the same as people like yourself, except my take is counteractive to your accepted mass opinion..

          • TheFatController

            No, my argument is based on knowledge of facts.

            If ashley says the club has no cash (that includes equity therefore) it is a financial FACT that the club assets can’t be worth more than its liabilities.

            So it’s liabilitiy of £260m matches the assets is the conclusion Ashley is drawing. So the club is only worth £260m. FACT

            You saying Alan Shearer would not get flak if he ran the club like Ashley for 11 years is NOT FACT, it’s a theory you have formed based on the fact Shearer is popular now.

            You’d get laughed out of any legal court though.

          • ghostrider

            Of course it’s a theory about Shearer. I’m merely giving a scenario that I believe would happen of which you cannot know whether it would or not.
            As for Ashley saying the club has no cash. He’s not saying it has no cash.
            He’s saying we have a limited budget.

            Take Ashley’s billions right out of the equation and deal with the CLUB. Not Ashley, but Newcastle United football club in terms of money, because ultimately we work on revenue that can be released after paying the bills.
            Simple as that.

            Most clubs are running on the drip. Already spending TV money and what not before they get it and chancing their arms.

            Some are getting by on selling players, like Southampton, yet others are basically going gung ho in an attempt to tug the bell bottoms of the elite clubs for a short while, because they feel it appeases the fans if they attempt to get up there for a sniff before falling into oblivion.

            We could have a go at that. Shepherd and co did it for us and we were well happy. We were happy because Shepherd always tried to fix the leaks.
            The downside was what we all saw. A club in so much debt but we were blinded to it because we simply didn’t care about what went on behind the scenes as long as we had the odd trophy sigtning, etc.

            Now it’s all in our faces, people don’t like it.

    • FatParosite

      Dim witted analogy.

      • ghostrider

        A true one.

    • kingfisher

      I think if Alan Shearer, SBR or any other local hero employed the same devious,lying and underhand business practices and ethics as Ashley does, then they would be treated exactly the same, or perhaps even worse as they are local and know and understand Newcastle. It’s not about the person,it’s about the way they conduct themselves professionally and personally!

      • ghostrider

        Shepherd and Douglas Hall sat there and called fans mugs and the lasses all kinds of names.
        What happened?
        Little to nothing. A whimper.
        If Ashley had done this there would have been effigies hanging from street lamps and bridges, etc.

        • paul mclaughlan

          It was the prostitutes of Newcastle they called dogs.

          • ghostrider

            No it wasn’t mate.

          • paul mclaughlan

            They were saying the prostitutes in Marbella were more attractive than the dogs in Newcastle. Talking about prostitutes… mate

        • kingfisher

          Can’t argue with that Ghost !!

    • Danimal

      He wouldn’t be anyone’s idol if he ran the club like your man.

  • TheFatController

    When Mike Ashley says a business has no money, the first thing a potential buyer will do is ask

    – what did they pay for it, because if there’s no cash then there’s no increased value – thus either no equity or no good reason to access it?

    Well, given we need players to ensure PL survival, there’s a very good reason to access the cash tied up in the club’s increased value (aka equity).

    So any buyer would conclude Ashley himself believes there’s no equity and thus no extra value to the club beyond what he has put in.

    If the owner thinks there’s no value in the club, why should a buyer pay him more than he paid for it?

    And it’s no good saying ‘future tv money’ is what they are paying for. because any responsible businessman would realise that now through loans to ensure PL survival – that’s why rival clubs are spending more than us, they’re not refusing to spend against future earning to allow the owner to sell at a profit.

    • JonMag

      so you believe Ashley when he say`s there`s no equity.
      i don`t & i don`t believe in Santa or the tooth fairy either

      • TheFatController

        He has said there’s no cash. Which contradicts his £300m valuation because that immediately says there’s £40m equity.

        He’s never said there’s no equity. Equity is whatever the value of assets is less the cost of liabilities – so whatever he values it at less £260m.

        If he asks for £300m he is indirectly confirming equity at £40m

        • Soldier

          there`s seems to be £30m somewhere & we were due £6m from Spurs.
          i`m not arguing it`s just that he wants £300m, doesn`t matter what you or anyone else says

          • Guest 2

            Fella, he wanted 400 million almost 10 years ago but got lashed up in Dubai instead of meeting the buyers. Then he was going to accept 80 mil from Barry Moat when relegated. He was never going to sell (as he said live on Sky) until we won something and here we are now with him ready to debunk for 300 mil.
            The bloke has no clue what he wants at any time of the week.

        • Guest 2

          His accounting manipulates the cash situation. That’s why he has group accounts. That’s why he pays up front for players (whenever he decides that can be allowed) yet we get paid on the drip when we sell.
          That way money like Rafa’s transfer profits end up looking like they have to be used for operating expenses.

    • Leazes.

      I would have said that Ashley had ‘decreased’ the value of the club…..

      ….It no longer has its development land which Ashley took, he also sold off land for development at little Benton.

      The squad is of less quality and value than the one he inherited ten years ago. The club shops were sold,

      There is a fans embargo on merchandise which has plummeted under his regime (this will be probably be lifted when he goes and the clubs revenue comes to the club).

      Level seven tickets are priced much lower than ten years ago this was to fill seats that two major walk aways produced.

      Ashley downsized the club and made a cheaper product.

      …I preferred the pre Ashley era before Sir John promised that the next owner Ashley would ‘take us to a new level’

      • Cockneytrev

        He is selling a poorer quality product to what he bought,,,

        • Leazes.

          and he wants a profit on what is left.

      • Guest 2

        Spot on. And commercial revenue remains below the level it was when he arrived.
        As for his ‘loans’ the 47 mil mortgage on the ground would have been paid off by 2016 – instead we now have 144 mil of debt to him, and he’s already repaid himself 29 mil.

  • anyobrien

    Tbh I’m bored of this now

    • Peaky Magpie

      Same here mate,tiresome & soul destroying now….as the old saying goes….whatever will be will be….

  • Soldier

    all this is hypothetical, the bids dead, let`s get on with the football & retain our premiership status

    • FatParosite

      I don’t think the bid is dead.

      • TheNutJob

        well fatty does

        • Guest 2

          Well he’s the same guy who said live on Sky he wasn’t selling under any circumstances – until or unless the club won something. That sharp went out the window too.

  • morryJR

    ” Mike Ashley has proved time and again that he can’t be trusted with a constant diet of lies…..” Is he then ” a fit and proper person ” to be owning a football club?
    What exactly constitutes a fit and proper person? It seems that having enough money to buy the club is all that matters at the end of the day.

    • Guest 2

      That’s the test in a nutshell. Revolves around financial status, not a moral one.

  • TheNutJob

    Missed 1st 7mins of Chelski, they are 2 up already

    • Leazes.

      Or maybe Kenedy can’t make the bench.

    • Jezza

      No he’s probably just off to a much more ambitious club like Burnley.

  • shellington

    The house analogy is a good one, your buying a wreck with a load of potential in Newcastle United. Yes 300 million doesn’t sound a lot in the big scheme of things but your looking to spend 200-300 on top of that to get anywhere near the champions league.

    250 and no clauses sounds about right, why can’t they just split the difference?

  • Leicester Mag

    The reality is Ashley is happy to milk this and will continue to be unless he gets the fee he wants to sell at. Will he get it? Likely not and hence he remains. His ego will demand no back down even if the club are relegated again and it costs him money. The only way he will leave is if /when the negatives outweigh the positives particularly if the negatives relate to direct tat. So then surely the focus should be how lawfully can we tip the scales

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      The reality is he won`t budge on what he wants, his red line is around £300m. the nature of the guy says unless he gets it he`ll stay until he does.
      you, me, other fans, the media he doesn`t care what anybody thinks.
      he`ll roll the dice again this window

  • GToon

    I like to think of cars instead of houses. Ashley is trying to sell a car for a certain price but he’s neglected to consider the fact that the MOT is up in May. As things stand with him refusing to do any of the advisory notices since the last MOT it’s not looking good for May. Who would pay the owner full price for a car that’s going to fail it’s MOT? I know I wouldn’t. I would make the owner an offer though.

    • Jezza

      It’s effectively a car that needs hundreds of Pounds of work to be done in the next ten days if it’s to get through its MOT. Fat Ashley expects the buyer to pay for that work but still pay the full asking price for the car.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        It`s a Skoda with a Ferrari price tag

        • Leazes.

          That’s what Ashley does…. with all his stuff…. makes it cheaply but sticks a brand label on it.

          • Blackburn1066

            I would like to stick a label on the little F-t Cu-t.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        because MAYBE in a few years the value of the car MAY go up. He’s trying to sell speculation over actual product.

    • Leazes.

      ….Its a car which has been stripped of the hi-fi, the spare wheel, and the sat-nav…. the MOT is due, and he wants more for it than he paid.

      • Blackburn1066

        That sounds like the car I had nicked Leazes

    • HarryHype59

      This particular car has had two CAT Cs on it in 2009 and 2016, due to carelessness of the existing owner.

      A third may need needed in May.

  • Steven05

    Some clubs speculate to accumulate resulting in regular/almost constant premier league and European competition income (some even use money generated by player sales! Astonishing)

    Over a decade in charge and the club is not as attractive as it was before he came. Is he not very good at business, or something a touch more sinister?

  • East Durham Mag

    The only factor overlooked by everyone is Mike Ashleys is a liar. Anybody who thinks otherwise is a loon.

  • MancToon


    If every person who went to the game contributed £100, that would be the £50,000,000 needed. If people were willing to get the FCB out, it’ll cost you £100. Would you take that? Fans own 5% of the club, with a nominated board member. FCB is out, and we have owners willing to show ambition.

    I’d take that all day long.

    • Martin Rooney

      Maths mate maths a sixth of the price for 5% pipe dream

      • Seso

        To be fair, a share issue might not be a bad thing if it helps a new owner finance the deal and get Ashley out. Of course, that owner is going to have to be completely reliable and trustworthy if he/she is going to get more money from the fans.

    • Russell Howorth

      really? you do realise it’s £1,000 each not £100

  • wheyayeman

    Endless false dawn’s, back to the championship, cheerio Rafa.

  • Vito Genovese

    NUFC is not a house or a car it’s a business which is subject to profit and loss.
    It also requires 50million in immediate investment to go some way to ensuring premier league survival.
    In the scheme of things if one party wants 300m and the other party is offering 250m they are going to have to meet in the middle and effectively pay 25 each for our survival
    If ashley truly wants to sell it’s his only option as if we get relegated he’s stuck again and he’ll get nowhere near 250million

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Just tell the posh lady from London and her Mummy and Daddy to tell their friends to pay the money or stop wasting our time

    • Gareth Marshall

      She is from Yorkshire you tool!

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        She lives in Dubai with her middle eastern click and has a house in Park Lane London and has probably not set foot in Yorkshire for a very long time .

  • Seso

    Can’t she just buy a percentage of the shares for the amount her group can afford? That way if Newcastle do well in future Ashley’s remaining shares will go up in value and he’ll benefit eventually as well?

  • StevieB

    The club will be sold in the summer . Simple as that . He’s rolled the dice and is banking on Benitez ensuring where premiership still by then so no prospective buyer can use relegation threat as negotiation leverage and then he’ll get his 300m

  • Come&TakeIt1836

    On the other hand, just because the club hasn’t been sold in 10 years doesn’t mean the current offer is a fair one (or any before it). There thousands if not millions of prospective buyers for a car or house but only a handful for a football club so the comparison can only be carried so far. Of course, a fair valuation determined by neutral parties would have changed a hundred times during the decade depending on the variables about the club or the market at that time. And then Ashley has a value for the club on his balance sheet even if it isn’t the market value. If the current offer is so far below the balance sheet value, then talking to the buyers group is a waste of time… which is what he called it. He literally can not afford to sell to them at that price.