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‘Amanda Staveley needs to sort it out…’ – Has Mike Ashley won the PR war?

4 years ago

Has Mike Ashley and his minions won the PR war?

I only ask because I have been really surprised by some of the comments I have read these last couple of days.

They followed Mike Ashley putting a message out through his mates at Sky Sports.

On Monday we had this…

23 April 2018 – Sky Sports:

‘Negotiations over the sale of Newcastle United to Amanda Staveley will need to make significant progress over the next month if they are to stand a chance of success, Sky Sports News understands.

A shortened summer transfer window, coupled with the World Cup finals in Russia, means any potential talks with PCP Capital Partners will need to be rekindled in the next few weeks if they are to have sufficient time to recruit in the summer.

Having gambled on Newcastle surviving the drop this season, it is understood Newcastle owner Mike Ashley will be looking to recoup between £380-£400m from the sale of the club, which is significantly more than the £300m that was offered by Staveley last October.’

So the message is, Amanda Staveley needs to get a move on and, by the way, the price as now increased by £100m.

This being despite the latest Premier League deals to be agreed, actually showing a decrease of around £1m per match for UK rights, when the 2019/20 season kicks off and the next TV deals kick in. Other deals are still to be sorted as the PL clubs have increased the number of games that are going to be allowed to be shown live, to keep the revenues up overall – but the message is clear, the TV cash is levelling out and not continuing to grow and grow at the previously mad rate of increase.

Going back to Mike Ashley’s message through Sky Sports, maybe the first thing to say is if he wanted to get progress and a message to the Staveley people, why didn’t he/they just communicate it direct?

Of course, this all seems to be just another move in the ongoing Mike Ashley PR war, wanting to put it out there he is keen to sell but in reality having no intention.

I have therefore being surprised to read a decent number of comments from Newcastle fans in response, saying Amanda Staveley needs to get off her backside and get this sorted, Ashley has made his position known and so just get on with it.

Is this really the best way to get any deal done if you are really serious about it? Going public and hiking the price by £100m?

However, judging by some of these comments I have read, plenty of Newcastle fans are taken in by it, despite everything Mike Ashley has done before.

They somehow believe that if no takeover happens then the main blame will be on the Amanda Staveley side of things, not Mike Ashley, who was happy to sell…

First of all, I think we need to take Amanda Staveley out of the equation.

If she is ever involved in any buyout of Newcastle United, it will be as one of the people fronting it on behalf of others. It is not her or her company putting up the money and making any decision, it is other so far anonymous people who would be buying the club and therefore the ones making the decision whether or not to buy.

The bottom line is that Newcastle United will sell, if it is priced to sell.

At £400m there is no way the club is worth that.

However, when a decent sized Premier League club comes up for sale, then there will always be interest in buying it, NUFC is very much a decent sized PL club, but one that has been rundown over these 11 years and needs investment at St James Park, the training ground, the squad, the youth system…everywhere.

If the club does not sell, it will be down to Mike Ashley and nobody else. Remember that if Rafa Benitez finally says enough is enough.


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