Sky Sports have reported an update on the possible sale of Newcastle United by Mike Ashley.
There are two parts to the update and this story does have all the hallmarks of Ashley’s people using Sky Sports to get the message out.
Back in February, two days before Newcastle beat Man Utd, Keith Downie who covers NUFC for Sky Sports, said that he understood Mike Ashley was willing to accept £300m for a quick sale once the relegation/safety issue was sorted out.
However, the broadcaster is saying that Mike Ashley is now looking for up to £100m more than that…’looking to recoup between £380m-£400m from the sale of the club.’
The second part of the Sky Sports/Mike Ashley message, is that the Amanda Staveley bidders (or anybody else interested) needs to hurry up, as if any buyout is to happen AND give new owners the chance to have the club ready for next season, they need to act in these next few weeks.
We have been waiting for movement on a club sale but I can’t say this is the most positive we could have hoped for, Ashley still willing to sell but at a price which is surely way more than the club is really worth.
Once again leaving us to ask, is he really serious about trying to sell Newcastle United?
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.’
9 February 2018 – Keith Downie of Sky Sports:
“My opinion is that it (Amanda Staveley takeover) is dead until the end of the season – or at least until Newcastle’s fate is sealed one way or another regarding which division they will be playing in next season. That’s pretty much the reason it fell through in the first place.
“If Newcastle get relegated, then the club is worth significantly less than it would be in the Premier League. So when they won a few games in a row earlier this season, the value of the club increased. But when they went on a run without winning – as they did between November and December – then the value of the club decreased because relegation looked more likely.
“I think that’s why there was such a delay over the deal and why there was a discrepancy between Mike Ashley’s valuation of the club and Staveley’s. I can’t see her buying the club in the Championship. She wants to be in charge of a Premier League club. So that’s why her bids were not quite at the level that Ashley wanted.
“She wanted to insert relegation clauses in the event that they went down, so she would then be owed some money back by Ashley. But being the businessman that he is, Ashley wanted a straight sale with no clauses. He would have taken instalments, but he didn’t want any caveats or clauses.
“If Newcastle had been sitting in the top 10 and looking safe, I think the sale would have had a real chance of going through before Christmas. They were in a healthy position when the club was put up for sale in October, but by the time December came around, they were struggling. With that, the value and attractiveness of the club went down.
“What I do think, though, knowing Ashley and the way he operates, is that she will have to increase her current bid. From what I’ve been told by certain people involved, he is looking for around £300m, but her last bid fell around £50m short of that.
“I cannot see the sale going through unless she increases it. From Ashley’s perspective, Newcastle are self-sufficient. He wants to sell, he has had enough of it after 10 years, but they are not losing money, so he is not in a rush. He still gets the free advertising for Sports Direct every time they play.”