How much is Newcastle United worth?

That question has been back on everybody’s minds due to Mike Ashley’s people briefing journalists, claiming that Mike Ashley is now prepared to take £300m for Newcastle United, rather than the widely reported previous £400m valuation he was said to have after relegation was averted in April this year.

Whilst many/most Newcastle fans are understandably sceptical that Ashley has any intention at all of selling, a football finance expert has come up with an explanation as to why a £300m valuation for NUFC is probably on the money.

Dr. Daniel Plumley is a Sport finance specialist, who researches professional team sports, and is a senior lecturer in Sport Business Management at Sheffield Hallam University.

He believes that Newcastle United has a ‘Brand Value’ of around £200m and that it is feasible to then add £100m to that figure, based on then also taking the fanbase, the image/perception of the club, plus the fact St James Park is owned by the club – although the land it stands on is on a long-term lease which is owned by the Freemen of Newcastle who charge a nominal rent.

The Brand Finance Football 50 is an annual study conducted by the leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy, ‘Brand Finance’.

They use various criteria to determine which clubs around the world command the most valuable and powerful brands and published their latest updated top 50 in May (2018).

Brand value is the cost that a third party would have to pay to license the use of a brand. The analysis of brand strength benchmarks risk, strength, longevity and future potential of the brand, relative to competitors.

In this latest current 2018 list, Newcastle United are rated at £194m (and 22nd highest in the world) in terms of brand value, which will be where Dr Daniel Plumley will have got his ballpark £200m brand value from.

After promotion in May 2017, Newcastle were given a brand value of £193m, the fact that a year after promotion that brand value had gone up by only £1m, reflects the lack of ambition and investment allowed by Mike Ashley in the playing squad and infrastructure of the club.

Dr Daniel Plumley also suggests that if Newcastle were relegated for a third time under Mike Ashley, a fair valuation of the club would drop to around £200m. This is backed up by the fact that after the last relegation, the Brand Value of NUFC in the 2016 list was put at £87m, so if you add the football finance expert’s theory of adding £100m for other factors, you can then get to around that overall £200m valuation if Newcastle dropped into the Championship.

These days that also factors in the fact that if NUFC did drop this season, then next year they would get around £50m in parachute payments for the 2019/20 season. Though of course if Newcastle stayed in the Championship the parachute payments go down in each of the next two seasons before ending, whilst obviously the brand value and overall club valuation would clearly also go down each season as well if staying in the second tier.

What is clear, is that when you have a club that is run with zero ambition such as Newcastle United, with so many risks taken each summer on which division the team will be playing in next season, you are always going to have a fluctuating valuation.

You have to think that if Mike Ashley was really serious about selling the club, as soon as Premier League safety was achieved in early April this year, he would have put Newcastle United up for sale at a fair market price. At that point he would  have had every chance of getting a fair price, with new owners having time to get into the club and back Rafa Benitez in time for this current season.

Instead, we have the craziness of this summer’s transfer window and the longer the club is fighting relegation this season, the lower the true valuation goes.

Obviously the dream scenario is that a sale does happen as soon as possible and new owners are in control ahead of the January transfer window, which would allow them to back Rafa and start to turn the club around both on and off the pitch.

I remain to be convinced that Mike Ashley has any intention of selling but I will be very happy if I’m proved wrong.

Dr. Daniel Plumley talking to The Shields Gazette:

“There is some subjectivity to it (claims of Mike Ashley accepting valuation of NUFC is £300m) but if you look at some of the figures it seems about right.

“The brand value stuff, which is done externally for football clubs, has Newcastle at around £200m.

“That is looking at things like revenue mix and revenue growth, the squad value, the heritage, UEFA coefficient ranking, and average attendances, among others.

“One thing that it doesn’t take into account is the value of the stadium, which Newcastle United own.

“You can also factor in a little bit more intangible stuff around the fan power, and the way in which Newcastle is viewed as a professional football club, that takes their value to about £300m.

“As long as they are in the Premier League, there is nothing to really suggest that it would change.

“His previous asking prices of £400m was a bit high but we think £300m is about right.”

  • disqus_XQXm6KjMkq

    While a new owner may be more interested in what the roster looks like, the new owner may make horrible decisions both on and off the pitch. One hopes that is not so……
    Meanwhile, NUFC value will rise if it (and all other teams) could compete with the top teams by restructuring the league by roster limits, salary caps and a UK draft.

  • Ultimately, the value is what someone is prepared to pay. If you use the Deloittes value, based on profit (P/E ratio), you could go much higher. Net asset value, you would go lower, based on the lack of investment in the squad and that the land on which the stadium is built is not owned by the club. The Championship valuation is exceptionally generous by any criteria.

    What we have to hope for is a buyer who sees the potential of investing in the squad, remembering that Liverpool are valued at over £2billion, or someone who wants a vanity project, regardless of cost.

  • Kenny

    Be handy if the council could turn around and say we want £20m per year ground rent, that would shift his fat a$$ quick enough.

    • Ron

      We’d need even more profit on player sales!

      • Kenny


  • Leazes.

    You are putting the thought of a sale into peoples heads and doing Bishop’s bidding!

    The club isn’t for sale especially not at those valuations.

    If you must value the club then be sensible, the figures you are quoting are nonsense!….. maybe 8 years ago!

    ..,…two to three times the Sky income….come on man!

    Southampton are valued at £508m
    Leicester are valued at £955m (plans for a 1bn training complex not included)
    Burnley £352m
    Middlesborough £311m

    What formula is this idiot using ‘think of a big round number’

    That’s another reason Ashley isn’t going to sell……are we really not bigger than Leicester?

    • Ron

      I don’t think we are comparable with any other team in PL – the rest aren’t hampered by an egotistical idiot who controls the cheque book.

      • Leazes.

        The average value of a club in the Premier is was £791 million last year up from £607 million the previous season….are we not average now?

        Figures bandied about are nonsense!

        • Ron

          Figures are nonsense but then so is the assertion that we’re
          up for sale, hence all the theories being hypothesised (including me) – and what we get is rubbish in / rubbish out.

          • Leazes.

            The club isn’t for sale and these figures that the local press are hitting United fans with are false.

            figures aren’t thought out and prove that there is no sale happening! ‘muggins figures’

            Starforth and Douglas and now the Mag have snowballed the stories and generated false conceptions.

            Diffusion tactics!

          • Ron

            I agree but not just them – google Newsnow nufc – it’s snowballing.

            Ridiculous, but FCB has found a defence button and keeps pressing it.

          • Leazes.

            Starforth and Douglas……aaaaaagggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Sickandtired

          MMM model. “The formula assumes that the club will continue to be in the EPL for at least five years so this should be borne in mind when looking at values. If the club is relegated, then values in the Championship are probably 15-20% of the EPL figures.”
          In Leicester’s case, their value was skewed in the year considered due to their CL appearances – ” trebled due to participation in the Champions League & earning more from the competition than winners Real Madrid due to the formula used to award prize money. Expect to see a big fall in 2018 though.”

          • Leazes.

            Yes I read it…. much more sensible assessment.

    • Ron

      no formula – just a randum number processor

    • Sickandtired

      That’s what comes from just reading the first link which appears on Google!
      The average value of all clubs will be skewed upwards due to costing in the top 6.
      In example, Transfermarkt suggests total club values of 8 billion (Euros) for the 20 PL Clubs. Divide that by 20 and you would get an ‘average’ value of 400 million Euros.
      Of course, brand value due to additional revenues (merchandise, commercial activities etc) greatly affect individual values. As fatty has deprived our club of that then it’s no stretch to understand we would be low down the scale.

    • Martin Rooney

      a 1 billion training ground isn’t £80m and includes a golf course?

  • Ron

    The value of the club would also rise dramatically if Rafa signed a new contract (one without clauses would suit MA). It will also plummet when he leaves at the end of the season.

    • Kenny

      Not going to happen, Rafa will have had enough by next May

      • Ron

        The writings on the wall – at least it obscures some of SD advertising.

  • Kenny

    Just been reading the chron, if there is a bigger bunch of a$$ lickers to Ashley than Ryder & his mob i have yet to see them.

    • Peaky

      Speaking of which….where has Monk & his band of merry men disappeared to ??

      • Billmag

        Stuck in a lift somewhere Peaky.😀😀

  • 1974

    No-one will pay £300M for the club, as Ashley has changed all the contracts to weigh heavily in favour of SD getting majority % from shirt sales etc… and there will be no get-out clause. he done the same at Rangers and they are still suffering the money grabbing parasite.

    The club may well be for sale, but due to the price and future demands, there will be no interest.

    • Sickandtired

      He was a shareholder at RFC and they signed willingly (though in a dodgy deal with the then Chairman).
      His deals here would have no more standing with a new owner as Shepherd’s did when Fatty bought.

      • Paul Patterson

        Depending on what the contracts say..

  • Paul Patterson

    Trouble is, the club will be valued at x on confirmation of Premier League survival, then that will fluctuate depending on transfer businesses done and initial results at the start of a season.
    If it was worth say £300 in May, it’ll be open to negotiation after the shocking transfer window and poor start.
    Ashley to blame for his own bad management. He doesn’t deserve a good price and nor should he get one..

  • Toontone100

    To me …The biggest point made here is that relegation would drop the club value by approx £100m …. thats a big gamble Mr Ashley regardless of whether £300m is correct …. January is not far away.

  • TheFatController

    Ashley does this every year. Says he’s selling, then claims no one wants us, thus we’re lucky he stepped in to save us a decade ago (?) but he’s had enough of us not appreciating him so he won’t be putting anything in.

    The same man who complained SD shareholders stabbed him in the back, the City don’t appreciate entrepreneurs and the landlords of HoF shops were scuppering his attempt to save the company and all the jobs by not reducing rents.

    It’s as if everyone is failing to appreciate Ashley, his financial genius, benevolent nature and all round likeable personality.

    No one on this planet in their right minds would want Ashley coming in to save the situation and demand respect for it. What a burden on society that man is.

  • cmrowley

    The club isn’t for sale.

    • Leazes.

      Correct….tell Starforth and Douglas.

      If it were for sale for that £300m then anyone could go to their local bank with a proposition for a takeover based on the Sky money.

      • Peter C

        A bit like the two chancers, who took Sunderland off, Ellis Shorts’ hands.

  • Peter C

    This article goes to show, what a greedy individual Ashley is. I’m sure he would screw anyone over, just to make a great fat wad of cash, as money is his driving force, and God.

    If he really wanted to be rid of the club, so desperately, that could of been achieved last season. But he wants to screw the nuts of it, and anyone who would be interested in buying it.

    I’m positive, FAIR, isn’t a word which he possesses in his vocabulary.

  • Down Under Mag

    Isn’t. Going. To. Happen.

  • Martin Rooney

    Doesn’t make sense, if the brand value is £200m then the value of the entity overall business is more than £300m. Brand value plus assets would be what anyone would want for their business whatever industry it was in. Dummett, Lascelles, Shelvey, Yedlin, Lejuene, Gayle, Clark, Ritchie easily add up to a further £100m never mind fixtures and fittings.
    Doh I’m wrong I guess there’s the liability of Rafa’s buys like Muto, Joselu, Manquillo, atsu’ and their future wages that will be whats having a major impact on the value.