Newcastle United takeover talk returned on Saturday afternoon.
Sky News claiming/revealing only 90 minutes before the kick-off against Leicester, that Peter Kenyon (pictured above) was allegedly trying to put together a takeover of NUFC
The report (see below) even went so far as to claim that the former Chelsea and Man Utd Chief Executive had already held ‘preliminary talks’ with Mike Ashley.
When Mike Ashley and Sky exclusive are mentioned in the same sentence, it is very difficult not to feel the descent of a heavy cloak of scepticism, with their past collaborations on a supposed sale of the club, as well as the occasional embarrassing Mike Ashley ‘interview’ screened by the broadcaster.
Yesterday was only two days short of the anniversary of Amanda Staveley turning up at the home draw with Liverpool, lighting the fuse for what was claimed was going to be an imminent takeover with the help of Middle Eastern backers.
To have this Sky exclusive revealed only 90 minutes before kick-off looked to have Mike Ashley written all over it.
Then when he appeared in the stand to watch his first Newcastle match at St James Park for 13 months, to think this isn’t an Ashley set-up is very difficult.
He was in his element, the centre of attention and lapping it up when the Newcastle fans were giving him grief, smirking as he turned to his PR lapdog Keith Bishop.
Surely also it was no coincidence that the owner’s presence saw club staff getting heavyhanded and pulling down Keegan and Rafa banners pre-match outside the Gallowgate End
So what are we to make of this latest Newcastle United takeover chat?
The club has, according to Mike Ashley, supposedly been up for sale for over 10 years, so why believe it actually is now, and that there is somebody getting serious about buying it?
I’m still not convinced there was real substance to the Amanda Staveley saga (stooge for Ashley?) and I’m even less convinced that Ashley was ever serious about selling NUFC.
Yet again I come back to one sure thing, in my opinion, if Mike Ashley did want to sell the club and people wanted to buy it, the summer has to be the time for it to happen.
It is now six months since Newcastle became safe from relegation and that would have been the point to press the button and get a deal sorted. The owner getting the best possible price as a buyer could get a deal done and have time to put the squad in a far better shape for the new season.
Last Autumn potential relegation became the supposed stumbling block to any sale of NUFC being done.
Now 12 months on and Newcastle United are in an even worse state, there is no way anybody would be prepared to pay the same price for a relegation threatened team mid-season, as they would for that club in the summer with a transfer window to back the manager.
Come November, Newcastle have every chance of not only being bottom three but also starting to see a gap open between Cardiff, Huddersfield & Newcastle and the rest.
I think these last two matches (Palace away and Leicester home) where Mike Ashley has suddenly popped up again, are simply examples of the games he plays, wanting to show Newcastle fans that they won’t get rid of him easily and he doesn’t care how much they protest.
For any Newcastle United takeover to stand a chance of succeeding, you need a willing seller.
I simply still don’t see that with Mike Ashley, no matter how many stories he pushes to his mates at Sky.
Sky News Saturday 29 September 2018:
‘Peter Kenyon is working with advisers on a deal to buy the Magpies from Mike Ashley, Sky News can exclusively reveal.
The former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon is plotting a takeover bid for Newcastle United that could end Mike Ashley’s decade-long ownership of the Premier League club.
Sky News can reveal that Mr Kenyon has approached a number of potential financial backers in recent weeks about the idea of collaborating on a deal.
City sources said this weekend that he was working on a bid with Rockefeller Capital Management, a New York-based firm run by Greg Fleming, one of the most prominent figures on Wall Street from his time at Merrill Lynch and then Morgan Stanley’s wealth and asset management divisions.
Mr Kenyon, who is now a director of a sports consultancy business called Opto Advisers, is said by potential investors to have held preliminary talks with Mr Ashley, the Sports Direct chief executive who bought Newcastle in 2007.
He is said to believe that there is a significant opportunity to expand Newcastle’s commercial revenues, with the club enjoying a significant international following as well as a large and loyal support at St James’s Park.’