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Sky Sports update on Mike Ashley trying to sell Newcastle United – Not exactly the full picture

12 months ago
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Sky Sports have given their latest update on Mike Ashley selling (or not selling) Newcastle United.
The broadcaster stating in their headline news: ‘Mike Ashley has not received any “acceptable” offers for Newcastle a year after he officially put the Premier League club up for sale.’
They reproduce a quote from Mike Ashley’s legal representative Andrew Henderson who last year appeared on Sky Sports and said ‘I think there’s a view that over the years there has been a considerable investment, perhaps a feeling that all that can be done has been done. So, it is probably just a recognition that it might be time for a change.’
He said a lot more than that though on Sky Sports 12 months ago and the fuller quotes are below.
This latest Sky Sports report today continues ‘The aim was to sell the club by last Christmas, but despite expressions of interest, no serious or acceptable offers have been made.’
The first appearance by Ashley’s lawyer on Sky Sports was on 16 October 2017 but three days later (19 October 2017) Sky Sports were quoting Andrew Henderson saying: ‘Since Monday, a number of additional parties have come forward which we believe to be credible. We are also continuing to engage with a number of parties with whom we had entered into negotiations prior to Monday’s announcement.’
The day before (18 October 2017) the Press Association were reporting the following, clearly from Ashley’s people:
‘Press Association Sport say that as well as four ‘interested parties’ having already signed non-disclosure agreements’ allowing them to study the club’s books, Andrew Henderson has also been ‘inundated’ with calls regarding buying the club.
The lawyer acting for Mike Ashley on the potential sale of Newcastle United, reported to be having the lengthy task of separating ‘time-wasters from genuine candidates’.
Sky Sports are very selective in terms of what they choose to reproduce in this ‘update’ regarding Mike Ashley’s (alleged) efforts to sell Newcastle United.
What has happened to the ‘credible additional parties’ that Andrew Henderson said had come forward last October after Amanda Staveley declared an interest?
Likewise, what about the four interested parties the Press Association were told about a year ago and who had signed NDAs (non-disclosure agreements)?
Not to mention them being informed about Andrew Henderson being ‘inundated’ with interest in buying the club from Mike Ashley?
So 12 months ago Mike Ashley, his legal representative, and PR people, are all keen to say there is loads of credible parties interested in buying Newcastle United and going so far as to sign NDAs, just like Amanda Staveley did, only for all of them to now be seen as time wasters supposedly?
That key question always remaining…Newcastle United supposedly up for sale for over 10 years now, with Mike Ashley allegedly keen to sell, yet still NUFC remains unsold whilst in the meantime the majority of other Premier League clubs have changed hands!
Does Mike Ashley (and Sky Sports?) really think we are still believing this…?


Sky Sports – 17 October 2018:
Mike Ashley has not received any “acceptable” offers for Newcastle a year after he officially put the Premier League club up for sale.
Ashley’s lawyer appeared on Sky Sports News last October to announce that Ashley had taken Newcastle as far as he could.
Andrew Henderson, of Dentons, said: “I think there’s a view that over the years there has been a considerable investment, perhaps a feeling that all that can be done has been done. So, it is probably just a recognition that it might be time for a change”.
The aim was to sell the club by last Christmas, but despite expressions of interest, no serious or acceptable offers have been made.
A group of Saudi Arabian investors are the latest interested party, but no contact has been made with Ashley’s camp.
Ashley will not sell unless he receives assurances that prospective new owners have the funds to take the club forward.
Businesswoman Amanda Staveley tried to buy Newcastle for £250m last year, but she could not agree a deal with Ashley.
In September, there were reports that former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon was trying to form a consortium to take over at St James’ Park.
Newcastle are currently 19th in the Premier League and have not won any of their opening eight matches this season.
The Mag – 16 October 2017:
Andrew Henderson speaking to Sky Sports:
“There has obviously been a lot of press speculation about Mike’s intentions towards the club.
“I think that there is a view that over the years there has been a considerable investment, perhaps a feeling that all that can be done has been done.
“So it is probably just a recognition that it might be time for a change.
“Our intentions at the moment are to see if the club can be brought forward into new ownership by potentially Christmas.
“That would allow for a period for serious interested parties to put themselves forward, for a diligence process to carry on, and then hopefully by Christmas for a sale to conclude with the sort of flexibility around terms we have discussed.
“If that weren’t possible then there is no desire to sell the club for any price to anyone. There is a lot of responsibility that goes with owning the football club so we would then look at that at the relevant time.
“That’s the objective but nobody has a crystal ball so nobody can say for sure what happens and when.
“I think back to the question of price, it will depend on what somebody is prepared to pay for the club.
“Football clubs have a scarcity value, nobody is making 150-year-old football clubs with the kind of traditions that Newcastle United have so obviously there is value there but then in terms of what the number is that will be dictated by how many people, how many serious people are interested, how many serious people can deliver and so we then get to how long will that take, how long do we give them.
“I think that is a matter for negotiation but certainly not all in year one so that’s how we would be approaching it.”

The Mag – 18 October 2017:
Mike Ashley and his representatives are said to have been ‘inundated’ with interest, since Monday afternoon’s announcement.
The Newcastle United owner releasing a statement formally announcing the club was up for sale.
This was swiftly followed by an appearance by Ashley’s legal representative appearing on Sky Sports, lawyer Andrew Henderson helping to push the story further.
On Wednesday, Press Association Sport say that as well as four ‘interested parties’ having already signed non-disclosure agreements’ allowing them to study the club’s books, Andrew Henderson has also been ‘inundated’ with calls regarding buying the club.
The lawyer acting for Mike Ashley on the potential sale of Newcastle United, reported to be having the lengthy task of separating ‘time-wasters from genuine candidates’.
The Mag – 19 October 2017:
Sky Sports have now on Thursday lunchtime put out an update from Ashley’s lawyer, with Sky Sports man in the north east, Keith Downie, quoting Andrew Henderson:
“Since Monday, a number of additional parties have come forward which we believe to be credible.
“We are also continuing to engage with a number of parties with whom we had entered into negotiations prior to Monday’s announcement.”
This follows a report on Wednesday from Press Association Sport, saying that four ‘interested parties’ had already signed non-disclosure agreements’ allowing them to study the club’s books, and that Andrew Henderson has also been ‘inundated’ with calls regarding buying the club.
The lawyer acting for Mike Ashley on the potential sale of Newcastle United, reported to be having the lengthy task of separating ‘time-wasters from genuine candidates’.

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