Mike Ashley is making a deal to buy Newcastle United all but impossible.

The NUFC owner is refusing to negotiate with two groups of interested investors, meaning progress can’t be made towards a sale.

The report from The Mail says that the two parties interested in buying the club are a group of ‘seriously wealthy’ American investors and a consortium that has been put together with the help of former Chelsea and Man Utd Chief Executive Peter Kenyon.

The interest of both parties was revealed/reported some weeks ago but The Mail indicate that the interest of both is genuine and they haven’t gone away.

The report says that for the American investors who are interested, the stumbling block is a case of deja vu from a year ago, when Amanda Staveley’s group of bidders made a number of bids (George Caulkin of The Times confirmed the bids had been made and Newcastle United had confirmed that fact – see below). However, the stumbling block being that the biggest of the three offers for £300m included a clause whereby Mike Ashley would have to pay back a certain amount of money if the club had ended up getting relegated last season.

Mike Ashley refused to entertain the idea despite Newcastle battling relegation mid-season and any new owner buying at that point, being exposed to a possibility of relegation knocking a lot of money off the club’s valuation, in a situation where the new owners would only have a limited chance (the January window and less than half a season) to turn things around.

The Mail say that the American investors are now willing and able to pay £300m but with Newcastle only one point above the relegation zone in late November, they want the comfort of a relegation clause that would repay a certain amount of money if the club went down this season, just as Amanda Staveley’s people did a year ago.

The Mail quote a source:

‘The situation with the collapse of the Amanda Staveley deal has not helped any others looking at taking the club over.

“Business people are not silly.

“They know that Newcastle’s value could dramatically reduce should they get relegated and so they are looking to insert a clause which would cover them should that be the case – but there is simply no movement on it.

“It appears to be a simple case of ‘pay us £300m or there’s no deal’.”

The report says that Peter Kenyon’s party of investors are also finding Mike Ashley difficult/impossible to deal with, as he is refusing to discuss anything other than an interested part having to meet his valuation, rather than negotiate even though selling in mid-season when threatened with relegation, is a very different situation compared if a sale was going through in a close season.

As always with any possibility of Mike Ashley selling up, we will believe it when it happens.

The Mag – 12 May 2018:

Hopes of Newcastle fans for much-needed change were raised back in the Autumn, when it emerged that businesswoman Amanda Staveley was the named lead figure on a bid to by Newcastle United.

Mike Ashley had stated that the club was up for sale in October but initial optimism quickly drained away as Newcastle went on an appalling run of form, picking up only one point in nine games stretching from late October and ending up in the bottom three in December.

The big problem for any potential buyer, Amanda Staveley and her investors, or whoever else, was that you could be buying a club that  in a few months time could be relegated and be approximately halved in value.

A war of words broke out (see below), with both sides using the media to get their message across.

Sky Sports reported an Ashley source saying that the Amanda Staveley bidders had proved to be a ‘complete waste of time.’

Whilst George Caulkin of The Times got confirmation from ‘two sources close to Amanda Staveley’ said ‘categorically’ that a written offer had been made in November and was still on the table. Caulkin later interviewing Amanda Staveley herself with further confirmation.

With Premier League safety confirmed last month, little surprise to see Newcastle fans hoping for a takeover to actually happen, only for apparently nothing appearing to happen.

That is apart from Mike Ashley, once again via Sky Sports, letting everybody know he had now raised the asking price by £100m to £400m. The price tag rise appearing to be based on no justifiable foundation, leading many/most to wonder if he genuinely is interested in selling Newcastle United.

Saturday has seen the takeover become a talking point once again, George Caulking replying to a Newcastle fan who asked what was happening now and whether Staveley bid had been ‘genuine’.

The man from The Times has confirmed that ‘There were three bids and they were genuine’, with Caulkin having seen them and Newcastle United having ‘confirmed them.’

As George says, ‘There hasn’t been a queue of people trying to buy at his [£400m] price, either’, this despite Ashley’s representatives having claimed that there had been serious interest from a number of other parties since Amanda Staveley had come forward in the Autumn.

The bottom line never changes for me.

If Mike Ashley wanted to sell the club it would sell. He would put it up at a market price and somebody, Amanda Staveley bidders or whoever, would buy it..

You get mad people saying ‘why doesn’t she/they just pay the extra £100m’ as though it was nothing, why would/should anybody pay at least a third more than the club is probably worth.

With Rafa Benitez making clear there needs to be significant investment on the Academy and the low quality training facilities, as well as money needing to be spent on essential new signings, plus investment on St James Park, how could anybody buying the club be willing to throw another £100m+ away AND do everything that needs doing?

George Caulkin:

“There were three bids and they were genuine – I saw all of them and club confirmed them.

“But they were also rejected.

“Since then, according to Sky sources, the price has gone up to £400m.”

Asked to define ‘genuine’ by a Newcastle fan:

“I have defined genuine. I’ve seen physical proof of the 3 bids.

“Whether you think they were big enough etc is up to you. Ashley clearly didn’t.

“Never high enough for the seller, no.

“But there hasn’t been a queue of people trying to buy at his price, either.”

On 16 January 2018:

Sky Sports:

‘No deal is in place between Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley’s PCP group for the sale of the club, Sky Sports News understands.

A source close to Ashley said:

“It is only right to let the fans know that there is no deal on the table or even under discussion with Amanda Staveley and PCP.”

The source added that attempts to reach a deal had proved to be “exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time”.

Sky Sports News have contacted PCP and are awaiting comment.’

George Caulkin of The Times:

“Two sources close to Amanda Staveley assert categorically that PCP submitted a written bid for NUFC in mid November.

“Submitted to Ashley’s solicitors through Chris Mort of Freshfields (who of course used to work for Ashley & the club), they insist.”

  • Peaky

    FatTwat is refusing to negotiate as the club is simply NOT up for sale….never has been….it’s all bollox….

    • Kneebotherm8

      Exactly….smoke and mirrors by the FCB..

    • KennySamsung

      Straight and to the point!

  • Kenny

    He`ll never sell, he needs to be driven out of Newcastle by protests & boycotts,
    his minions will have told him to ride out the storm so the pressure needs to kept up. the guys a scumbag.
    Boycott Wolves or suffer another decade of the vermin.

  • Paul Patterson

    Unless someone gives him silly money, he’s going nowhere. There’s £100m+ coming in every season.

  • John

    The only way to germ rid is to boycott and protest otherwise he going nowhere. I WELL AND TRUELY HOPE FANS BOYCOTT THE WOLVES GAME AS PLANNED.

  • Leazes.

    If anyone really gets around to doing Due Diligence they better contact someone locally who knows what assets the club had otherwise they’ll be buying a club minus its advertising, its merchandising, its land at Little Benton and probably the stadium too…..

    ….if any due diligence was done I’d ask how? Not with those accounts of what is left at the club…. money from the ‘club shop’ goes straight to Derbyshire where the taxpoint on the receipt is based…. somewhere at the end of a railway line called Shirebrook.

    Seriously, An American bid without looking? At a price half the clubs worth!

    Rehashed fake news from a month ago….. it was fake then and it still is.

    …..and the Mag repeats it….

    The Rockefeller foundation have a code of ethics and wouldn’t touch Ashley or football with a bargepole…. is the author suggesting they cant afford a piddly £300m and are haggling…. what utter tripe!

  • Kneebotherm8

    Sell in the close season with no relegation clauses required,that’s simple innit…………the FCB obviously has no intention of selling his nice little earner………he’s tekkin the soft out of all of us………..

  • KennySamsung

    “Business people are not silly..” that’s got to be the defining moment of my season so far. £100million here £100million there.. makes me want to puke! We are all miniscule little nothings when “not silly” business people start being “silly”.

  • Mrkgw

    Thanks to John Hall for his instrumental downfall of the club in selling to this major detestable. The telegraph reported the following in 2008…

    Hall, who paved the way for Ashley to take over last summer by selling his family stake in the club, endorsed his fellow entrepreneur’s plans for Newcastle, stating: “He started off in his front room making shirts and selling them and he built a business up with a billion-and-a-half turnover last year. Now that kind of individual knows what he’s doing.
    He’s got cash to invest. With his contacts abroad, he’ll make Newcastle well-known. We’ll win things under him and we’ll also get a global perspective.
    He’s a very nice fellow, the team behind him are very nice and they are very hard workers. We have to get stability and we have to lift the tone of the club as well. You can’t get success if you are constantly changing. If we can get that [stability], I’ll be looking forward to next season.”

    And so, how misguided was that? The sale was either bourne out of greed, haste because of the debts or, naevity. Or, it was purely a case of Hall being duped. Either way, we were well and truly shafted. The end of Newcastle United – wonder whether he would sell to the same despicable if knowing as he does now?

    • Wezza

      Duped by lies and greed.

  • HarryHype59

    Unless we do a ‘Sunderland’ and end up in the third tier of English football, Ashley is going nowhere.

    • graham18

      Exactly.I have said it all along.Unfortunately this might be the only way pretty soon

      • panther

        id be happy with that to get rid of him

  • East Durham Mag

    It’s not and was never for sale.

  • Toontaff

    Maybe, having missed Black Friday those Yanks will be bidding on Cyber Monday?

  • Steven05

    (To those who will ‘still support the team not regime): PLEASE – WAKE UP

    • Cockneytrev

      Here here!! 👏 👏👏👏

  • Cockneytrev

    He has no intention of selling,,,
    It’s all getting boring, like Brexit.
    Ashley out!!

  • mentalman

    Its all nonsense even if the club was for sale he doesn’t want to sell and doesn’t need to sell so why would he entertain anyone who wants a percentage of their money back if we get relegated. The only way he will ever sell is if someone waves a very big wad of cash under his nose when he’s in the middle of his next crusade to save the high street

    • Carverlier football

      Mike Ashley has no intention of saving the high street, just asset stripping struggling businesses…

  • panther

    Ashley caught ln another lie, only thing we can do now is anything we can to help the club get relegated, he will never let go, lets do everything we can to minimise his profits

  • Carverlier football

    “Ok, I’m about to write the piece. So first message – serious people are interested, so that should give the fans hope. But the only problem is the threat of relegation (maybe we’ll follow up with something in a week or so about needing to be unified to avoid the drop). So we’re implying a connection here right? Stop the protests which will improve relegation prospects, and then the club will definitely be sold. Have I got that right Keith? Ok then, story’s written. Will he actually sell it? Alright, alright, you can stop laughing, silly question…”

    • X2

      Was thinking along the same lines.

  • Toon

    Why would he sell? He makes a fortune from NUFC and just has to put up with the odd ‘fat’ chant from the ‘support the team not the regime’ idiots, if you’re one of them Ashley is laughing at you and you deserve it

  • Big Al 1967

    Ashley has ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION OF SELLING unless someone comes in with a ridiculous offer. He is only interested in one thing. Massive Profit. Nothing more nothing less. If someone comes in with a £400 million bid I guarantee the selling price will go up

  • MadMag83

    The relegation clause is a bit daft on the one hand, as it’s only late November so half the Premier League table isn’t far off the bottom three. Very few investments are without risk.

    But it does make sense from a different point of view. Ashley has under funded this team for years. He was fortunate to see the club survive in the league last season and should have invested to make the team safe for another year. Instead he has seemingly pocketed a transfer surplus.

    So the worry here for any Investors is the lack of progress, the lack of value in the squad, a manager who won’t sign a new contract because of broken promises. Were this lot to go down there would be no world class manager to get them back up, and not much family silver to sell.

  • Mr wobert

    I’ve said all along why would he sell the golden goose,he’s playing mind games
    (And coming out on top grrrrrr) I’m very sceptical about nufc for sale,he’s got it all tied up and making a very good profit even if the team struggling,
    It’s not about football for him he won’t give a f**k even if relegated he wins

    • Ashley isn’t forced to sell. He makes money out of NUFC every year as long as we stay in the Prem, because his only goal is survival with minimum investment.
      He has set a price for Newcastle Unoted and asks whoever can meet it to produce proof of funds+an extra few hundred million at least to sustain the club.

  • Well, assuming Rafa is safely 12-13th in the table come early Jan, then all those investors either have to bid or proove sources for these stories are more wishful thinking rather than actual parties with real money.
    An investment group not only has to proove funds for the purchase but at least 200-300m for sustaining the club.
    I somehow doubt Staveley and Kenyon’s bunch have done that.

    • Toon Arnie

      Ashley will already have his excuses ready to discredit potential investors once/if we get to a comfortable position. This is a cash cow for him and he will never sell.

      • Unless someone comes with a 350m+ offer that is. Ashley’s making a good 50m a year if we stay in the Prem, so yeah, someone has to make it worth his while.

    • Danimal

      Sorry I can’t stop laughing at the idea that Ashley cares whether the new owners would spend any money on the club in future, when he refuses to do himself. Anyway, while a £300m injection would be nice, this club should be perfectly capable of competing by using the money it generates (once it is allowed to function properly again).

  • Shipcote Willy

    Whether there is genuine interest in buying is matterless if Ashley does not want to sell. He doesn’t and never has. Even if somonene paid over the odds to tempt him he would want merchandising and advertising as part of the deal which no buyer would agree to. He has had ten years to sell and done plenty of deals in that time, if he really wanted to sell it would have happened. It’s groundhog transfer window and at the end of it when nothing spent and no sale it will be ‘ Mike is totally committed to the club’ Amazing how many fall for it

  • mactoon

    “pay us £300 m or there’s no deal”. Having spent £134 million of his own money on shares and having to recoup upwards of £144 million from loans by SD (£278 million) do you actually think he will accept £300 million?

    • East Durham Mag

      Even if someone/group offers cash on the nail Fatty,Bishop and minions will simply discredit the buyers.

      • Toon Arnie

        Yep, there’ll always be a problem. Pretending to be on the verge of selling is just a smokescreen for not investing – ever !!

    • Toon Arnie

      The loan should be a bit lower now as he took some back, as per the club statement, once the window closed this August/September.

      • mactoon

        By around £20 million so doesn’t make a difference to the asking price

        • Toon Arnie

          I was meaning he’ll get a bigger cut as it’s now only £124m off the loan. All of the £123m tv money must still be there as well surely ?

          • mactoon

            The TV money goes towards paying thè players wage bill and day to day running of the club so don’t expect that to be counted as money in the bank in terms of profit!

          • Toon Arnie

            Not all of it surely ? If so how do clubs like Brighton and Huddersfield have such big net spends ? We also have gate receipts and advertising ( although not as high as it should be ! ) income so that can’t all be taken up by players wages. Day to day running costs must be at a bare minimum as well as everything is creaking now. I’ve deliberately left merchandising out as I don’t think the club see much of this now.

          • Wezza

            Because Huddersfield and Brighton don’t have an owner that takes substantial money out of the club.

          • Toon Arnie

            I rest my case…

          • mactoon

            Because they are happy to spend money they do not have and go into debt spending money they have not yet received. Ashley will not and only spends money newcastle have in the bank in an effort to make the club self sufficient

          • Wezza

            Again, rubbish.

          • Wezza

            Rubbish. Our wage bill is 43M.

          • mactoon

            Check the accounts. Its not
            My point is regardless of the wage bill on its own a lot of the TV money goes towards running the club
            The bulk of it goes towards the running cost of the club

          • Wezza

            Oh you mean the accounts independently audited by Grant Thornton paid for by FCB and under investigation for SD accounts?
            Give over. If you think the TV money all goes on expenses then you’re believing the lie.

          • mactoon

            And if you actually believe that hundreds of millions are being taken out of the club how are the annual costs of running the club are being paid?

            Have you ever looked at ANY other club accounts in the premiership to see how much they spend on an annual basis to just run the club? It’s pretty similar to ours and if we had money leaving the club on the level you think it is we would be in deep trouble compared to other clubs with similar expenditure. Were not. I don’t doubt we have money in the club’s bank it’s just Ashley won’t spend it

  • Jewell Ahmed

    I am coming round to the idea that the club is gone and is not coming back, not for a long while at least. NUFC has been well and truly absorbed into the Ashley the empire and he ain’t letting go of that no matter what.

    This is us now. A club that spends the bare minimum to survive in the PL and has no ambition whatsoever to try for anything more. Who knows how long we will be like that, 10 years? 20? 30?

    • X2

      Agree. Sadly. There is a bit of hope but needs Ashley to feel pain.

      • Jonas

        what more reason to boycott do people need, with this behind the case.

    • Wezza

      Spot on. We are just a cash cow. FCB will have made 300M profit in two seasons. Where has the money gone… we know where.

  • TeessideMag

    Can someone tell me out of all the other clubs that have been sold, when did the sale take place? How many were mid season, how many close season? Would be interesting to know

  • BigHairyDog

    Ashley will only sell if A) He gets a ridiculous over the top offer. B) The protests keep going and has a clear effect on the Sports Direct share price.

    I believe Kenyon wants to buy but cannot find enough backers to get anywhere near the £450million that Ashley wants. The Staveley bid was doomed to fail as soon as the team started picking up points. Ashley also wants a free hand to advertise SD around the ground if he sold up, something a new owner would find impossible as that revenue would pay for the significant investment the squad requires

  • Wezza

    The club is not for sale and this is recycled Keith Bishop PR from last year. Relegation clause where have heard that?

  • Jonas

    Its getting to the point, if were not there already, were Ashley has f**ked off every interested party that could afford it.