Friday night was livened up by Peter Kenyon.
The supposed bidder for Newcastle United writing a letter to Mike Ashley.
Well actually the letter is said to have been written and received before Christmas but only now made public after being ‘leaked’ by person or persons unknown.
I was out last night and so it is only now that I am coming to the story, though I did see it via my phone during the Friday night out. Sometimes it is better coming to these things a bit later and being able to reflect on what has happened, rather than react instantly, even if it is with a ‘slight’ hangover.
It was Martin Samuel at The Mail who first published the contents of the leaked letter, saying it was from Peter Kenyon to Mike Ashley, sent via the football club, received sometime before Christmas.
There was some gap between The Mail publishing it and the rest of the newspapers following on, which is a bit unusual if it had been released to all, as they normally all agree on a time when they’ll all publish together, so nobody gets a major advantage by breaking the story. So the assumption would be that The Mail got hold of/were handed the letter and the rest have copied the story.
Whatever I or anybody else says, you can make your own mind up about this letter, whether it is genuine, who leaked it, why it was leaked, and indeed, what exactly is the point of it, if anything.
What we do know is that Martin Samuel has regularly defended/backed up Mike Ashley and attacked the Newcastle fans regarding their unhappiness with the club’s owner. So not exactly a plus that it is he who broke the story after previously having backed Ashley’s treatment of the supporters.
It is all a bit bizarre as to why exactly this would be in the form of a letter being sent, if Peter Kenyon wanted to communicate with Mike Ashley. As has been widely reported in the past, the pair already know each other well via the retail industry, which Kenyon has been involved with as well as working for various football clubs. You can only assume that Peter Kenyon would have already had Ashley’s mobile number and email address etc before the takeover talk started in September. Plus if he didn’t already have it, then after months of intense talks with Mike Ashley and his people, surely Kenyon would have been given more than Newcastle United’s postal address…
Then even if you did take the letter as being genuine and written for the best of reasons, you have the issue of by who it has been leaked and why.
You would automatically look at Mike Ashley and his people because I don’t see loads of grief being given to Peter Kenyon and attacks on his other business interests. Whilst on the other hand Newcastle fans continue to slate Ashley and attack his Sports Direct empire online and welcome every bit of bad publicity he and his business empire gets.
The supporters disgusted as they feel taken for a ride once again by claims of a takeover being imminent and the fact that Rafa Benitez gets to yet another transfer window and tells the world he hasn’t been given any idea whether he will be allowed to sign anybody this month.
Not to mention the team is sinking fast and only two points off the relegation zone after one win in eight games and a tough schedule ahead. The obvious thing being that Rafa desperately needs help via transfer backing but with none forthcoming so far, so what better than yet another diversion thrown into the melting pot in the form of a leaked letter.
As I say, why would Peter Kenyon not just contact Mike Ashley direct by phone, or email, or Skype?
It sounds to me more like a letter written for the Newcastle fans in reality.
There are ways and means to reassure supporters if you really want to do so and are genuine about it, leaking a letter to the media not exactly top of the list.
A joint statement from Mike Ashley and Peter Kenyon would surely be the way to go about things, a statement saying that the whole thing is progressing and that one way or another, Rafa Benitez will be supported in this transfer window regardless.
On the very small chance that it is Peter Kenyon leaking this letter, it would be surely even more pathetic. As what exactly would he be getting out of it? All he needs to do is crack on and get the investors needed and meet Ashley’s asking price, if indeed by some ‘miracle’ (apologies to Rafa) there is a willing buyer and willing seller this time. I don’t see why it would be any benefit to Kenyon to leak this letter, surely the only person he needs to impress/convince is Mike Ashley if he is leading a genuine bid and the whole thing could potentially happen. Why else would he be making this public, unless he is using pretend interest in buying NUFC for the purposes of his own profile as Amanda Staveley was accused of doing.
Finally, there have been literally dozens of buyouts of clubs or controlling interests since Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United and then put it up for sale a year later in 2008. I can’t say I followed them all on a daily basis but I can’t remember many/any that are played out like what we see at Newcastle United, with stunts such as this letter and the club’s owner turning up on TV out of the blue to say a sale is imminent, only to not say a word more and then disappear on holiday and leave a relegation threatened squad with no funds to improve the squad in a transfer window.
As always, you hope that out of the nonsense there appears the ‘miracle’ of a Newcastle United takeover by credible people, to try and address all the mess/issues that Mike Ashley has accumulated at NUFC over the course of his 12 years of neglect and malevolent behaviour.
The Peter Kenyon letter to Mike Ashley:
“I know I speak for both of us in that we continue to share a serious determination to finalise the agreement we have to suit both parties as soon as possible in the new year.
“We have both spent many months discussing the parameters of a final deal and as you know we have also invested heavily in time and money on our various legal and financial advisors.
“And I appreciate the time and effort committed to the detailed discussions by your advisors, lawyers, club, and, of course, yourself.
“I fully respect your desire to ensure the next owners of Newcastle United understand the club, football, and have the appropriate financial resources, and I am delighted that you think the investor group led by myself is the best fit.
“On my side, I would like to personally assure you that I am committed to conclude our deal as soon as possible and, while we are both perhaps frustrated that we have not progressed as quickly as we would have wished.
“I would like to express personal gratitude for your patience and integrity in this matter and hope we can continue our discussions in the same spirit.”