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Orlegi now confident of Newcastle United takeover after two failed attempts – The Athletic

1 year ago

An interesting update from The Athletic regarding a potential Newcastle United takeover.

Three weeks ago they revealed that Mike Ashley had met in London with two Mexican businessmen interested in buying NUFC, that meeting was said not to have gone well with Ashley coming across as ‘rude’ and the talks not coming to anything (see below).

This morning though, The Athletic have confirmed the identity of who exactly it was that Mike Ashley met last month AND that these potential buyers have not gone away and indeed are reported to be confident that a Newcastle United takeover can now be completed.

Today’s report says that it was the Orlegi group that Mike Ashley met in October 2019 and that the offer is understood now to to be in the hands of the Orlegi Group’s mergers and acquisitions department for ‘fine-tuning’ before hopefully being completed.

The Athletic say that they can understand Newcastle fans being sceptical, particularly as their information is that twice in the past their bids for Newcastle United collapsed ‘After Ashley apparently moved the goalposts when the proposals were set for legal inspection’…

As always, we live in hope…

David Ornstein writing in The Athletic: – Monday 11 November 2019:

‘Mexicans serious bidders after third approach for Newcastle

This column reported in October that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley had met in London with two Mexican businessmen interested in buying the Magpies, though it was unclear if they were the same suitors — the Orlegi group — linked with a move for the club earlier in the year.

We can now confirm it was indeed Orlegi that Ashley sat down with and, despite The Athletic being told at the time that those talks came to nothing, sources have indicated the Mexicans remain very much in contention and have even expressed confidence over their chances.

Newcastle supporters might be forgiven for thinking they have been here before and, considering two previous approaches by Orlegi are said to have fizzled out after Ashley apparently moved the goalposts when the proposals were set for legal inspection, scepticism is understandable.

But sources insist they are serious bidders, to the extent the offer is thought to be in the hands of their mergers and acquisitions department for fine-tuning.

Led by Alejandro Irarragorri and director of football Jose Riestra, Orlegi are also known to have made contact with some prominent football names for information and advice on the St James’ Park outfit. Crystal Palace were among the clubs they considered before focusing on Newcastle.’

The Mag – 21 October 2019:

Interesting news on Monday morning as it has been revealed that Mike Ashley has had a meeting with businessmen from Mexico, who are interested in buying Newcastle United.

The meeting took place in London last week.

Writing for the excellent Athletic, David Ormstein says that those who travelled to meet the Newcastle United owner are already club owners elsewhere, presumably overseas with Mexico being the obvious.

Ormstein says that the Mexican businessmen had first developed a fascination with Newcastle United even before Mike Ashley took over NUFC in 2007.

The man from The Athletic saying that the movie ‘Goal!’ sparked their initial interest/fascination back in 2005 when it was released.

However, this is where the positivity ends.

Mike Ashley is said to have come across as ‘rude’ to the prospective buyers and helped bring a halt to the talks, with the Mexican prospective buyers walking away and the ‘conversation came to nothing’…

This has echoes of more than a decade ago when Mike Ashley was reported to have acted in a similar way to potential buyers in the middle east.

Many Newcastle fans still doubt whether there is any genuine intention from Mike Ashley to try and sell the club and meeting people interested in buying Newcastle United just a PR exercise.

Reports such as this one from The Athletic appearing to back that up.

David Ornstein writing in The Athletic:

‘With a different outcome in each of their past six games, Newcastle United’s on-field results are beginning to fluctuate as wildly as the off-field speculation over their ownership.

The most concrete links of late have centred on a consortium led by the former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon, but still nobody has met the reported £300 million asking price and Mike Ashley remains in charge at St James’ Park.

Not that it is for a lack of interest and The Athletic can reveal that Ashley met with two Mexican businessmen in London last week as various negotiations to end his 12-year tenure continue.

Unfortunately for those hoping Newcastle will finally change hands, it was a familiar story: Ashley is said to have come across as “rude” and the conversation came to nothing. The visitors were club owners, though it is unclear if they were the same Mexicans who reportedly had Newcastle on their radar in May.

That was apparently the Orlegi Group, led by Alejandro Irarragorri and owners of the club Santos Laguna.

At last week’s meeting, it is understood that the two businessmen revealed to Ashley a fascination with Newcastle dating back to the 2005 movie Goal!.

In the film, a Mexican-born footballer called Santiago Munez is offered a trial with Newcastle and goes on to fulfil his childhood dream of playing professional football. Their chances of completing a similar fairytale on Tyneside look slim.’


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