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Opinion

Newcastle United Takeover big fat red herring but…

10 months ago
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It is no surprise that when we see Newcastle United Takeover in the headlines, especially in December, Newcastle fans don’t even bat an eyelid now.

We are back there again.

The local media in particular, relentless in pushing the possibility of GACP Sports/Joe DaGrosa buying Newcastle United.

The number of stories they have squeezed out of so little over the past year has been embarrassing.

GACP Sports/Joe DaGrosa are the ones that are repeatedly reported as working with Peter Kenyon to try and buy NUFC, a story that has dragged along for over 12 months now, with zero substance to suggest it would/could happen.

We now have yet another spike of headlines because King Street Capital Management have now bought out GACP Sports/Joe DaGrosa’s small minority stake in Bordeaux.

A statement on the Bordeaux website confirming;

“GACP announces that it has concluded the agreement with King Street in the interest of the Club and that it wishes all the success to FC Girondins de Bordeaux in its future competitions.

“This agreement will allow FC Girondins de Bordeaux to guarantee stability and continue its ambitious path.”

The local media repeatedly talk about GACP sports potentially buying Newcastle United and frequently refer to ‘Billionaire’ Joe DaGrosa.

However, whilst he may be very wealthy by most of our standards, it is very doubtful that DaGrosa is a billionaire and even more doubtful that GACP Sports could ever buy Newcastle United themselves.

The local media sell this story as though selling the stake in Bordeaux means freeing up time and money that would help DaGrosa/GACP Sports then move on to buy Newcastle United.

The reality is though that Bordeaux were bought for only around £75m in November 2018 and whilst local media say GACP Sports have sold their 10% stake, I have seen other reports claiming their part of the pie was only between 6% and 8%. Even if you do take the 10% one, that is still only £7.5m, which is a drop in the ocean in terms of buying Newcastle United, if Mike Ashley was ever willing to sell that is.

Another reality is that both GACP Sports/Joe DaGrosa and King Street Capital Management don’t use their own money, at least not in any serious way, they act on behalf of others and set up deals, just as is/was the case with Amanda Staveley.

Earning fees/commissions by doing this. Whether it is setting up deals to buy your normal companies, or even football clubs, the principle is the same. They rely on other wealthy people to fund these deals.

The minority stake in Bordeaux may even have just been GACP Sports/DeGrosa’s commission for playing their part in the Bordeaux buyout deal and then running the club for the past year.

That ridiculous brochure that Peter Kenyon and GACP Sports had been sending out to potential investors summed up how they work. It was revealed in September this year by media and was a car crash in terms of its content, more like a school project gone badly wrong, but the basic idea is still selling the idea to very rich people of buying a company/club and then they GACP/Kenyon getting paid via cash and/or a stake in the club if successful.

With a buy in reported to start from £1m for any investors wanting to be part of an NUFC buyout, talk about pie in the sky…

DeGrosa has been very hands on with Bordeaux, acting as President this past year and being very vocal, talking about competing with PSG on the pitch.

However, for hedge funds/wealth management companies as is the case with GACP Sports and King Street, turning the quickest profit is always paramount if possible.

For all DeGrosa’s claims about competing, in the two transfer windows (figures via Transfermarkt) since he and King Street took over Bordeaux, they have only allowed spending of £25m on new signings and banked £76m from sales!

How all of this then translates into GACP Sports/GACP Sports being supposedly likely/imminent buyers of Newcastle United for £300m-£350m is anybody’s guess.

However, just because they appear to be a big fat red herring dreaming of somebody else putting up the money for them to then buy and run Newcastle United, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who wouldn’t buy the club if Mike Ashley is finally willing to sell at a market price.

Other major clubs have been bought and sold every year since Mike Ashley arrived on Tyneside in 2007 and the only reason Newcastle haven’t been one of them, is due to Ashley not wanting to sell.

Whilst all the focus has been on Peter Kenyon and GACP Sports in the media ever since last December (2018), interesting to note that on 5 December 2018, two days after Mike Ashley’s infamous appearance on Sky Sports News claiming the club could be sold by the end of that month (December 2018), Sky Sports stated that Mike Ashley had now received four acceptable bids for Newcastle United and a sale was imminent. The broadcaster saying that Ashley was now negotiating with the various parties, Sky stating that they have all at least matched the NUFC owner’s £300m valuation.

It is funny how the likes of Sky Sports never feel obliged to revisit claims like this, or why other media don’t question it.

Did these buyers actually exist, or did Mike Ashley and/or Sky Sports simply make them up.

The truth is though, they are out there, people who would love to buy a big Premier League club like NUFC, a club with massive potential and a huge fanbase.

Owners who wouldn’t plaster everything in branding for their other business/businesses for nothing and drive away fans, meaning they have to give 10,000 free season tickets away.

Whilst the football and entertainment has been generally very poor, somehow we have ended up with 22 points from 17 games.

A massive stumbling block to any idea of Newcastle United being sold mid-season has always been the reality of how could you expect anybody to buy a club in the middle of a relegation struggle.

However, in these next three matches, if say Newcastle beat Palace and Everton at home (anything from Man Utd a massive bonus) then NUFC would have 28 points from 20 games and at least to an outsider, would look like they had pretty much zero chance of relegation.

So….

IF Mike Ashley was willing to sell now at a market price.

IF there was a potential buyer/buyers out there willing to strike if the conditions were favourable.

Then just maybe there would be hope of a Newcastle United Takeover.

As ever though with our football club, it is the hope that kills you.

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