Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Newcastle United takeover ‘only hours away’ – Why would anybody believe this journalist?

2 years ago

Back in early April, the Newcastle United takeover was very much back in focus for the media.

During the suspension of football, this was heaven sent for journalists, a massive story to help make up for the lack of actual games.

With the Newcastle United takeover heading off to the Premier League for their checks and process, it was ideal for newspapers and other media to churn out a lot of embarrassing claims as the wait began for an announcement that would take a number of weeks at a minimum.

For some strange reason, Newcastle fans (and I guess Premier League supporters in general) are far more ready to believe media reports from overseas, rather than the UK. As though those newspapers etc in other countries aren’t just as desperate for clicks / attention as those at home.

A new name emerged in early April in terms of Newcastle United takeover coverage, that was Manu Lonjon, or should that be ‘respected journalist’ Manu Lonjon…

Numerous Newcastle United media and fans adding the ‘respected journalist’ bit even though they haven’t got a clue whether he is or not and indeed hadn’t even heard of him until then. The ‘respected’ bit added to justify the click baiting and/or the claims of the in the knows.

Manu Lonjon is a French journalist who works for Eurosport and has never before shown any expert knowledge of what is happening  at Newcastle United.

Indeed, if you look at his Twitter timeline, it doesn’t mean he isn’t a respected/respectable journalist BUT it is full of transfer speculation nonsense about French clubs and those in other countries, including the Premier League.

When this French journalist brought us his first exclusive on Thursday 9 April, he was saying that the sale of Newcastle United was set to be completed very soon.

There was one really big problem with his exclusive for starters, as he said it was the Bin Zayed Group (led by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan) that were going to be the new owners very soon.

First rule when you are making up a story, at least do some basic research!

When people pointed out to him that BZG were old news…he quickly deleted that one. Then came back with the same news of new imminent owners but not naming them. He could at least have googled it and added/named PIF Saudi led group as up to date potential new owners.

Lonjon of course didn’t reveal his top (imaginary) sources but he did say ‘proof’ that new owners were going to be shortly unveiled, was shown for sure by the fact that Mike Ashley had ‘laid off until further notice’ the entire scouting and recruitment team.

Hmmm, a shame that he hadn’t bothered checking and/or nobody had told him, that Mike Ashley had done this (furloughed) to almost all staff who aren’t players or senior coaching team, just to exploit the government’s scheme and to save him (Ashley) money.

To fill out the exclusive/story, the French journalist claimed Newcastle United were now looking for a new manager with possibly Rafa Benitez coming back, plus also interviewing for a Director of Football. Not sure who would be doing this interview though according to Manu Lonjon – does he mean Ashley and Charnley, PIF bidders, or is it…BZG?!!

Manu Lonjon then followed up the original ‘exclusive by claiming a source ‘close’ to the deal, has told him there will be official confirmation of the Newcastle United Takeover early next month (May).


Yet so many desperate journalists, newspapers, websites, ITK Twitter accounts prepared to use in reports/stories the above as the ‘proof’ that the takeover was now (then) happening.

As you can see below, the French journalist continued with his attempts via Twitter to grow a Newcastle fan interest in him throughout April, only to then disappear…until now!

He is back, exclusively reporting that the Newcastle United takeover is only hours away…

The Manu Lonjon Newcastle United takeover Twitter timeline…

9 April 2020:

‘Newcastle about to be sold!

‘Proof of the progress of negotiations, the recruitment unit has just been laid off until further notice!

‘The club is looking for a new coach (Benitez back?) And is auditioning DS.’

10 April 2020:

‘From a close source, we hope an official communication by early May.’

15 April 2020:

‘The future owners of Newcastle are starting to prospect.

‘They sent emissaries to inquire about the situations of Emmanuel Dennis (Bruges) and Dries Mertens (Naples).’

16 April 2020:

‘As announced, Rafa Benitez is Newcastle’s priority!

‘He is offered a coach position with extensive powers, in direct connection with the position of Sports Director who could be offered to one of his relations.’

19 April 2020:

‘Big strategic meeting of future owners to come from Newcastle (which should be held on Tuesday).

‘Refine the project. make a list of profiles / names for different positions.’

20 April 2020:

‘Total agreement for the sale of Newcastle. Deal Done. Imminent announcement. As expected, the new president will be Yasir Al Rumayyan!’

21 April 2020:

‘Of the first meetings which have just taken place concerning the future coach of Newcastle, 4 names would be in the shortlist:

‘Rafa Benitez, Mauricio Pochettino, Massimiliano Allegri, Lucien Favre’

24 April 2020:

‘Regarding the takeover of Newcastle, FIFA has indicated that it is concerned about the numerous pending and unresolved disputes concerning Saudi Arabian championship teams, which are under the authority of the Government. That she would welcome everything to be regularized.

‘Ittihad, for example, are in a number ongoing wage disputes with ex-employees (Da Costa, Bilic), agent commissions that are unpaid, and Brazilian side Gremio is awaiting transfer fee payments. Ittihad face a 2-yr transfer ban & suspension from Asian Champions’ League (AFC)’

27 April 2020:

‘Positive progress in recent hours. Optimism still clearly in force about the sale of Newcastle.’

25 May 2020:

‘From a close source, hope an imminent deal in Newcastle !!!

The announcement could take place within 24 / 48h !!’

Well seven weeks ago, this particular journalist had the scoop that BZG were going to announce their Newcastle United takeover imminently…does anybody really believe his ‘sauces’ are any more reliable this time???


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2022 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks