Newcastle United takeover – ‘There aren’t other bids, it’s rubbish’
No surprise that the / a Newcastle United takeover is the only thing everybody is talking about.
It has taken Newcastle fans varying lengths of time to realise / accept that there are no positives that come with Mike Ashley remaining in control – but surely apart from the odd (very odd!) person who is determined to go against the flow – there is nobody left to convince.
With it looking like a case of when, not if, there would be a Newcastle United takeover, throughout April, May, June and July, we then got that announcement at the end of last month.
The consortium featuring Amanda Staveley, the Reuben brothers and the Saudi PIF, announcing they were pulling their offer, as the Premier League still refused to come to a decision on approval or not, with indeed Ms Staveley indicating that the PL had made clear to her that they were determined to delay and delay until the bidders gave up.
Statements since from Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers have led to a belief amongst many that this was a tactical withdrawal, the consortium encouraging fans to petition the Premier League to demand transparency on why they had refused to make a decision in 17 weeks. Dozens of MPs, the Independent Football Ombudsman and indeed the Prime Minister, all saying that the Premier League have a duty to explain what has gone on and why.
The misconception of many outsiders is that NUFC fans were desperate for this Newcastle United takeover to happen simply because of the Saudi PIF involvement. With the thought that the financial muscle of the Saudi state could propel Newcastle into richest in the world territory, similar to what has happened at PSG and Manchester City (who are only two steps away from meeting each other in the upcoming Champions League final).
However, whilst obviously that kind of financial power wouldn’t be a turn-off, Newcastle fans were / are overwhelmingly seeing the main prize as being the departure of Mike Ashley. Just how rich the new owners would be, being very much secondary to that.
Obviously, you don’t want to have new owners who wouldn’t have the kind of finance needed to help get things quickly moving in the right direction, after over a decade of under / non investment under Mike Ashley, but demanding the richest owners at all costs was NEVER part of the thinking of 99.9% of Newcastle supporters.
If credible alternative new owners were competing to buy NUFC, or indeed the Reuben brothers (one of the richest families in the UK) were willing to go it alone, then nobody I know would be gutted.
So what about credible alternative new owners?
Well, after the consortium released that statement 10 days ago, Amanda Staveley gave some interviews to the media. During which she was asked whether there were other rival bidders, in particular, Henry Mauriss? Ms Staveley’s response didn’t leave anybody hanging… ‘There aren’t other bids, it’s rubbish’.
Despite this, certain journalists continue to push the idea that there are credible other active bidders and in particular, Henry Mauriss. Indeed I have seen at least one or two of them this weekend mention the ‘mystery’ that surrounds this bid from Henry Mauriss. The only mystery is why journalists / newspapers continue to push the idea of Mauriss buying Newcastle United, despite never giving a single fact / bit of information, that would convince you the American has access to anything like the funds needed to buy and progress the club.
The thing is, we don’t need inside information like those pushing Henry Mauriss claim to have, common sense tells you that there is absolutely zero chance of anybody else buying the club, apart from the consortium.
For starters, surely the only reason Mike Ashley was willing to sell the club, was because the Saudis were willing to pay more than NUFC is actually worth, seeing a long-term project that could work financially for them, as well as the other benefits (sportswashing etc).
Nobody else would be willing to pay as much. Plus, Amanda Staveley even said that Mike Ashley had raised the price after a deadline ran out on the agreed deal, due to the Premier League refusing to come to a decision. So another bidder willing to pay more than the Saudis originally agreed AND we are now in such an unsettled time when nobody knows when fans can get back into stadiums, plus the chance of sponsors / broadcasters paying less due to not getting the product they had agreed to pay for. I don’t think so.
Plus, the other big thing is timing.
Once it became clear the Saudi PIF consortium were very serious about buying the club, it became clear what their timing had been, with regard to the deal.
Initial talks happening early in the season, then becoming more and more intense, then a deal agreed once PL safety was realistically reached with the win at Southampton on 7 March 2020, going to the Premier League at the start of April, with expected four to six weeks approval meaning they would be in control roughly as the season was originally due to end in May 2020, leaving them then with the summer and in particular the transfer window, to start turning the club around, bringing in a top level manager and management team off the pitch.
So to think that (suspending reality for a moment) that Henry Mauriss had the money, or there were other live bidders, even if agreeing a deal now with Mike Ashley, they wouldn’t be getting PL approval until after the 2020/21 season had kicked off and with most / all of the summer transfer window (ends 5 October) gone.
I hate to bring reality to any of you who had lingering hopes of a rival bidder swooping in to save us but it is just not credible at this point.
If this Saudi PIF consortium deal can’t be resurrected, we are still stuck with Mike Ashley I’m afraid.
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