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Newcastle United Takeover big fat red herring as rival bidder to Saudis claimed

12 months ago

The Newcastle United Takeover is back in the headlines.

Not just the Saudi PIF never ending link…

We also have now claims of another new party supposedly serious about a Newcastle United Takeover.

I say new…but that is not exactly true.

We are back again with the Joe DaGrosa / GCAP Sports story.

GACP Sports / Joe DaGrosa the ones that were reported to be working on a Newcastle United Takeover as far back as 2018.

The newspapers, especially the local ones, painfully dragged that story out for over 12 months, with zero substance to suggest it would/could happen. At some time on the journey dropping the Peter Kenyon angle and claiming it was GACP Sports / Joe DeGrosa going it alone with what they claimed to be was a serious attempt to buy Newcastle United.

The number of stories they squeezed out of so little (nothing?) was embarrassing.

In December 2019 the NUFC media really ramped up their claims of supposed serious interest, because King Street Capital Management bought out GACP Sports / Joe DaGrosa’s small minority stake in Bordeaux.

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

The reality was though that Bordeaux were bought for only around £75m in November 2018 and whilst local media said GACP Sports had sold their 10% stake, other reports at the time claimed their (DaGrosa / GACP Sports) part of the pie was only between 6% and 8%. Even if you took the 10% one, that is still only £7.5m, which is a drop in the ocean in terms of buying Newcastle United, even if Mike Ashley was / is a willing seller.

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 was indeed very likely just GACP Sports / DaGrosa’s commission for playing their part in the Bordeaux buyout deal and then hands on running the club a year.

That original 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 2019by media and was a car crash in terms of its content, more like a school project gone badly wrong, but the basic plan was 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.

Peter Kenyon and Joe DaGrosa offering a Newcastle United Takeover buy in back in 2019, individual investors reported to be offered the chance to start from £1m if they wanted to be part of an NUFC buyout, talk about pie in the sky…

Now in February 2021, the newspapers, especially local media, are yet again desperate to sell Joe DaGrosa / GACP Sports as seriously trying to get a Newcastle United Takeover deal done.

There again, they are desperate to get ‘Newcastle United Takeover’ into any possible headline.

Totally embarrassing, Nick De Marco (one of the legal team Mike Ashley engaged to act in arbitration claims against the Premier League in connection with the failed / stalled Saudi takeover) acts on a totally unrelated case, or even bakes a loaf of bread…and the local media make a ‘Newcastle United Takeover’ story out of it. Quite astonishing.

DeGrosa was very hands on with Bordeaux, acting as President for a year and being very vocal, talking about competing with PSG on the pitch (the two seasons that DaGrosa’s year at Bordeaux straddled, saw the club end up 14th and 12th in Ligue 1…).

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 with PSG, in the two transfer windows (figures via Transfermarkt) when he (Joe DaGrosa) owned that tiny bit of Bordeaux, they 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, looking for a bit of optimism, just because they (Joe DaGrosa / GACP Sports) appear to be a big fat red herring, maybe still 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 other people who would buy the club if Mike Ashley was finally willing to sell at a market price.

Obviously, Ashley’s preferred option by far is for the Saudis to complete their Newcastle United Takeover, as they have offered well above what the club is actually worth. If that deal isn’t going to happen though, there is zero excuse for Mike Ashley not to then sell it to somebody else at a lower, more realistic, market price. That is if he is really genuine about trying to sell Newcastle United.

Countless 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 had been on Peter Kenyon and GACP Sports from December 2018, it was 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 (back then) received four acceptable bids for Newcastle United and a sale was imminent. The broadcaster saying back then that Ashley was now negotiating with the various parties, Sky stating that they had all at least matched the NUFC owner’s £300m valuation back then in December 2018…

It is funny though how the likes of Sky Sports never feel obliged to revisit claims like that, 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 that they have to give 10,000 free season tickets away.

So, regardless of whether the Saudis will ever complete a Newcastle United Takeover….

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

There would be 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 in the near future.

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


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