Sky Sports’ North-East correspondent Keith Downie has written an interesting piece on the takeover front today, explaining just why a potential takeover from Amanda Staveley is NOT dead – stating that a deal could still take place on two conditions.
1) Amanda Staveley must up her £250m bid, with it currently falling short of Mike Ashley’s £300m valuation.
2) Regardless of valuations, Sky state that a deal only look possible if Newcastle stay up this season – meaning any deal will have to wait until the summer when we know our fate.
As we know, Mike Ashley said talks with Staveley were ‘off’ just weeks ago, however Sky believe that a deal is more than capable of being resurrected – although they do stress that Ashley may not be as desperate to sell as some believe.
They explain that he’s made the club self sufficient, meaning he’s not losing money and is in ‘no rush’ to sell – especially when each passing week gains Sports Direct free advertising.
Anyhow, here’s what Sky’s North-East reporter Keith Downie has had to say on Staveley’s takeover bid and the chances of her resurrecting a deal with Mike Ashley:
Is Amanda Staveley’s takeover bid dead in the water?
“My opinion is that it is dead until the end of the season – or at least until Newcastle’s fate is sealed one way or another regarding which division they will be playing in next season. That’s pretty much the reason it fell through in the first place.
“If Newcastle get relegated, then the club is worth significantly less than it would be in the Premier League. So when they won a few games in a row earlier this season, the value of the club increased. But when they went on a run without winning – as they did between November and December – then the value of the club decreased because relegation looked more likely.
“I think that’s why there was such a delay over the deal and why there was a discrepancy between Mike Ashley’s valuation of the club and Staveley’s. I can’t see her buying the club in the Championship. She wants to be in charge of a Premier League club. So that’s why her bids were not quite at the level that Ashley wanted.
“She wanted to insert relegation clauses in the event that they went down, so she would then be owed some money back by Ashley. But being the businessman that he is, Ashley wanted a straight sale with no clauses. He would have taken instalments, but he didn’t want any caveats or clauses.
“If Newcastle had been sitting in the top 10 and looking safe, I think the sale would have had a real chance of going through before Christmas. They were in a healthy position when the club was put up for sale in October, but by the time December came around, they were struggling. With that, the value and attractiveness of the club went down.”
What are the chances of resurrecting the deal?
“When we broke the news that the deal was off, Ashley said in his statement to us that he had walked away from the deal and that negotiating with Staveley had been a waste of time. But she disputed that in her interview with The Times. But I don’t think it’s 100 per cent off.
“What I do think, though, knowing Ashley and the way he operates, is that she will have to increase her current bid. From what I’ve been told by certain people involved, he is looking for around £300m, but her last bid fell around £50m short of that.
“I can see the takeover being revived at the end of the season, but only if Newcastle are able to stay up and Staveley increases her bid. Another sticking point may be that there is too much water under the bridge after the last couple of months.”
Some interesting stuff in here, however the ball does seem in her court now. If we stay up, it’ll be make or break for her in the summer.