According to a new report from Bloomberg, two parties interested in buying Newcastle United have claimed that Mike Ashley was ‘tricky to negotiate with’ – often being ‘suspicious’ about the terms of their offers.
It’s not made clear which interested parties have revealed this, but it all sounds about right to me.
Ashley will drive a hard bargain when it comes to purchases he looks to make (see his approach to new signings and struggling businesses he tries to buy for himself), however he seems a real stubborn seller.
Here’s a snippet from Bloomberg’s piece, which investigates why Ashley buys several UK business’ but continuously struggles to sell up at St James’ Park:
“Would-be buyers say he’s tricky to negotiate with, mainly because he’s suspicious about the terms of the offers, according to two people involved in potential purchases over the past couple of years,”
Ashley’s being ‘suspicious’ of other businessmen or consortiums all seems a little ironic, doesn’t it.
Their report also quotes Clive Black – director at Shore Capital – who had this to say about Ashley’s approach to buying and selling:
“He’s very single-minded and an aggressive buyer of business assets, not all of which have succeeded. But when it comes to selling he seems to have difficulty letting go and has prices in his head that he won’t go below.”
Trevor Watkins – a sports lawyer at Pinsent Masons – also suggests that the fear of relegation could have played a big role in derailing any deal.
As he states below, ‘the structure of any deal and ‘how and when’ certain payments are made could have been a real sticking point with a threat of dropping down to the Championship being a very real threat for months now:
“A buyer’s sentiment is also impacted by performance, with the possibility of a Premier League team being in danger of dropping into the Championship, at the very least affecting the value put on a club and as a consequence the structure of any deal and how and when monies are paid.”
Just a few months ago there seemed to be genuine belief – not hope – that Ashley would finally sell up, yet here we are..AGAIN.
Can you see him selling up anytime soon – or do you feel we’ll be stuck with him for a while?