Staveley and Kenyon Don’t Want Newcastle But Abu Dhabi Do!

If you have spent any time in the Middle East you will be familiar with the word “insha’allah”.

It literally means “God willing”. There’s a chance you might be hearing that word quite a bit soon. 

I’m sure we were all taken somewhat aback when we logged on to the story circulating that  Abu Dhabi’s Royal family are trying to add another Premiere League club to their collection.  Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is reportedly on the verge of taking over the Toon for a fee of 350 million pounds. Mere pocket change to him. Never have I wanted the Sun to get something right, so much, in my entire life.

Assuming this is pukka and not just a disgruntled Mackem prank, or an Ashley ploy to sell season tickets, how would it go?

While I may have (deliberately at times) wound up many of you with my views on our current owner, our manager and the style of football we (fail to) play, having spent 25 of the last 31 years of my life in Abu Dhabi, it behooves me to enlighten the fans as to what will probably happen if this deal goes through.

First of all, while everyone is familiar with Dubai, it’s Abu Dhabi that is the Capital of the United Arab Emirates;  it’s Abu Dhabi that has the oil; it’s Abu Dhabi that has the money. So Dubai may be flash, but Abu has the cash.

The Al Nahyan’s are the ruling family of Abu Dhabi with a wealth of anywhere from 200 to 300 billion dollars depending who you believe. Personally, I’d say whatever number you choose will be miles off because there isn’t a global financial tracking system anywhere that can cope with a UAE accountant.

Despite the stories circulating, Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan is not the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, he is the brother, or more accurately the half brother. Simple stuff – both are “bin Zayed” which means both are “son of Zayed”, just with a different mother.

As with most Arab countries the UAE is all about image. It’s about showing the world that you’re the best.  

The worlds tallest building; fastest police cars; gold vending machines; an 11 million pound number plate; your name engraved in your own desert island in letters so big they can be seen from space; the first carbon-neutral city; the most expensive Christmas tree; the worlds fastest roller coaster. I could go on, and on, and on, and on.

I take it, dear readers, that you are starting to get your heads around their heads.

If I’d said the UAE doesn’t do things by halves, it wouldn’t come close to covering it. 
Qatar, another oil rich and currently out of favour neighbor, bought PSG in 2011 and they have won the French league title for 6 of the past 7 years. Qatar Airways sponsors Barcelona to the tune of around 30 million a year, and Barca aint doing too badly either. 
Let’s not forget that Qatar will also shortly be putting on possibly the best World Cup that money can buy!



In 2008 Sheikh Mansour bought Citeh and turned them into the force they are now using the Roman Abramovic Business Model, also known as “chuckin’ money at it”.

Can we expect the same kind of investment in Newcastle United if the deal goes through? Certainly. If Khaled is buying the club it’s for one reason and one reason only – to make it the best. Our best hope is that he’s had a fall-out with Mansour and is out to prove a point. And let’s not forget it’s a bargain at that price! Khaled will think in dollars, and thanks to the Brexit farce the pound has collapsed more spectacularly than our defence, 1-0 up with minutes to go.

So what could we expect?

When Mansour bought City it was no surprise to see Etihad rolled out as a main sponsor. Financial Fair Play rules are so inconvenient these days saying that you can’t just keep ploughing your own money into the club without showing something for it, so rather than Mansour doing just that he graciously accepted a record breaking sponsorship deal (double the previous best) from Etihad Airways, which just happens to be “run” by one of his brothers. Financial Fair Play Rules satisfied; the sponsorship included renaming of the stadium.


In the UAE there are 3 massive government (wink, wink) owned institutions that would benefit from sponsoring a global football brand. They are Etihad Airways (currently with City), Emirates (currently with the Arse) and their national telecoms provider Etisalat. Despite the hype the story is that even the best efforts of their accountants can’t stop the two airlines going rapidly downhill (an unfortunate metaphor for an airline, I know), so the obvious choice would be for Etisalat – who are currently running a profit of around 10 billion quid a year- to step in as main “everything” sponsors.   

So here’s a question – I know we didn’t really go for the St James’ Direct Wonga Sports Park thing, but for a 400 million investment would you be prepared to go watch our team play at the Etisalat Stadium?

I suspect there would still be a bit of Sports Direct advertising around the ground, but I think I could almost cope with that.

One thing that would not be left around the ground would be Lee Charnley. Our new owners would bring in their own GM and accounting team, and we’d be in profit inside a couple of weeks.

Would Rafa get the players he wants? And then some! They would immediately bring in 2 or even 3 so called “marquee” signings because they’d want to make an impact in every possible way and start selling those shirts. That’s how they do it.

Concerns?

Will Rafa be told he has to bring in big names even if they don’t suit his style?

If we don’t finish top 6 will Rafa be on his bike?

Will the FA sanction 2 EPL clubs being owned by brothers?

Would we start losing those players that are currently our heroes replaced by, well, there’s no other way to say it, decent ones?

Did I just eat some dodgy cheese last night and this is all a dream?

Abu Dhabi’s Ferrari World is home to Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coast on the planet. If this deal goes through Toon fans will be climbing onto that contraption to relax. It will be the same as Chelsea in 2003 and Citeh in 2008. We’ll be in for the ride of our lives, and Rafa, insha’allah, will be in the front seat.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

93 thoughts on “Staveley and Kenyon Don’t Want Newcastle But Abu Dhabi Do!

  1. This should make the transfer situation easier. 1st up get rid of the fringe players, but keep a core of the present lot with some pay raises for the likes of Ritchie, Perez, Hayden and Longstaff. These, Lejuene, Schar, Amiron and a few others will at the very least provide squad depth. Plus we need the homegrown quota.

    I was thinking that I might not have heard of quite a few of Rafa’s transfers under Ashley but now we might actually know who we are getting before they arrive.

    Interesting read Archie.

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  2. I think this means we kiss goodbye to the following, with best wishes and many thanks in most cases:

    Gayle
    Shelvey
    Atsu
    Clark
    Yedlin
    Manquillo
    Joselu
    Ki
    Diame
    Darlow

    That lot will probably bring in 50 million for starters.

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  3. I don’t think it is worth making statement signings and going for mega-stars. For various reasons you have Real Madrid, Man U and Bayern fishing in that pond this year so the prices are probably going to be mental. They might even be joined by PSG, The Milans and Barca who have all had relatively poor seasons by their standards.

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  4. BTW: the surplus players I mentioned were probably gone anyway, it is the quality of the replacements that will change if we are sold.

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  5. It is essential that we have Rafa for any transition. He is the only one that has any clue about where we should look for new players – we don’t have a DoF and Nixon is only 1 year in the job. And remember the first year of Citeh? They had Mark Hughes as Manager and got Robinho as their big signing!

    There is no way to put a new setup in place in 2 months so Rafa is still key whatever happens. I would even keep Charnley on for a year as he knows the club well and as long as he sticks to the accounts I think he does a decent job.

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  6. A 61 year old man has died descending Everest. 61.

    I am not that old but get out of breath climbing 3 flights of stairs. What was he thinking?

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  7. Excellent article and one of the best I have read today. My view for what it’s worth is that IF the sale happens, and Rafa gets an insight, he will set his transfer targets higher, but not necessarily at Marquee level. He will have a bigger plan, based on growth rather than revolution, which always has a bigger risk attached. Seriously keeping my fingers crossed but probably for a few weeks yet, and that’s just if this doesn’t burn out in the next couple of days.

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  8. I said it on the last thread but some of the top clubs are vulnerable. I repeat:

    1. Man U, obviously. OGS is not the answer and they have given contract extensions to Young, Jones, Smalling and Martial.

    2. Chelsea. Transfer ban and Abramovich disinterested.

    3. Arsenal. Their squad is not that great. Best players are newcomers – Abamayang and Lacazette. Supposedly reining in spending again this year.

    4. Spurs. That stadium is a much bigger short term drag than their fanboys in the press make out. Have been lucky in the transfer market and that is cyclical. They wasted the money they got for Bale and that can happen again.

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  9. The Mail are saying its a con,he is not part of royal family Nufc say they have seen no proof of funds

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  10. Midhat Kidwai is definitely the main man in the Bin Zayed Group, but whether it’s actually him they’re talking to or not is another thing. I would have guessed that this story has gained such momentum that if it wasn’t true someone from the BZG would have denied it by now.

    Yes, its depressing we’ve suddenly gone from “contracts signed and submitted to the Premier League” to “an agreement has been reached” but that kind of exaggeration is a pretty standard part of doing business in the Middle East. They like nothing better than to let people know they know something.

    Here’s hoping!

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  11. Ice: it seems like a case of publish and check the facts later. Doesn’t mean it is a hoax but the press have gone about this the wrong way around as usual. It doesn’t really matter if he is the same family as the Man City owners, what matters in the near term is his net worth. That shouldn’t be that difficult to check out so we will know soon if this has legs.

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  12. My concern with this story is that it broke just after Sunderland lost their play off match. A disgruntled Mackem, or just Karma having a laugh?

    There seem to be enough people from both sides corroborating certain bits of it to suggest there’s a core of truth in there somewhere, problem is we’re like a battered puppy – not knowing what the heck is going on so just resigning ourselves to another battering anyway.

    I’m generally not an optimistic person but I’m willing to give it a go here!

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  13. There’s pictures of this guy all over every newspaper and every blogsite. It should be very easy to check to see if he is who he says he is. If it is not him then you would have expected his people to have denied it after seeing his picture plastered all over the British press. They have the internet in Dubai, right?

    Check the picture against the owner of the group. If they match, check the net worth and go from there.

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  14. I am not that worried that there was a confusion about the names. That’s pretty easily done I would guess. There was a myth for like 20 years that Linda McCartney was part of Kodak because her maiden name was Eastman. Didn’t matter how many times they denied it, it just wouldn’t go away.

    When this first came up I saw The Sun say this guy was a cousin of the Man City owner then another site said he had the same father. I thought immediately there was something up because that would make them half brothers but I let it go as a minor error. I still don’t think it makes any difference as long as he has the money.

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  15. By the way, this is not the fans fault for being – gullible – excited – over the top – hopeful -desperate. Whatever adjective you might want to use and that fans of other teams might use in a disparaging way. This 100% on the press and their total incompetence.

    It still might happen or it might be an elaborate hoax. Either way the press are idiots.

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  16. YOU SEE. Because these journalists ignored the basics of their jobs nobody knows where we stand now. Is this the half brother of the Man City owner, a cousin, a distant relative, no relation. Is he a member of the Royal Family? Does he have money? What about The Liverpool takeover, was that for real?

    They have totally confused the situation by not doing the basics of their job.

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  17. Fckin Chronic can’t even get the date right!!!

    From their website and Andrew Musgrove:

    “Hello and welcome to Tuesday the 27th”

    No wonder I get so dismayed with them. I am sure they will fix it but this happens every day in every way with them.

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  18. I give in!!!!

    Now The Chronic and Keith Downie are both saying this Sheikh is no relation to the Man City Sheikh after telling us he was his cousin, niece and Jon Snow’s resurrected corpse for 2 days!

    Next they will be setting up a battle with a Night King (Ashley) for 12 seasons and then finish it in 1 minute with no lights. Hopefully, that is what will happen to Ashley after what he has put us through.

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  19. I was extremely positive about this story last night when it was announced from Dubai that agreement had been reached. I now realise that’s all it is. Ashely says £350m and they say OK.
    No wonder everyone is so sceptical.

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  20. Freddie Woodman going to U21 WC as 3rd choice. Is this player the most hyped non-entity ever? Will not get a game. Interest from Arsenal is because his Dad works there. I saw him play in last year’s Toulouse tournament for England and there is a reason he is 3rd choice now – he was the worst player on the pitch in all matches he played. He will not be missed.

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  21. Seems this Ben Jacobs guy is just running his mouth off in 50 different directions.

    No different to the rest of the journalists who have had may different takes on this since it all started with The Sun of all places 48 hours ago.

    Are we to believe this latest idiot or the idiots before him?

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  22. Well the stories are running in the National now (local newspaper here in UAE). There a few stories around this… I’m still taking it all with a big pinch of salt though. The images shown are definitely the right guy. Most likely he has the money available too… of all the 7 emirates, Abu Dhabi has the most wealth.

    Insha’allah indeed. I want to hope, I really really want this to be true, but part of me is holding back… this is Ashley after all.

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  23. I read Ashley sold Sports Direct to Malaysia pension funds so he does not really need Newcastle to do the marketing for Sports Direct now.

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  24. Stuck in the hospital with Lew,borrowing Hazel’s phone. Seen the headlines in the press. I reckon it’s fake news, let’s not forget it’s transfer window, Rafa’s contract and thi year’s excuse not to spent. Believe it when I see it, this is Ashley after all.

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  25. Kimtoon:
    Stuck in the hospital with Lew,borrowing Hazel’s phone. Seen the headlines in the press. I reckon it’s fake news, let’s not forget it’s transfer window, Rafa’s contract and thi year’s excuse not to spent. Believe it when I see it, this is Ashley after all.

    Sorry to hear that mate,,with you on jabba

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  26. If this is pulled off then one way to get around FFP will probably involve a bit of player loans xoming in from other cluns associated to this family/groups.

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  27. SHAM on your point on the unwashed y/day saying they will struggle next season,and i agree more so as Short took all their parachute payments so they have nowt

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  28. Ice, mate. I have said 100 times on here that they are fcked.

    The Chancers gave the parachute money to Ellis Short as payment for the Mackems and a bet they would get promoted.

    Ellis Short had a lien on 40 million quid parachute payments. He would never make up the money he spent but he would get something back.

    The Chancers are fcked now. maybe 10 million TOPS.

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  29. My gut feeling is that Sunderland are 10 million in debt this year, and more.

    I could do the maths but I don’t care about that.

    But, I am good at this anyway.

    So, I think 15 million loss is what the Mackems are looking at.

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  30. Eric Sykes:
    My gut feeling is that Sunderland are 10 million in debt this year,and more.

    I could do the maths but I don’t care about that.

    But, I am good at this anyway.

    So, I think 15 million loss is what the Mackems are looking at.

    Couldn’t happen to a better club lol

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  31. I won’t put the maths on here but they are 10-15 million in the hole. Maybe more. They are fcked.

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  32. How long does the proof of funds process usually take?

    I’m out in Mexico for 2 weeks and was hoping to return to news Rafa had signed a new contract – that would have been excellent news.

    But this?!?!?!?!! Hells bells, if this comes off it will be stuff of dreams!!!.

    I desperately don’t want to get carried away coz we’ve been here before. But this guy tried to buy Lpool for £2bn … TWO BILLION!!!.

    I think it was Stu that asked the question at the time – If he’s looking for a PL club with potential, why not us? – reckon he heard you mate 🤞🏻.

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  33. KIM – hope Lewis isn’t too bad mate. I know he was in and out a lot last year – hope this year doesn’t go the same way for him (and you).

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  34. Sharpy – It’s all looking a bit ropey imo. Getting too public. I will be surprised if this deal happens. Although I won’t be too surprised if Ashley isn’t owner by August, just not with this Sheikh.

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  35. Hi all, I have a colleague at work who’s wife works in a very high up position in the financial district here. Her company is the financial company tasked with putting the deal together and he says that its a done deal from the buyers side for sure. They have been working on the real estate side of the deal, purchase of stadium, land, etc. Whilst the press like to muddy the waters, I believe it will go through… Of course, there is always that unknown factor of our current owner, but i really think this will go through this time. The buyers absolutely have the money, they want this deal. I’m beginning to believe!

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  36. Dubai Toon:
    Hi all, I have a colleague at work who’s wife works in a very high up position in the financial district here. Her company is the financial company tasked with putting the deal together and he says that its a done deal from the buyers side for sure. They have been working on the real estate side of the deal, purchase of stadium, land, etc. Whilst the press like to muddy the waters, I believe it will go through… Of course, there is always that unknown factor of our current owner,but i really think this will go through this time.The buyers absolutely have the money, they want this deal. I’m beginning to believe!

    thanks mate sounds a bit better from your side

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  37. Fingers crossed Dubai. Would be life changing for all of us in respect of our lifelong support of this club at least!

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  38. Dubai Toon:
    Hi all, I have a colleague at work who’s wife works in a very high up position in the financial district here. Her company is the financial company tasked with putting the deal together and he says that its a done deal from the buyers side for sure. They have been working on the real estate side of the deal, purchase of stadium, land, etc. Whilst the press like to muddy the waters, I believe it will go through… Of course, there is always that unknown factor of our current owner,but i really think this will go through this time.The buyers absolutely have the money, they want this deal. I’m beginning to believe!

    Lets hope so…

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  39. I have stopped reading The Chronic because they change their minds by the minute and then try to tell us they told us that this was happening weeks ago. They didn’t.

    But they do have a world exclusive from Mick Quinn “I hope this happens” he says. That’s it. Scoop. Hold the front page!

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  40. Is it me, or is that Stavely woman a bit cross-eyed in that picture. I was hoping she wouldn’t buy NUFC because there were so many lame-oes on social media lusting after her. I thought – she’s not all that. What are you seeing that I am not? And Prince Andrew has been there. and we know his taste in wimmin – Fergie.

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  41. Mick “the legend” Quinn is criticizing Arse and Chelsea fans for not selling out their Europa League Final tickets. It is 2,500 miles away. It is literally east of the the middle of nowhere.

    I hadn’t even heard of Baku and my ex-wife if half Armenian (they have a dispute about a territory called Ngorno Karabac so I sort of know where Azerbajan is).

    Just so you know what we are talking about here. My ex-father in law went to visit Armenia a few years back (a close neighbor). He is well off and asked the Mayor of the town what he could get as a leaving gift. HE BOUGHT THEM A COW. It was all very Borat from the stories he told me.

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  42. Dubai – one thing Ashley has always said was while the club is for sale, he’d only sell to someone who could take the club forward.
    It always pi$$ed me of coz I thought the irony of it stunk – him being someone who was holding the club back.
    But, this fella would certainly have the resources to potentially take the club further than most of us dreamt I reckon.

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  43. A wave of pessimism hit me last night – this is NUFC and we never get all of our cake to eat.

    What if this buy out had an impact on Rafa staying?.

    His contract talk has gone very quiet all of a sudden.

    What if the buy out meant we lost Rafa?.

    I really hope both happens – I can’t imagine the new owners (🤞🏻) wanting someone different. I guess I just can’t allow myself to think it could all be that good come the start of next season

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  44. i would prefer Rafa to stay before any deal only guy that can deal with the big clubs without big money how many managers can do that

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  45. One thing that is interesting is that journalists are pretty silent on Twitter today. I expect they’re running around like Blue arse flies trying to get info from the club and the buyer…

    I am in the camp of it being too public for it to succeed. I do think we are coming to the end of the Ashley era though.

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  46. Zayed Group have made another statement saying that they have agreed terms and this is reflected in a signed document by both sides and documents have been sent to the PL… Surely the club need to comment now…

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  47. Midhat Kidwai: “Terms have been agreed between us and Mike Ashley; these terms have been reflected in a document, signed by both parties, which has been forwarded to the Premier League.

    The so called fit-and-proper Premier League process is a standard procedure which will take time, and we are doing all we can to assist the Premier League during this process.

    We feel the need to clarify this point in order for the fans and the general public to understand the timelines.”

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  48. Who was that guy that predicted a sale was on for the end of the season? Much derided at the time.

    This is all sounding like it’s happened /is happening although why the club and Ashley are staying totally silent in the light of the latest statement is beyond understanding. Funds were provided in April. Documents signed by both parties. Now at the PL level.

    The Abu Dhabi Royal family doesn’t do failure especially in public.

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  49. I have been wondering why on earth Rafa was wasting time with Ashley. Now it makes sense. I can’t believe it is getting real. Toon Army definitely deserves it!

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