Takeover latest: Bid imminent?

Takeover talk again came to fore this weekend when Amanda Staveley was pictured as a guest of the club during the 1-1 draw with Liverpool. Conflicting reports have emerged, with suggestions that Staveley was attending in a ‘deal-broker’ capacity for some of her middle Eastern contacts; while other reports state she may want to buy the club herself.

Either way, her attendance was intriguing and reports have now confirmed that talks did in fact take place following Sunday’s game.

Her background is in financial deal brokering, where she famously helped broker the deal for Manchester City’s current billionaire owners. She also led a failed attempt to purchase Liverpool in 2008, which would have seen her on the board. She clearly has an interest in football, whether she is looking to make money by brokering a takeover or pushing one for herself.

So, with takeover talk dominating the NUFC headlines, just how would a takeover or partial investment work?

A partial investment

One option would be for a consortium to invest into Newcastle and purchase something like a 10-20% stake in the club. Ashley apparently values the club at roughly £400m, which is one the factors that is holding up a full sale. Taking these numbers as ball park figures, this would equate to £40-80m coming into the club for a smaller stake in ownership.

This is similar to the agreement Manchester city with Chinese consortium, CMC, last year. They purchased a 13% stake for an eye watering £265m. Of course City is a more valuable financial  proposition for investors than NUFC. An interesting angle is that Manchester City is already owned by billionaires who have no desire to sell the club currently. So why sell a stake? Quite simply, for mutual financial benefit. The owners felt the Chinese market had a lot of untapped potential for them, as despite overtaking Manchester United on the pitch, commercially, they remain behind. A partnership can give you contacts and new sponsorship deals in a new region.

Something similar may be being discussed with Newcastle. Chinese investors have been linked with Newcastle and it appears an unlikely coincidence we have also just announced our commercial sponsorship partnership with Chinese firm FUN88. Ashley may well be discussing a similar deal to that of Manchester City behind the scenes, with some of Stavely’s contacts in the middle East also in the mix. This would mean investment in the club for new players potentially, whilst ensuring little day to day change. Purchasing this smaller percentage from Ashley would mean all major decisions, like hiring managers and overall budgets, would still firmly rest with him.

Buying a major stake

Another investment option would be for a group to purchase a far larger stake, something that would certainly have greater ramifications on how the club is run day to day. A comparable example to this would be the situation at Everton, with billionaire Farhad Moshiri buying a 49.9% stake in the club in early 2016. It was notably just under the 51% to be the majority owner but a high enough stake that he has assumed major responsibilities away from Bill Kenwright.

By all accounts, this has provided Everton with real financial muscle. Lukaku was signed for £28m with a further spending due on the cards this summer. Of course, not all owners will invest so much in new players as Newcastle fans of course know. However, it does represent an example that if Ashley was to sell a stake of this level it would mean a change in the running of the club and significant power sitting with any potential investors. The higher the percentage bought from Ashley, the more vital the intentions of investors is.

What do investors want in return?

It is important to consider that the goal of investments is to make a return or profit on your initial outlay. Owners can buy clubs with the idea of improving the club and not necessarily making any money from it (Man City and Chelsea are clear examples.) So if someone wanted to buy Newcastle and turn them into a superpower with the clubs interests solely at heart, they would probably attempt to buy the club outright.

Investors will likely see the new TV deal as a chance to grow their own business by having an association with Newcastle United. Of course it is in their interests the club does well, as success on the pitch leads to higher prize money and a better brand. But depending on the deal struck with Ashley, investors taking a smaller stake may want a cut of profits, a percentage of sales in a new market, such as China, or reassurances when they will get their investment back – with interest, at a set date.

Do timescales differ from a full takeover?

A full takeover certainly takes longer. This is due to having to pass fit and proper owner tests from the Premier league and also a more detailed process of due diligence over the clubs books. Investment would theoretically be sorted at a quicker rate and more importantly, should not impact on player trading this January. Unless it raises capital for new players, which would be great news.

Like many fans, I was starting to think under the Ashley it was very much ‘better the devil you know’. That was until this summer, where such a pathetic net spend was a final straw. We are lucky Rafa has stayed so far, but we need a new owner to match his ambitions and one who’s priority is improving the team on the pitch. Let’s hope this fresh talk has some credence to it.

Would you welcome a change in ownership or is it a case of better the devil you know?

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

About Simon Riddlesden

Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.

112 thoughts on “Takeover latest: Bid imminent?

  1. Stuart, typical drama filled reply.. you slag off ashley for all his ills and lies. Any yet you will happily accept a more morally corrupt owner as long as they spend big. I am not being a key board activist, I am calling out the blatant hypocrisy you are showing in this matter.. not surprised by it to be honest..


  2. Sharpy I agree with your Spurs sentiments totally. They are mixing it big but still seem like a proper club!


  3. AUSSIE could you send me a bucket full of that Big Rooster gravy,God how I miss it,tasted nothing like in anywhere


  4. I am not understanding playing Atsu “through the pain barrier”. Has he been so good that he is now a first choice/mainstay? Why spend 10 million on Murphy? Aarons is a very dynamic player as well and can change a game, why not give him the last 30 minutes when Atsu might be seizing up?


  5. Me neither Eric. Atsu’s been anonymous in the last two games. Aarons needs a run of first team football or be sold.


  6. Aussie:
    Stuart, typical drama filled reply.. you slag off ashley for all his ills and lies. Any yet you will happily accept a more morally corrupt owner as long as they spend big. I am not being a key board activist, I am calling out the blatant hypocrisy you are showing in this matter.. not surprised by it to be honest..

    I’ve never slagged Ashley off for anything other than anything to do with NUFC. No hypocrisy.


  7. georgio:
    Me neither Eric. Atsu’s been anonymous in the last two games. Aarons needs a run of first team football or be sold.

    Its a calf injury as well georgio. That’s the sort that do seize up as the game goes on. You just have to look at games that go into extra time and the players all get cramp in their calves. I trust Rafa, I suppose it would be up to Atsu to say he is feeling it.


  8. So, England midfield:

    Dier – often played as 3rd centre back for Spurs, sort of a hybrid between that and defensive midfielder.

    Henderson – zero goals in 34 England games.

    Oxslaid Chamberlain – pushed out to wing-back at Arsenal where he couldn’t even shift Coquelin or Ramsey in the middle. Moved to Liverpool so he could start in midfield and HASN’T STARTED.

    Lucky we are playing the mighty Slovenia. And I suppose it has to be better than playing Rooney there.


  9. Olly: I read your article on Perez. He needs to score to keep his place, or some of the other players need to score to make up for his lack of goals. A non-scoring striker is always on limited time. However…

    Have you never noticed that NUFC fans always need someone to blame, someone to pick on, someone to say is shIt. There are always calls for whoever is not in the team to be in the team. There is always somebody and it has always been like this ever since I started going more than 40 years ago. I suppose it is probably the same with all teams.

    Now Dummett isn’t there we can focus on Ayoze’s deficiencies (now GingerJack, I don’t blame people for slagging him off as he was a liability around our box and brought nothing going forward).

    I remember going to SJP and some fans (only a vocal few, mind) hardly ever praised anybody. They were never happy unless they were unhappy screaming at their particular hate figure.


  10. And the England front 3 are young with loads of potential but before anybody anoints them the new Shearer/Sherringham or Lineker/Beardsley have a look:

    Kane: Played 21, scored 10

    Sterling: Played 34, scored 2

    Rashford: Played 11, scored 2

    And that is with having the easiest qualifying groups in the Eiros and WC, although I do admit there were a lot of sub appearances and Rooney was allowed to pad his stats against the sh!t that England were given like Slovenia, Malta, San Mereno and Scotland.


  11. Since it is the Internationals I will continue my rant. England may as well have been given a bye for the qualifiers for the last Euros and this World Cup. If you cannot pad your stats against this dross then there is something wrong. Remember Henderson has zero goals in 34 games!

    The teams in England’s Groups:

    Switzerland (only decent team faced)
    Slovenia x2 (both Euros and WC)
    Lituania x2 (both Euros and WC)
    San Marino


  12. Ah, I hear you say, you can only beat what is put in front of you. Very true, but it doesn’t prepare you for the actual tournament does it as evidenced by that appalling World Cup where Mr. Roy’s team went out in the group phase and he still kept his job, only to allow Rooney to stand in for him at the Euros and us to scrape through the group, and then…

    It is one of the reasons I was complaining about NUFCs pre-season. We were given absolutely nobody to play against -Wolfsburg’s second string and Hellas Verona. No wonder we started slowly (and Jonjo).


  13. But, but Eric. England have lined up friendlies against the likes of Germany and Brasil. Yes, but they are friendlies. And the 1st team only play a half and are more concerned about avoiding injuries than anything else.


  14. Italian Serie A Standings:

    Hellas Verona: Played 7, points 3, GD -13

    Bournemouth played Napoli FFS.


  15. I think Uncle Ed has a new crush. I have just been on his website and he has no fewer than 8 full face pictures of Amanda Stavely related to his articles.

    I think I am going to get some FBI profiler to have a look and go over to NC to see what the chances are of him becoming a stalker.


  16. zzzzzzz

    I did paint a stool so I could watch it dry if the game turned out the way I thought it would. HT – so far it has. Why do I bother?


  17. Couple of pundits have said if Southgate keeps picking Hart he will be sacked,,wants to hurry up as Southgate hasn’t got a clue,mind some of the payers don’t


  18. I think that gives us a taste of what is to come in the World Cup.

    But, the Jocks go to Slovenia and go into a playoff if they win. If they don’t it is likely to be Slovakia as they have Malta at home. This is about the most interesting bit of this Group F BS with England playing pub teams.


  19. Icedog:
    Tells you how bad the game and players were Hart got motm ffs

    Did you watch it Ice? Hart didn’t really have a save to make. He came out and dived at a players feet and pretended he was hurt when he wasn’t touched. That was about it.

    I know I was totally cynical before the game but it all worked out as expected. Southgate gets paid 3 mil a year and has nothing on his CV to qualify him for the job. When he was in charge of the U21s we went out in the group at the Euros.


  20. It is sort of inevitable but the pundits and papers never see it:

    I knew Mr. Roy was a joke.

    I knew Rooney was not a midfielder and was a flat track bully.

    I know Southgate will be found out as soon as there is any pressure on him.

    I know we will have a decent performance in 1 or 2 of the upcoming friendlies and the media will think we have a good young team who might surprise some people.

    I know we don’t and we won’t.


  21. I have wondered for a while what an Oxlaid-Chamberlain is so I googled it. Apparently it is some sort of leather Victorian armchair. That explains a lot. England were so crap because we had an armchair parked in midfield next to a Mackem who has scored no goals in 35 matches.

    (nah, it not really a Victorian armchair, I lied).


  22. England were beyond crap last night, a total bore fest. Years ago if we qualify folk were **** a hoop and it always seemed a last ditch qualification , this time we do it easily and no one gives a toss. The Romance of following England has totally gone, we have a team of individuals all out to make a name for themselves and none other than Kane really have much to shout about. We used to have England teams once upon a time, not anymore, now their games just get in the way of the League time table to be honest.
    The minute the tournament kicks off they’ll be found out, especially if Hart is in goal .


  23. A high percentage of posts here talk about funding / owners / wages as well as the games themselves so to indicate its not really footbsll related to question the source of money seems odd. This was done when NUFC teamed up with Wonga

    The invasion of countries like Iraq and afghanistan was not about regime change and setting western ways of living they were about exploitation of resources and protecting the interests of the West. It’s fair to say it wasn’t well thought out?

    Voicing concerns about the morality of Saudi Arabia and their businesses no matter how well polished their ‘public face’ is reasonable. This is a country who promote progress as finally acknowledging (not addressing) they should not tolerate physical and sexual abuse of non nationals.

    I would agree that the West is in no position to take the moral high ground, butthe West could try to set an example or we’ll continue our race to the bottom

    Thst could start with setting and enforcing codes of conduct in elite sporting organisations that require those involved to demonstrate how they will comply before they can be involved


  24. No world cup in Russia then? Or Qatar? Revolutionary thoughts this morning. Can we also apply to individuals like Ashley in this country or NUFC for cheating the taxman?


  25. That was a typical England performance last night – lots of possession, lots of passing side to side, but totally incapable of breaking teams down.
    We seem to have got that focused on trying to bring success to the national team that they look scared to play. It’s so boring to watch. We’ve qualified again – great, congratulations ?.
    Instead of trying a few different players, or changing the formation to maybe a 4-4-2 and try for more goals, I dare bet they will stick with the same old same old and look to qualify unbeaten – like that counts for anything at all.


  26. The midfield is scary bad. I would not play any of them – Henderson, Ox or even Dier who is lucky to get in the Spurs team. Then you add Hart who is not even 4th best keeper – Butland, Pickford and Heaton are better. Then there is Cahill who is on his last legs and was probably never an international quality defender, Slovenia is about his level and he was still found out a couple of times. Stones has had a good start to the season but was a weak link in the City team last year. Plus he doesn’t really have to do anything this year as City are camped in the other teams’ half. Would Ryan Bertrand even get in the NUFC team on current form? So, we are carrying at least 5 players.

    And then the Manager. Relegated with Boro and finished bottom of the group in the U21 Euros.

    The papers bang on about how well the U20s and U21s have done in recent tournaments but how many of them will be ready in 6 months for Russia. If past is prologue, how many will ever be ready?


  27. I watched a couple of the South American games last night and they were absolutely brilliant. Full of passion, skill and intrigue. With one game to go Argentina are out of even the playoff spot. It would be a terrible shame if they did not qualify.

    They have a 10 team group and 4 1/2 qualify. Some good team will miss out but by the end of it they will have played 18 games apiece on their own continent against mostly other very good teams. The real fans will have been able to see home games and travel to a few in close by countries. I am glad this has been competitive and not the cakewalk teams like England and Germany were given. How many of the South American fans would have been able to spend a month in Russia anyway?


  28. I knew I shouldn’t have, but I clicked on a Chronic article describing a Mick Quinn advertisement for NUFC as “hilarious”. As expected, there was nothing funny about it. It was yet one more example of the Scouse and their “sense of humour” where they all think they are funny but almost all are not. I think it might have come from The Beatles films and their cheeky chappie personalities but that led to some of the most unfunny TV personalities of all time. Yes you Tarby, and most of all you Stan Boardman.


  29. On the possibility of either bringing in either new or part owner (large or small) the author states in order to keep Rafa. and realize his expectations following a disappointing summer window, we need new investment. Hey man! it’s not Rafa’s. expectations it’s the fans expectations, last time I looked Rafa. was still the manager, no ?

    Obviously not many fans realize the cost of operating in a division like the EPL, where even clubs like Citeh, which is owned by Oil rich Arab Oligarchs, have had to take on a minority Chinese investor and where most clubs promoted end up loosing money after a season or two, despite enormous TV revenues and clubs like PSG (though not an EPL club) are owned by an entire country.

    Simply the cost of doing business in this the wealthiest league in the world.

    So are NUFC fans expectations a bit over the top it has been suggested that this may be the case, especially for a side that has won nothing (apart from the fairs Cup), since the fifties yet believe they deserve better.

    There may be more than a bit of truth there and I for one would be happy enough to see a permanent top ten side, playing entertaining football and once in a while taking points from top six sides, cause face it it’s just not in the cards for NUFC to be a Citeh, without a mega money owner and that just ain’t about to happen.


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