It emerged in the Evening Standard earlier today that Turkey’s richest man Murat Ulker held serious interest in taking over from Mike Ashley at Newcastle United – however his firm Yildiz Holding have since distanced themselves from such claims.
Ulker is worth almost £3bn, being well known for ownership of household brands such McVitie’s and Jaffa Cakes, however there were elements of this story in the Evening Standard that didn’t quite add up.
Firstly, the price he was believed to be willing to pay for the club. The exclusive stated that he was ready to pay ‘in the region’ of £220m for the club.
Mike Ashley is believed to have recently dropped his asking price from £400m to a figure in the region of £350-380m, and whilst this has shown a willingness to compromise and do business on his part, an offer of around £220m seems significantly lower than his valuation.
Secondly, the story claims he would give Rafa Benitez £60m to spend on new players. There’s a chance this was said in the context of the January transfer window, however that was not made clear, suggesting Benitez wouldn’t be handed a huge war chest like some may have hoped.
With this in mind, it doesn’t add up that his representatives state he has a vision of getting us back into the ‘top six’ as well as being a ‘permanent fixture in Europe’ yet would hand Benitez just £60m to invest into the squad. It would take a hell of a lot more than that to get us anywhere near the top six in this day and age!
Yildiz Holding, whose chairman is Murat Ulker, tell Press Association Sport they are not planning to buy #nufc.
— Damian Spellman (@DamianSpellman) October 17, 2017
As we mentioned earlier, his company have distanced themselves from the rumours this afternoon, however their appeared to be a few holes in this ‘story’ even before his interest was played down.
We eagerly await potential interested parties, but this is perhaps proof that these rumours must be taken with a pinch of salt between now and Christmas.