Former Liverpool MD and English businessman Christian Purslow has told Sky Sports News that our poor run of form will most likely mean that the club won’t be sold until the end of the season now – with Ashley having missed his window to sell while we were flying at the start of the season and Staveley now ‘concerned’ about our relegation risk.
Purslow appeared on Sky Sports News last night, stating it would be ‘crazy’ for a potential buyer to commit to Ashley’s valuation given the very real threat of relegation that exists following our slump in form over the past few months.
Staveley is naturally very wary of this according to Purslow, however he feels Ashley won’t be willing to do business in a deal that could mean must give out compensation – stressing that a takeover for the January window is ‘fanciful’ and a summer deal is far more likely:
“Her (Staveley) view on value and Mike Ashley’s are some way apart but critically she is also starting to be concerned about relegation risk,”
“Offering an owner of a Premier League team a deal that says, ‘I will give you £250-300m, but if in August I find myself in the Championship I’d like a refund of a £100m’ [then] Mike Ashley is never going to accept a deal like that.
“The more likely sequence of events, I am not saying it is impossible, is that buyers wait to see where Newcastle settle and once their Premier League fate is secure then a deal gets done by the end of the season.
“But the idea that a deal is going to happen in the next few weeks, let alone at levels that are way below what Mike Ashley’s asking price was, is fanciful. I think by the end of the season is when the club gets sold.”
Purslow then offered a fascinating look into Mike Ashley’s selling approach, suggesting that Ashley was ‘rushing’ to sell the club following our strong start to the season – with him realising that the club was worth much more back when it was flirting with the top six:
“A run of poor form can turn a team in seventh place, everything looking rosy, into a team where the possibility of relegation starts to loom.
“The significance of that is that when you are buying or selling a football club, the valuation is directly linked to the revenue performance of that club. A club in the Championship is worth substantially less, a fraction of a club in the Premier League.
“Mike (Ashley) was rushing, positively rushing to capitalise on Newcastle’s very good start to the season in the summer and autumn. We are now moving into these long winter days [and] Newcastle have had a very bad run of form.
“For any potential acquirer of Newcastle, today, to commit to a valuation would be a very bold move because if the club was relegated that value would look crazy.”
An interesting assessment on the takeover situation and one that could ring true, however this has clearly all back-fired on the ‘opportunist’ that is Mike Ashley. He clearly hoped for a quick sale after we looked so good in the early stages of the season, but ultimately, his lack of investment is costing us as the season goes on, with our evident lack of quality and injury problems seeing us lose 5 of our last six in the league.
A January takeover always seemed unlikely, and given the lack of major progress since the opening bid two weeks ago, it seems like this one might just be shelved until next summer.
Speculation was rife on Tuesday morning, with claims of deadlines being set from both sides of the deal, however The Chronicle have stressed that there’s been ‘no significant developments’ this week, restating that talks are ongoing, but no second bid has been tabled as of yet.