With her latest offer revealed to be an up-front sum of £250m with no clauses, this suggests the Yorkshire businesswoman must now cough up an extra £50m if she wishes to secure a takeover (see below for full article from the Telegraph).
In her interview with George Caulkin, she seemed adamant that her interest was genuine and revealed her plans for the club and Benitez – making it clear that this is a deal she is STILL very keen to get done.
It seems Ashley isn’t so sure if this report by Luke Edwards (Telegraph) is anything to go by however, with him stating that ‘sources close to Ashley’ hold little faith in her upping her offer, also believing that her big interview was purely an attempt to ‘save face’.
So, what are Staveley’s offers so far and how likely is it that she ups her bid to £300m – the alleged price Ashley is ready to accept (with no clauses).
According to the Times, the bids Staveley and PCP have submitted so far are as follows:
- £300m, first bid, November 2: £200m on completion. £50m July 1 2018, £50m July 1 2019 — neither paid in the event of relegation. Benítez to stay as manager. Penalty clauses in the event of HMRC fine.
- £350m, second bid, November 10: £150m on completion. £50m January 1 2020 £50m January 1 2021 £50m January 1 2022 £50m in the event of qualifying for the Champions League. Benítez to stay as manager. Penalty clauses in the event of relegation and HMRC fine.
- £250m, third bid, November 17: £250m payable in full. Benítez to stay as manager. No clauses
One thing that strikes me is Ashley’s clearly changing the goalposts here? Initially he welcomed offers that paid in instalments, yet you now get the feeling he’s wanting this £300m paid up front.
They key for me is our Premier League status. Notice the first two offers (of £300m/£350m) both included relegation clauses. Ashley is aware that this is a very real risk, so he won’t want to accept a deal that sees him receive considerably less should we go down. At the same time, Staveley won’t want to pay £300m for a club that could be worth half of that in 5 months if we were relegated..
She also now has no power to improve our chances of survival, with any deal coming too late for her to have an influence on January spending.
It’s a difficult one. Some are saying ‘just pay the extra £50m if you want it that badly’, but we’re talking FIFTY MILLION POUNDS here. Would you pay a tenner for a Big Mac?
Anyhow, here’s what Luke Edward’s story in the Telegraph says in full:
Amanda Staveley will have to return with a bid of £300m, without any clauses, to persuade Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley she is serious about wanting to buy the club.
That is the figure that could tempt him to revive the proposed takeover after appearing to walk away from the negotiations earlier this week. But sources close to the billionaire insist he does not believe that will happen and dismissed a recent interview by Staveley with The Timesas a face-saving exercise.
Instead, the Ashley camp do not expect any progress to made on the takeover, with Staveley, or anyone else, until March at the earliest as everyone will want to wait to see whether Rafa Benitez can keep the team in the Premier League.
Telegraph Sport understands that every bid Staveley has made above £250m during this drawn out, and increasingly acrimonious process, is understood to have contained clauses which restricted the amount Ashley was paid up front.
One of these was for £50m if Newcastle won the Champions League, while there has also been a relegation clause that would protect Staveley if the Magpies were relegated this season.
Although Staveley’s camp claim they have been told the asking price is £350m, Telegraph Sport has learned that is not the price that has been discussed with others who have shown an interest over the last few months. Instead, Ashley has indicated he will sell for £300m, if the money is paid in one lump sum immediately.
That challenge has now been made to Staveley, who is adamant she is still interested in buying the North-East club.
However, with Benitez’s side embroiled in a relegation battle and currently just three points above the drop zone, nobody, including Staveley, appears to want to take the risk of buying a club that could lose £100m in revenue if it tumbles into the Championship.
As things stand, Staveley has still not made the sort of bid that would tempt Ashley to sell and unless she returns with another, which gets to £300m without any of the clauses inserted into earlier bids, it is difficult to see things progressing. The only bid on the table at this moment from her is for £250m, which was dismissed by Ashley.
Let us know your thoughts folks – would you expect Staveley to now pay the requested £300m?