According to the Daily Mail’s Mike Keegan, Mike Ashley is still refusing to accept any offers which include a relegation clause and instead demanding a ‘straight up’ sale at £300m – something which is off-putting two interested parties who are wary of our league position.
It’s understandable that investors are wary of paying £300m up front, especially given we’re just one point off the drop zone and the fact the club’s value would probably halve if we were to go down.
The report highlights interest from a wealthy US investors and a consortium set up by former Chelsea and Man Utd Chief Executive Peter Kenyon, however it seems Ashley is complicating matters.
Here’s a snippet from the story in the Daily Mail:
An unwillingness to insert a ‘relegation payback’ clause is hampering any potential deal for Newcastle.
Sportsmail revealed last month that a group of ‘seriously wealthy’ American investors can meet Mike Ashley’s £300m valuation for the up-for-sale club.
However they are wary that, should Rafa Benitez’s men suffer relegation, the club’s value would drop through the floor.
As a result, they want to insert a clause which would give them money back as an insurance policy in the event of the Toon dropping into the Championship.
However sources say that there is currently no appetite from Ashley to do so and that the situation is at an impasse.
Other groups have also been looking at a deal for Newcastle, who currently lie a point above the relegation zone in 14th place.
They include a consortium set up by former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon. Again, however, an unwillingness to negotiate is proving restrictive.
Retail tycoon Ashley is understood to remain wary, following the breakdown of talks with a consortium led by financier Amanda Staveley earlier this year.
It all feels like deja vu, doesn’t it. A similar story emerged this time last year when Amanda Staveley’s interest was making the headlines, and here we are again, with other interested parties having the same problem.
It makes me wonder two things. One, just how serious is Ashley about selling the club and two, just how serious are these ‘interested’ parties about buying the club?
One thing I will say is this. Given the possibility of relegation is always at risk of occurring when looking at things mid-way through a season, why didn’t these interested parties up their interest over the summer when they knew we were a Premier League club.
At that stage they would’ve had the power to come in, spend over the summer and be the masters of their asset’s destiny.
I have no doubt that Ashley is making things difficult and it may have been that he slapped a silly price tag on the club when our Premier League status was guaranteed over the summer, but there is definitely two sides to this, unfortunately.
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