My take on the Sheikh Khaled confusion after chatting to a Abu Dhabi ally this morning..

If Mike Ashley manages to pull off the sale of Newcastle United to the Abu Dhabi Royal family he will have succeeded in performing what can only be described as a minor miracle, because Mike Ashley is everything that the Arab world finds repugnant.

Don’t think I’m saying that these guys don’t have the odd beer now and again, they can make The Who’s antics look like an Osmonds picnic, but lets just say that from a business point of view its fortunate he’s paying someone else to stand in front of the buyer and get the deal done.

This morning I spoke to a golf mate who runs the finances of one of the top 3 family groups in Abu Dhabi and he confirms the offer is genuine and agreement has been reached, and contrary to comments online, they’re a lot further on than just “agreeing a price”.

His words were along the lines of “it should go ahead no problem, but everyone knows what Ashley’s capable of.” 

Back to the names – if Mansour is Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and Khaled is the Khaled bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who founded the Bin Zayed Group in 1988, then no matter what anyone else says they are half brothers – it’s in the name.

It is possible, however, that Bin Zayed Group may be playing “pass the parcel” trying to come up with an “owner” far enough removed from Mansour to make it acceptable to the FA / Premier League.

One problem that I’m sure has been handled with insufficient tact and diplomacy is asking him to provide “proof of funds”. Even handled correctly this would be considered extremely offensive.

Forget what you read – the Al Nahyan family is easily the wealthiest ON THE PLANET. Think 5 or 6 times the wealth of the UK Royal Family, and the Nahyans don’t even have any corgis. 

‘Come on show us your bank statement so we know you can afford this.’ Yeah, right!

The Bin Zayed Group will have set about trying to find out as much about Ashley as they possibly can. Boy will they be surprised. The internet is awash with videos and stories of Mikey at his best, dancing half naked, throwing up in fireplaces and waging huge amounts of money on the turn of a card.

He is practically everything that is considered haram (forbidden) by Islam, wrapped up into one very offensive and slightly chubby package for convenience. Combine that with his outspoken, direct manner and his reputation for parking his tank on other people’s lawns and as I said earlier, if he gets a deal across the line it will be a miracle. On the plus side, they can’t help but admire him for getting away with his zero hours contracts, so a few Brownie points clawed back there.  

Let’s not forget that during a drunken night out in Dubai Ashley is supposed to have insulted the Emirati people and Islam. The Emiratis have long memories and can afford to be stubborn. If that was true, the deal would not have made it to this point.

One thing to take into consideration is that we are into the last few days of Ramadan. and after Ramadan we are into Eid. Another 3 days, going on a week of celebration where traditionally Emiratis take a break with their families. Long story short, sod all gets done.

I’d hope things might be a bit more professional with the Bin Zayed Group, but don’t be surprised if nothing happens before the second week of June. 
If the sale of Newcastle United goes through I’m sure we will see comments from Ashley telling us how well he did out of it, and how he knew what the club was worth all along. Sheikh Khaled and his Bin Zayed Group however, will ignore Ashley’s comments, invest in the club, and turn it into a leading global brand – something Ashley admits he doesn’t have the resources to do. 
Welcome to the big boy’s table Mike!

In the end, for the club it will be a case of “light blue touch paper and stand well back”.

The only question left to be answered is “does anyone know where the key is for the trophy cabinet?” 

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

13 thoughts on “My take on the Sheikh Khaled confusion after chatting to a Abu Dhabi ally this morning..

  1. Now THAT’S the kind of article I like to read. Informative and positive unlike the constant whining and pathetic conspiracy theories we’ve all been reading lately.
    Back to having some hope but let’s not forget the part our corpulent , devious , manipulative and greedy owner may finally have in this.


  2. I hope you are correct Ive been following the toon for 50 years and this is the most excited Ive been since KKs first stint in charge


  3. I am still very very sceptical about this whole fiasco? Why say anything at all? how or why has this leaked out if a sale is still a month or so off? NDA’s are there to protect all parties from exposure, now I wonder who has a very cosy relationship with the Sun? enough so to give them an exclusive that could breach an NDA? Mike Ashley sh-t stiring I am afraid again I will believe it when I see it.


  4. Great article!

    I think we live in hope that this might just happen, I think half the sceptisism that we are suffering from is to be expected. I mean how long have as supporters been promised the world only to be left heart broken?

    I also can’t imagine that MA would throw it away, i mean to him the club and its supporters must be a thorn in his side while he tries to take over the high street and this is his best chance to get rid of it.

    We can but hope! 😯 😛 🙂


  5. Great read
    I only hope and pray that this is right, I’ve been constantly watching sky news looking on Facebook ect for more information & this is the best read yet.
    Fingers crossed something comes out of this & to give US geordie’s the news we’ve been waiting a long long time for HWTL


  6. I really love these posts. I’m a big fan of your work and Newcastle but the last bit is a bit over the top at this point. Nothing is fact at this point. But I do get it , we can dream .


  7. I am 42, no complaints on being a toon fan. We had great years under kk and Bobby. We had the greatest striker to grace the premiership at our club . Under Ashley it’s been turgid and constant disappointment.lets hope we get a new owner and it’s an abramovic rather than a venkys. After the last 12 years we deserve a bit of luck.


  8. Archie I reckon you are the best writer we have had on this blog over the years. Informative, well structured and funny.


  9. im up and down like a tarts knickers with this,
    i was 11 years old in 1969 being passed over the crowd in the gallowgate watching my beloved toon win the fairs cup,
    we so so so need this,
    but i wouldnt trust ashley,
    its mind games hes playing with this leak to the sun,
    either with the arabs or someone else in the background,
    just GTF out of my club !!!!!!!


  10. He’s Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed bin Saqr Al Nahyan. He’s a 2nd cousin to Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan as Saqr & Sultan were half-brothers, and their fathers are different Zayeds. This is where most of the confusion lies, along with Khaled / Khalid spellings. Zayed is a common name – their great-grandfather was also named Zayed.

    The history of Abu Dhabi in the early 20th century is filled with murder and intrigue, and an interesting read. Sultan killed his brother, Hamdan, in 1922 to become Emir, but was himself killed by Saqr in 1926. Saqr was murdered in 1928, and the line restored to Sultan’s son, Shakbut… who, naturally, was deposed in 1966 and his brother, Zayed (Mansour’s father) took over. It’s also worth noting that on his death, Saqr’s sons fled the Emirate to Bahrain, and after an unsuccessful coup in 1954 fled to Saudi Arabia. So it’s quite possible that Khaled’s businesses are mostly Dubai-based, since his line didn’t have close ties to Abu Dhabi.


  11. Just to clarify what Bobby correctly stated, Khalid and Mansour’s different grandfathers were brothers. So it’s incorrect to call them half-brothers, they’re distant cousins at best.


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