According to North-East reporter Ian Murtagh, Mike Ashley has now applied to “de-register” four companies with Newcastle associated names – a sign he’s doing a bit of housekeeping ahead of a potential takeover?
Murtagh’s latest piece for the Star also insists that yesterday’s claims that Sheikh Khaled has set up “Monochrome Acquisitions Ltd” seem legitimate, stating that the documents, which can be accessed on the Company House website, carry an “authentification notice” – something that confirms they are in fact official.
This adds more fuel to the fire, especially after the company’s name translates to ‘black and white’.
Murtagh does state that the fact a holding company has been set up ‘does NOT necessarily mean a takeover is imminent’, but believes this development suggests things are in place for a takeover to go ahead.
Here’s what he’s had to say in his latest piece for the Daily Star today:
‘The Sheikh and Bin Zayed Group’s managing director Mihat Kidwai are named as the only two directors of Monochrome Acquistiions Ltd – a reference to the Magpies’ black and white strip.
‘The company has been set up with the registered address of the same law company, Pinsent Masons, Mike Ashley used when he bought the club 12 years ago.
‘Ashley has also applied to de-register four dormant companies with Newcastle associated names, indicative of corporate housekeeping as a prelude to selling.
‘And in an apparently separate development, Sports Direct signs which have covered St James’ Park ever since Ashley came in, are in the process of being taken down though the club insists this was not significant.
‘Neither Ashley nor Toon officials have commented on Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s reported £350m bid despite statements from Kidwai confirming proof of funds was provided in mid-April and the Bin Zayed Group were closing in on a buy-out.
‘The fact a holding company has been set up does not necessarily mean a takeover is imminent but it means the mechanics are now in place for a deal to be finalised.
‘The documents which can be accessed on the Company House website carry an authentification notice, confirming they are official.
‘Newcastle spokesman continue to issue a “no comment” response to questions on the proposed takeover which first surfaced more than a week ago.‘
The club appear to have insisted that the removal of some Sports Direct signs is NOT significant or linked to a potential takeover, but things are starting to add up now.
The club have NOT denied ANY of the claims that have emerged on the takeover front over the past 10 days, meeting claims with an intriguing yet unhelpful ‘no comment’ instead.
I’ll struggle to believe it until we hear an official statement and see Sheikh Khaled holding a black and white scarf at St James’ Park, but the developments over the last 24 hours have given us hope that a takeover just might be in the offing!