Was yesterday’s message from the Bin Zayed Group this “imminent statement” we’ve been waiting for? Is it even a statement?
It was at least an attempt to communicate, however it’s raised as many questions as it has offered answers.
Already there are many theories flying around and most of them (rightly so) are negative. I can’t say I blame anyone for being downtrodden these days, in fact personally I have never believed a take over was going to happen anyway – but what IF this is a positive thing?
What is important to say at this point is that SO MANY of us expected the third statement to be “It’s off” and that Mike Ashley had scuppered the deal – but it isn’t that. Its actually quite positive.
As usual with Newcastle United there are many more questions that need answering but I am going to TRY and think about this with a cup half full approach. So, here we go….
Question 1: Why would they release a statement via a local radio host based in Dubai?
The positive spin on this could be due to the fact a NDA is in place. BZG wont be able to make any direct and detailed statements until the NDA allows them to – however, the silence was beginning to speak volumes and become deafening, so releasing this to a 3rd party with links to the UAE and Newcastle may have been their best bet and only way of communicating. This would also explain why it went quiet after the initial comments regarding a potential takeover.
Question 2: Isn’t this just another Mike Ashley PR stunt?
I don’t think so – not in this case anyway. You have to ask yourself why a group such as BZG would lie and risk ruining their reputation just to assist another Mike Ashley PR stunt. What do they have to gain from it? Sure, I think there’s some legs in suggesting Kenyon was involved in something along those lines via his ‘letter’ earlier this year – but these guys would not jeopardise their reputation to appease big Mike. They don’t need his money or negative publicity.
Question 3: What about the asset stripping and no manager in place?
It IS conceivable that conversations have taken place regarding Rafa and players like Perez. WHY would we leave ourselves heading into a season with only 1 striker in Gayle? Joselu is off to Alaves and Muto is probably more of a number 10. But would Ashley really do that? We all agree that he is desperate for one thing – to keep us in the Premier League, but he’s not going to manage even that as things stand. Why would he put that into question? The time to asset strip is AFTER we have been relegated. Even he must know that going about things this way is going to majorly devalue the club.
Question 4: Why is is taking so long?
This is not a quick process. Even when Shinawatra sold Man City to Abu Dhabi United Group, the process was kept quiet behind the scenes until it was completed. Shinawatra was in trouble for fraud so the sale was done “quickly” – there were no negotiations, no disputed over retail or advertising rights. In my experience, selling a business can take 6-8 weeks (or even longer) and that doesn’t include messing about with The FA!
Question 5: Why doesn’t he just go?
Well, he actually might. I can’t see anything that he is doing right now to suggest he is wanting to keep the value of the club and maintain the TV money. Why would he want to lose that if he was staying? He’s not appointing a new manager, he made no effort to keep Rafa and we’ve no signed a single player, so, as things stand, if he’s not preparing for a takeover, he’s preparing for relegation! And that’s stupid, even by Ashley’s standards.
There is a part of the statement that says “if a deal is not forthcoming it will not be due to lack of effort from both parties”, which is a concern, but maybe this is just a safety net that you need to have in place when dealing with someone like Mike Ashley?
I don’t, for one second believe that BZG are being used as puppets by Ashley though – that is quite preposterous.
I know that there are so many more questions to raise after weeks of claims, counter claims and general uncertainty, and I know I will probably get shot down for parts of this blog, but I believe these are valid points that need to be considered.
Unfortunately, we are forced to make educated guesses, produce theories and raise questions when there’s so few answers provided by either party – especially NUFC!