The Athletic’s George Caulkin has shared a dangerously positive update on the Newcastle United takeover front – suggesting a deal is now closer than it’s ever been.
He reveals that the deal is ‘close’, has ‘momentum’ and that a ‘desire to get it done’ exists, with neither party now anticipating any mishaps.
While he accepts that Ashley’s unpredictability is always a niggling concern, he believes the Newcastle owner may now finally be a more willing seller, with the Fraser Group’s (his firm) share price being at a 10-year low and his reputation in tatters.
Caulkin also insists that the Saudi PIF have ‘total commitment’ towards completing a deal and are buying the club to ‘invest and grow’ – not make a quick profit.
It’s also interesting that he notes the selling price is ‘considerably less’ than the £340m initially reported when news of the PIF’s interest first arrived.
Here’s some of the key lines from his latest takeover piece for the Athletic:
“Our policy has been to withhold fuel from the fire until substantive progress has been made and then to offer as much detail as possible. Are we at that stage? Well… almost.”
“There is momentum behind it and a desire to get it done. It is close; close enough to accept as a realistic proposition, if not yet enough for the hashtag #cans to be trending on Twitter”
“It has taken months for the PIF to commit but that commitment is now viewed as total, which partially explains the timing.“
“To the questions of why anybody would seek to make a multi-million-pound acquisition during a public health crisis when the markets are reeling, the answer is that this is not a short-term proposition.“
“They are not buying Newcastle to sell it but to invest and grow.“
“It is for 10 years’ time, not just now.”
“There is cordiality on both sides of the negotiating table and mishaps are not anticipated, albeit with the obvious caveat about Ashley’s unpredictability.”
“It is said that the price is now considerably less than the £340m first reported.“
“Ashley may now be more receptive to selling given the damage done to his firm’s share price (lowest in 10-years), as well as the harm he has suffered to his reputation over recent days.”
If you subscribe to the Athletic, you can rea the piece in full below:
I’ve not got my cans out just yet, but this sounds very promising..