Martin Samuel has given his thoughts on the impending takeover, and as usual, it’s baffling to say the least.
The Daily Mail writer is a trusted confidant of Mike Ashley, so of course the article is not so complimentary about our would be owners while painting his mate in a far better light than he deserves.
You have to read it to believe it, so here’s the first of two snippets we’ve picked out (You can see the piece in full here):
“The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia has total estimated assets of £256billion. The difference between the £340m Mike Ashley wants for Newcastle and the £300m believed to be on offer, is 0.015 per cent of that wealth.
“And that is what has been holding this up? The equivalent of £4.50 to a person earning £30,000 annually. Roughly the price of a pint of beer. Alarm bells, alarm bells.
“There is a lot of information swirling around this takeover, all coming from one side, and usually one source. The seller has said nothing. All we know about Ashley and the consortiums raised by Amanda Staveley is that he does not trust them.“ I mean come on, “the seller has said nothing”.
Really? Give over man, this absolutely reeks of Ashley dictating this entire article, exactly the same as his “interview” Samuel apparently did with him last year in the aftermath of the BZG fiasco and Rafa leaving.
Here’s the first clue. No one else is running a story about the sale amount being less than Ashley’s initial asking price as if it’s a stain on Staveley and co.
If the amount is in fact lower than what Ashley wants, it is of course because of a decreased value due to the current Coronavirus pandemic. A value apparently so decreased he’s having to ask the government for help to pay his staff.
Millions of businesses all over the world have decreased in value and millions more probably will, so why is Samuel talking about it like Mike Ashley has been hard done by, and making out Staveley, the Reuben family and PIF are the bad guys for not paying more.
It smacks of Ashley basically moaning to his mate that he’s had to accept a lower bid due to the financial situation in his business empire, and Samuel has turned it into an anti-Staveley article for him.
On that note, I personally find it wonderfully poetic that a man who has expanded his business empire by bullying companies in financial difficulty is now being forced to sell on terms that don’t seem fair to him.
Samuel’s line about the £4.50 is also amusing too. I can afford £4.50. Would I pay it for something that was worth say, £3 like a Sainbury’s meal deal without questions, queries or negotiations? Nope.
I also wonder if Samuel would like to make a monetary comparison between Ashley’s wealth, and how much it would cost him to continue paying his staff during a desperately difficult time for a lot of people. No Martin? That one isn’t relevant? Wealthy and successful business people don’t throw money away needlessly.
The article went on to say:
“Some interpret Ashley’s silence as confirmation a deal is nearing conclusion and he is doing nothing to jeopardise it, happy to get his £300m amid a huge economic downturn. That would make sense.
A more cynical interpretation is that Ashley is letting the deal proceed, placing no obstacles in its path, allowing the papers to be lodged with the Premier League until the moment he can look his suitors in the eye and tell them, ‘Right, show me the money’.
And if it is not there, if there is another hitch, another delay, a fresh round of conditions or negotiations, then it is on them, not him. He proves his point and is done: it really was another waste of his time.“
That reads like a threat from Ashley to Staveley. We are all aware that there is bad blood between them.
The PR campaign against our would be saviour after her last attempt broke down was shameful to say the least and resorted to personal insults from Ashley’s camp.
Even her attempts to tell her side of the story to the trusted George Caulkin, then of The Times, was labelled self serving PR in some Ashley friendly media outlets. Oh the irony….
I said this about Martin Samuel in an article after he “interviewed” Ashley. He is a very intelligent man and usually an insightful, knowledgeable journalist.
He is much better than writing nonsense for his mate.