One phrase that we’ve heard on multiple occasions over the past few months is ‘red flags’.
Sadly, since it emerged over the weekend that the ‘Bellagraph Nova Group’ are now the latest consortium in the running for a takeover on Tyneside with a ‘£280m bid, I’ve seen nothing but red flags.
Consider some of the big warning signs:
- Chopra, a self-confessed gambler, and alleged compulsive liar acting as broker.
- They appear to have fed false information to the press regarding Alan Shearer’s alleged involvement.
- They’re telling the press they’ve been in “direct contact” with Cristiano Ronaldo!
- Dodgy photoshopping and CGI to make it seems like they’ve been in BN-themed meetings with Barack Obama.
- Their ‘head office’ is a rented meeting room.
- They’ve circulated documents (letter of intent to Mike Ashley and proof of funds) they themselves label as “confidential” to journalists, with Sky Sports’ Keith Downie claiming to have been shown them himself.
- Their ‘£280m bid’ is clearly below Mike Ashley’s asking price and almost certain to be rejected. Sky Sports say a second offer is expected, but why make a bid you know will be knocked back?
They claim to be “serious people” making a genuine attempt to buy the club, but have reportedly told The Telegraph they’ve bid £20m less than the Saudis so that they can use the money saved for player recruitment! Let’s hope that it’s an additional £20m to add to the other millions and millions they’re going to invest!
Another worrying sign – they have gone public!
Seriously, after all that has happened, they’ve gone public! Surely the tactic of “serious” people would be to say very little until the deal is far, far, far further forward than it appears to be or are they hoping by going public they’ll get the backing of the loyal Geordie faithful.
Forgive me for sounding dubious and disbelieving, but this stinks of one big PR stunt to me.
Nothing would be sweeter than to be wrong, but I wonder if they’ll soon go the same way as Henry Mauriss.
Facts, ladies and gentlemen, facts are what we need not speculation, rumour, and innuendo.