Who Is Billionaire Mike Ashley?

Mike Ashley is a billionaire businessman behind the Sports World and Lillywhites retail stores. He was born in Buckinghamshire in 1964 so is a young 42.

As we reported earlier in the day Mike has bought Sir John Hall’s holding of 41.6% of the company for 100p per share.

As we also stated earlier Stock Exchange rules mean that the company now has to make a cash offer for the remaining shares, around 29.8 per cent of which belong to chairman Freddy Shepherd.
Sir John will remain as the club’s life president – but the question mark now hangs over Freddy Shepherd, who faces a major decision over his continuing involvement in Newcastle United.


Mike Ashley

We have gathered as much information as we can on Mike Ashley – and as things develop – we will keep you informed on this new potential deal.

Mike Ashley was recently named at No 25 in 2007 The Sunday Times Rich List with a personal fortune of £1,900 million – which – for our US readers is almost $4B.

Good – that should be enough to buy a couple of good players. 😀

Mike said today:

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to invest in Newcastle United. The club has a fantastic infrastructure, for which Sir John and the board must take much of the credit.
“I am pleased that Sir John has agreed to remain as life president of the club. Newcastle United has a wonderful heritage and the passion of its fans is legendary.
“I am sure that, like me, they are already excited about the prospects for next season under the new manager’s stewardship.”

Notice that Mike is right behind Big Sam – as the new manager – so there’ll be no change there.

Big Sam will not know what to do with the money if the takeover actually happens – you talk about going from pauper to prince!

Sir John Hall, who formed the Magpie Group to take over the club back in the early 1990s, ended his reign as chairman on December 1st, 1997 and believes the time is now right for new leadership at St James’ Park.

Freddy Shepherd took over the reins of the club when Sir John left.

Sir John issued the following statement:

“I have been associated with the direction of Newcastle United for nearly 20 years. In that time, I have led the club and, before I retired, led the team responsible for the modernization of the club we all see today.”It is now time for me to move on and let others take up the challenge of competing in the global marketplace.”Mike Ashley is a major player in the sporting world and I am convinced that he is the right person to take my place and take the club forward. I am sure he will be good for the club and its loyal fans and indeed for the region.
“I wish him the very best and hope he enjoys it as much as I have. Finally, I would like to thank all the fans for their support whilst I was at the helm and would ask them to lend the same level of support to Mike. He has my full backing.”

Well – we got a new manager Big Sam Allardyce – who seems very good – only a couple of weeks ago – and now the club could soon be in the hands of a Billionaire – and an Englishman at that.

Interest in Newcastle has been rife for over a year with attempts coming from the Jersey-based Belgravia Group and the other by the Polygon-backed St James’ Park Group.

Shepherd has always insisted in the past he would not stand in the way of a “Geordie Abramovich” who wanted to pour millions into the club.

We think this is good news for the club – and it could propel us into being a top 4 club in England and we think that Freddy Shepherd – who has always said he will sell if it’s in the best interests of the club – will probably sell.

It should then be interesting who Mike Ashley brings in as Chairman of our club.

We understand there will be lots of questions concerning the debt (estimated at ₤60M) and the new St. James Park expansion we reviewed earlier in the week – but let’s have your comments on this news – we think things will be moving very quickly in the next few days.

Onward and Upward. 😀

11 comments so far

  • Valle

    May 23, 2007 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #1

    As far as i know, he dosnt have to make a bid untill he controls 70% of the shares

  • Chris F

    May 23, 2007 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #2

    Actually, once he owns more than 30% of the club, he HAS to launch a full takeover bid for the remaining shares. This is why Shepherd has stopped buying shares at 29.8%, he can’t afford to launch a full bid himself, despite all the millions he has leeched from the club over the years.

    It’s a new Dawn on Tyneside, let’s hope it’s a bright day ahead.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 23, 2007 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #3

    Chris – that’s right – by law he must now bid for the club – and i’m sure he’s thought this through and probably already had a word with Shepherd.

  • JPM

    May 23, 2007 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #4

    Great News this, Alladyce + Money could be a brilliant combination! Also great that Ashley is A) British and B) somewhat reclusive, that should mean that we don’t have to worry about him being on SKY Sports every 5 minutes humiliating our club like Shepherd does.

    I can’t wait to see Fat Freddies face next time he is on SKY, he won’t be happy. Of course he is not forced to sell but if he doesn’t he will become a lame duck as Ashley can still buy 70% of the shares and therefore can out vote Shepherd on anthing. Funny really when you consider that Shepherd only ever got back on the board of NUFC because he voted himself back after resigning due to the toongate scandal.

    I suggest that if Shepherd tries not to sell, fans should protest to put pressure on him to sell, as he has done nothing good for the club.

    Finally, I can’t wait to see what Alan Oliver writes now, he is bound to welcome the new guy, and I wonder how long it will take him to start writing the kind of articles about shepherd that fans have been longing him to write for years…

  • Sagar

    May 23, 2007 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #5

    its good news for newcastle.
    just hope he doesn’t buy his way to the premiership title like how abramovich did.
    Has to be sensible about how he spends.

  • Nick Dryden

    May 23, 2007 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #6

    Due to Shepeherds total ineptness and gross incompetence, we are potless and massively in debt. Shepherd has single handedly held us back for years with atrocious decision making and is the cross we have all had to bear. He has been xenophobic and unreceptive to takeovers and top foreign coaches.
    Let’s pray that Fat Freds’ greedy, gluttonous selfishness and ego, not to mention his endless leeching from NUFC, days are numbered. bring it on Mike Ashley!!!!!!!

  • Valle

    May 23, 2007 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #7

    Good one JPM, Alan Oliver will surely make an fool out of himself and try to tell us that he knew this all along and two time fat Fred… Lets hope the chronicle gets bought to and Anal Oliver gets demoted to tea lady.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 23, 2007 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #8

    Valle – JPM — good point – not sure Shepherd has much defense against not selling – it’s everything he said he was waiting for – it will be interesting what he says – and does.

  • James

    May 23, 2007 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #9

    he will not want to sell in a million years, so i wouldnt be suprised if he buys the shares off Ashley but lets just hope Fat Fred does sell,fingers crossed

  • Ed Harrison

    May 23, 2007 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #10

    James – not sure Shepherd has that kind of money – or the backing for it.

  • zinchead

    May 23, 2007 at 9:32 PM

    Comment #11

    obviously been part of the master plan from day one, Sam included. Good to see some potential for change and significant investment now we appear to ahve a manager with all the right credentials.. Roll on next season, I would feel more confident playing the mackems now than I did 3 weeks ago!


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