Bid to Buy Newcastle United In The Works?

We have been getting several e-mails over the last 24 hours from one of our news sources in Iceland, about a potential bid for Newcastle United, and that Alan Shearer has recently been asked to participate in that bid.

Since that news has now been broken by Sky News in England we will use some of the information we have received from our source in Iceland, to let you know what we currently have on this situation.

We caution our readers that nothing has yet been officially confirmed, but we do have reason to believe a bid is in the works.


Alan Shearer – asked to participate in Icelandic-led bid for Newcastle United

It has been reported in Iceland over the last 24 hours that two Icelandic businessmen are negotiating a bid for Newcastle United and negotiations are said to be in an advanced state, but not yet complete. This is according to and radio news sources in Iceland.

Jon Asgeir Johannesson, chief of Baugur – who in recent years have bought iconic British companies such as House of Fraser, Hamleys and Goldsmiths, is reported to be behind the bid. Johannesson, in conjunction with Palmi Haraldsson, who runs another Icelandic investment group Thera, are reported to have approached Shearer with a view to becoming involved with the bid.

Palmi Haraldsson would neither confirm nor deny his involvement in the bid last night but said:

“Newcastle is a great club with a great manager and has been my favorite for a long time.”

It goes on to say that it’s very likely that Mike Ashley and Jon Asgeir know each other, as both have been prominent in the same business markets. It is also being suggested that Ashley last week lowered the Newcastle United debt by £30M, (total debt was estimated at £80M) possibly to make the company more attractive to a bid.

It states that Newcastle United is the 13th biggest football club in the world with a very loyal fan base who regularly fill St. James’ Park at every home match. Icelandic sources are also claiming that a potential deal is likely, but it remains to be seen whether Mike Ashley would be tempted into selling, just months after purchasing the club.

Jon Asgeir Johannesson and his family own the Baugurgroup, which turn is the majority holder of 365 Ltd. ( which owns the 365 company,, an on-line media company. They broke the news on the alleged takeover at 18:10 BST yesterday followed by the TV station stod2 at 19:30 BST – which are both owned by 365 Media. That news was then updated at around 20:30 by, by adding the piece about Shearer being part of the group.

We believe there may well be a connection with Johannesson owning the only media company that has published the news so far – but as we cautioned at the beginning of the article – there has been no official confirmation yet of any bid for the club.

This is a surprising development since Mike Ashley has just bought the club and there has been a certain level of turmoil since new manager Sam Allardyce took over. Sam has seen a new chairman and a new owner installed since he took over in mid-May and has concentrated on improving the squad during these rather uncertain times, but has nevertheless managed to do a very good job.

This will not help that uncertain situation – and we’ll just have to wait and see what transpires. If it’s true that Shearer is now part of the bidding group, that would seem strange since he is also currently employed by the club as our world-wide ambassador. It seems unlikely he would agree to be part of the group unless he had at least informed his boss – chairman Chris Mort – of the situation.

Comments welcome.

36 comments so far

  • Mark G

    Aug 20, 2007 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #1

    There has to be some stability to the club and if it is changing owners twice within the space a few months it would put the club into a degree of upheaval. I didn’t think Ashley was just in it for a quick buck but maybe his other business interests are taking a hammering due to the turmoil in the stock markets. I hope it’s not true as I also don’t like the idea of Shearer getting involved in any takeover.

  • Chris

    Aug 20, 2007 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #2

    anyone else a little confused?

  • craig chisholm

    Aug 20, 2007 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #3

    what a load of bollocks. the club is private now, and a take over bid is not possible anymore. either ashley chooses to sell or not, the word ‘takeover’ is not accurate in my eyes. plus, even if ashley has reduced the debt by 30 million he has not done it just to make it look good on the books in order to sell it. ashley would still require that 30 million to be added to the value of the club otherwise it would mean that he has just paid 30 million of debt off for anther bloke for no reason at all. the only reason he has paid off that debt is cos it will have lowered repayments to the banks by a massive amount and it has made financial sense. just another load of pap in the press.

  • Lin

    Aug 20, 2007 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #4

    Can’t agree more with you, Mark.The changes should not be too fast. We need stability to go furthur, smoothly.

  • TOON1

    Aug 20, 2007 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #5

    Ed-how sure by the info you have that we will sign belleti ,as he is a ideal RB.Obviously need time to settle in premiership but a very good all round full back,and for around 3m would be a very good buy!!!

  • will

    Aug 20, 2007 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #6

    Consortium of piffle if you ask me.

  • Ed Harrison

    Aug 20, 2007 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #7

    Craig – we’ve added a bit more to the story – it does seem rather surprising – and you’re right that takeover may not be right word – they are trying to buy the club from Ashley – and it’s up to him whether he’ll sell – which probably depends on how much they are willing to pay for it.
    We do need some stability – this will not help Big Sam – who’s trying to build the team and get us off to a good start this season. Put yourself in Sam’s shoes – so much has happened since he became manager – but he’s still pressing ahead and doing a good job for the club.

  • iain

    Aug 20, 2007 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #8

    makes no sense whatsover, why refuse chinese billionaires interest or whoever offered him 20m profit the other month on the club, then put 30m quid + bank charges etc as paying off 30m early of your debt cant be done without incurring other costs and penalties to MA, to then turn round and sell to a guy worth 6oom quid doesnt add up.

    i know ashley could be getting hammered with problems with his other businesses and the stock market, but that just means he would more likely pump that 30m into those companies to improve their liquidity. its not as is nufc is listed any more.

    honestly though as long freddy shepard/the halls are not involved i wouldnt complain even more so if these icelandic guys are stupid to give away money like egghead at whu, we have strong base now with sam and the players he rbought in and another injection of funds now would give us a great chance of top 4.

    MA has done more good for this club in two months than shepard did in ten years, so as long as he doesnt flog us to crooks or arrogant muppets like shepar i will also be pleased with what hes done for us. as with that debt we could been heading for a leeds.

  • Ed Harrison

    Aug 20, 2007 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #9

    TOON1 – we think it’s real that we are bidding for him. It was reported in the Journal which is usually quite solid for news. There’s also news that they rejected our first bid but we seem to have done so much negotiating with Barcelona (Edmilson, Gudjohnsen, perhaps Deco and now Belletti), since Sam came in – that we have to believe it’s likely to be true. Juliano is 31 years old so a max fee of £3M seems reasonable – maybe we bid £2.5M or less initially.

  • Alex

    Aug 20, 2007 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #10

    Would Shearer want to be chairman?Manager yes.Chairman not so sure.He seems to be enjoying his tv work and would have to possibily give that up to be chairman.Also its not for nothing that he took up his coaching badges.

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 20, 2007 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #11

    Ive also heard us linked with Thuram but hes getting on abit.

    I still think Chidi Odiah is a perfect solution for us.

    Just like Bosingwa except cheaper and slightly younger. Both can play RB/CB/RM

  • doug

    Aug 20, 2007 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #12

    I think it would be a backward step if we lost Chris Mort.

  • X

    Aug 20, 2007 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #13

    No Craig, he restructed the debt, he hasn’t paid 30Mill off, he has just reorganised the various loans so that we have to pay less in intrest.

    Think the crap adverts on the rubbish Sky tv channels.

  • rich

    Aug 20, 2007 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #14

    i dont understand why you are giving this any credence ED.

    its a load of crap just like the chinese investors buying us.

    dont believe the Hype.

  • Graeme

    Aug 20, 2007 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #15

    If Mike Ashley was in this for a quick buck, he could have walked away with 20 million or so the other week (so rumour has it). Paying off a chunk of the debt makes the financing easier and will boost our profitability – a much more attractive proposition to someone wanting to buy. The club is known in the city to have been bought cheaply by MA, it is an even better, bigger attraction now than it was then.

    He could probably make £50 -70 million on a deal now. Not a bad return on £163 million in 3 months!!!!

    I still dont think he would sell though.

  • Edd Case

    Aug 20, 2007 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #16

    X – You are wrong. Mort is quoted as saying Ashley HAS cleared 30million debt.

    Ashley ought to say something publicly, or via an official statement.

    I actually don’t really care who owns the club, as longs as they’re extremely wealthy, pump millions into the club for new players etc and really are in it to win it – not make money.

  • Greg

    Aug 20, 2007 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #17

    I agree with you Edd case but i do not think that Ashley is one of those people into win it. If he was he would not even be considering selling the club. He is seeing this soley as a business investment he does not care about the club.

  • ToonKing

    Aug 20, 2007 at 9:58 PM

    Comment #18

    This story is bollocks.

  • Nick C

    Aug 20, 2007 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #19

    Ah Toonking. Now you have climbed off the fence, could u tell us what you really feel??

  • michael

    Aug 20, 2007 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #20

    This guy Jon Asgeir Johannesson has the money to post a really large offer as part of a consortium. The Bayur group of which he is the head turns over at 8.7 billion pounds a year. However if you thought Shinawatra was bad this guy recently faced 40 charges by the icelandic government for dodgy accounting and is reputed to have offered the Icelandic prime minister a bribe of 2.5 million quid. Not particularly who I want in charge of the club.

  • big pea ov the weab

    Aug 20, 2007 at 10:27 PM

    Comment #21

    i dont c why mike ahsley wouldent sell up he is only a buisness man after all

  • ToonKing

    Aug 20, 2007 at 10:30 PM

    Comment #22

    @Nick C : This story is bollocks.
    PS: Did i mention that this story is bollocks.
    PSS: Damn almost forgot – this story is utter and uber bollocks. No way Ashley will sell after 2-3 months. If he’s in it for the money he can make much more if he invest’s now and sell this time next year for a much bigger profit.
    But then again he could be in it for the footy.

  • 9th June

    Aug 20, 2007 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #23

    Michael, I don’t think we should confuse unproven charges on tax avoidance with Shinawatra’s equally unproven 4,000 murders. Your post seemed to indicate you thought the tax charges were worse!!!!!

  • ToonKing

    Aug 20, 2007 at 10:56 PM

    Comment #24

    Well……they are. I’m an accountant, i know. 😉

  • phoonck

    Aug 20, 2007 at 10:59 PM

    Comment #25

    Its surprising that just within 2months and we are involved in another ‘takeover’ bid.. You guys are right, this is not doing Allardyce any help at all. Imagine you are hired as a manager by a company, and within days the chairman that hired you was replaced and had a reshuffle at the top management. Then within 2months into your new job, the company is facing another reshuffle at the top.. This is confusing.. Mike Ashley better clear the air before the rumors start to unsettle the morale of the squad/staffs at Newcastle, which i think Allardyce had done well at..

  • SAM

    Aug 20, 2007 at 11:12 PM

    Comment #26

    Let me recap. Somebody has a mate in Iceland and they reckon Shearer has been invited to join a takeover bid!!!!!!

    If Shearer was asked to join the only person who would make such an approach is the main billionaire himself. Now i’m pretty certain the billionaire isn’t your mate in Iceland. So more likely your mate (not the billionaire) saw/heard that Shearer was in Iceland to meet a real billionaire.

    Well the billionaire in question is a newcastle fan and Shearer is an ambassador for the club so it is right and proper for them to meet. End of story.

    Oh last laughable journalistic comment was the ‘extra evidence’ to justify an iminent takeover: namely Ashton has just pumped 30m in to reduce the clubs debts. The journalist stated this 30m would make the club more attractive to buy. Well of course it bloody well would! Mind has the idiot forgotten that the man who would sell the club has made it more attractive only because he has pumped in huge extra money (his own money). If a neighbour builds an extension or conservatory then do you immediately think ‘hey he’s putting money in to his property to make it more attractive so he must be ready to sell up’!!!!!!!

  • Rob Kirton

    Aug 20, 2007 at 11:17 PM

    Comment #27

    There is no reason for Ashley to sell. Although his stock in Sports direct has taken a fall in value, he had already trousered 950 million in cash for selling half of his original holding. Some of which he has spent on NUFC. There is no direct business connection between Sports direct and NUFC.

    If he does decide to sell soon, it could be a “flip”, i.e. make 10’s of millions on profits in terms of capital growth in a few months as opposed to potentially hundreds of millions in a few years. Who knows?

    What difference does it make? er……….. non actually. Any owner will have to make an investment to build a business which will give a return in form of either income in the form of profits or longer term capital growth. Personally, still think the story is aload of c**k and the first Shearer heard about it would be in the morning papers.

    Mike Ashley doesn’t need to make any statement about this. If he does this now he’ll be doing it on a weekly basis when all of the loons come out of the work and spin a story to the press, to get cheap publicity.

    Who owns NUFC won’t make on jot of difference to anybody who reads this board. The players won’t give a damn, though Allardyce may have some casue for concern. However he is a big lad, can look after himself and handled the last change in regime quite easily.

  • George

    Aug 20, 2007 at 11:41 PM

    Comment #28

    Here we go again, another shit stirring exercise by the media. What have we done up here to deserve all this crap we are putting up with.
    Someone prior to me has stated that and very right aswell, you do not turn down a Chinese offer of£20 million more than what it cost to buy the club, spend millions on players, then pay £30 million of the clubs debts. Then sell the club. On top of that, were is there a mention of for how much. Usualy if the cash is there a figure is mentioned very quickly, but not here why?
    Has any body spoke to Alan Shearer about how he his name is being bandied about with this alleged takeover. I dont think AS will be too happy.
    Apart from all this do we really need another club owner from near to the North Pole. I mean look at egghead at west ham and his problems.
    No, i think this is another case of media Devilment. The bastards.

  • Dingo

    Aug 21, 2007 at 2:45 AM

    Comment #29

    i think the real value is in the property that NUFC own and have planning permission for. This is an attractive proposal for wannabe buyers….. I remember that before freddy was sacked… sorry stepped down.. there was a £300m development plan ear marked for in and around SJP as well as converting to a 60,000 seater stadium. If I had buck to invest and the planning permission was there, this would represent way more value to me than Sam and the team. Newcastle as a city is in an economic upturn at the moment, you just have to look at the city to see that… its a building site right now (in a good way).. having said that.. if there was a load of money to be made, why would Mike not make it himself. any thoughts or am I just spouting again?

  • StevieA

    Aug 21, 2007 at 6:53 AM

    Comment #30

    Not worth a minute of my time.

    Paper talk bollocks.

    Did I mention bollocks? It’s bollocks!

    We are starting to do well so the southern based media start saying things like Mike Ashley “might” sell. Yes and Sunderland “might” win the champions league!

    Not very likely! Absolute paper rubbish. Billionaires like Mike Ashley don’t sell up to make a quick 40-50 million. He will be here for a long.. long time.

  • Graham

    Aug 21, 2007 at 8:37 AM

    Comment #31

    Read this piece of genius and then make your mind up on the state of the southern press

    Basically they reckon that Ashley will make a profit by selling the club for £135m (remember he paid £133m for it and has just pumped another £30m into the club) – Enid Blyton is obviously alive and well and living with Elvis in Essex!

    On a more serious note though – I did here (and mentioned on here) that Ashley only wanted NUFC so that he could get the Adidias franchise for his sports shops – it is rumoured in this fine piece of editorial bullshit that any deal would be of benefit to his main business…

  • Graham

    Aug 21, 2007 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #32

    Dingo, I think you may just be spouting again as no planning permission has been even applied for yet. And remember NUFC dont even own the land on which SJP is built – thats the city councils property.

  • StevieA

    Aug 21, 2007 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #33

    Oh and “apparently” Martins is going to Man United (yawn)

    Even though he is buying a house in Newcastle. He is happy, he has his family here now from Nigeria and he has made good friends in Newcastle. Oh and he loves playing for Newcastle and doesn’t want to go anywhere.

    Do they even check the facts before printing such rubbish? 🙁

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 21, 2007 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #34

    I really cant be bothered with all this takeover talk, tbf i couldnt be less bothered aslong as they help minimize th debt and hand over the funds.

    Can everyone please stop talking about a new playmaker we have some very bright ones in Emre and Barton, Zog can play playmaker to.

    We simply need a RB and Faye would be a good addition as a utility player.

    Faye & Beletti/Chidi Odiah

  • adam gradwell

    Aug 21, 2007 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #35

    The press cant help but shit stir when it comes to NUFC. Another load of bollox aimed at unsettling the club.

  • Josh

    Aug 21, 2007 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #36

    Graham, I have never heard such nonsense. Do us a favour and do not talk please.


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