Why Would Ashley Want to Sell Newcastle?

The news that broke yesterday that two Icelandic businessmen Jon Asgeir Johannesson and Palmi Haraldsson are trying to buy Newcastle United has been unsettling to Newcastle fans, to say the least.

We have no idea why Ashley, after buying the club at a very reasonable price of ₤133M, would sell after only two months of ownership.

Well, that’s not exactly true because he could sell if a group came along and offered him a lot more than what he paid for Newcastle.


Mike Ashley – bought Newcastle United two months ago

But that should only make Ashley more determined to make Newcastle a great club again because if someone is willing to pay big money now – just think what Newcastle could be worth in 3 years time when we should be a lot more successful. We always thought that was Ashley’s motivation in buying Newcastle United.

Ashley will lose credibility with Newcastle fans and the public if he is using Newcastle to make a quick buck. That’s the last thing we want to happen to the club but we know this stuff happens in business but trust Ashley is in this for the long haul. We do understand that Ashley is attempting to restructure the debt and being advised by his bankers Kaupthing on various options. Maybe one option is to get some investment from outside for a portion of the club with Ashley still retaining the majority level of ownership.

Chris Mort, since he’s been installed as the new chairman has looked good in the job and said all the right things. We think he can make a very good chairman to support the hard driving Sam Allardyce. Chris has already said that Mike has bought the club for the long term and everything we see suggests that’s true as he pointed out recently:

“The plan is to develop [the club] over a lengthy period of time, not turn things around quickly and sell it on again.”

“We are here for the long term.”

Of course this kind of news doesn’t help Sam Allardyce one little bit but we expect these rumors may be coming about because Ashley is looking at restructuring the debt and various financial plays are being discussed. We would hope that selling th club is not one of them.

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • Mick G

    Aug 21, 2007 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #1

    Typical Newcastle two months stability and then they are all over the newspapers again.

  • Andreas

    Aug 21, 2007 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #2

    I’m convinced that MA would sell up if someone offered a silly sum for NUFC (what investor wouldn’t?).

    However, we’re talking £133M (the sum paid for the club) +£30M (the recent cash injection) + £[insert a figure for profit, personally I think this sum would be 30ish mill minimum]M = at lot of money!

    I find it unlikely that MA will recive an offer of this magnitude in the near to medium future and hence I think MA will retain NUFC for a few years. And during that time the price tag will presumably rise even more due to our success (hopefully) and the increased demand in profit (due to the better financial state of the club a few years ahead).

    All in all, it’s highly unlikely that MA will sell up anytime soon.

  • TOON1

    Aug 21, 2007 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #3

    Spurs offered 10m 4 Riquelme ,so he is available .Rather have him 4 10m than deco for 8m +emre .Get him get him !!!

  • George

    Aug 21, 2007 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #4

    No matter which way you look at it, this does not quite make sense.
    NUFC do not own the ground or surrounding land around SJP, so no selling value there except to the City Council. Mind you they have made some outrageous decisions of late.
    Do NUFC own there training ground?, the reason i ask is because it is right in the middle of new housing developments, but selling the club would have no benefit to training ground.
    We are not in europe except the common market, so no big income to come this year unless we perform on the pitch, and there will be no performances on the pitch if the players do not know who they play for or if they will have a job in a week or so time.
    Then yoou come to Mike Ashley. Sole owner of NUFC, he can do what he wants to do, but again some things do not add up. he spends £133 million buying the club. He spends a few million on players. He takes no notice of an alleged Chinese takeaway, sorry take over even though his profit could have been in excess of £20 million, and how many people can afford to refuse £20 million, not that many even Mike Ashley.
    But know this “story”. An Icelandic business man wants to take control of NUFC, why, as a business or as a play thing.
    Why has Alan Shearers name cropped up in association with this bid, is there any truth in it. If it is true AS is taking a big gamble with his reputation, as the black & white faithful will turn on him if things go “tits up” and this season is spoilt.
    All these questions are strange and do not make sense except one possible thing.
    As in business a company can be valued on its worth by its ability to borrow vast sums of money and not be in trouble. Remember the quotes when Freddy was in charge, “its not his money its the banks”. Well apart from an alleged payment of £30 million to repay some of the debt, NUFC still owe at least £50+ million to the banks. Some might see what MA has done as good turn for would be investors, because they things are NUFC is actually worth in the region of £200 million now, as no investors have to be paid dividends and MA does not have to answer to anyone. So this could be a potential deal in the making for the latter reasons.
    I remeber posting on this site when MA first started his takeover bid, one question i asked was hoew sincere was MA, why NUFC and not a club closer to his roots. What were his intentions. Now we wait and see. Like 99.9% of you out there i do honestly hope this is another case of devilment by the media, because if it is true, a takeover as quick as this would be disasterous for NUFC and all who pray for her. So let us get to the truth and lynch the trouble makers as we have been on the recieveing end for too long now.

  • ingi

    Aug 21, 2007 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #5

    Mr.haraldsson has just said her in the news in iceland that he will not buy newcastle.thank god for that

  • Graham

    Aug 21, 2007 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #6

    Ingi – you have just made my day! Thank you

  • Graham

    Aug 21, 2007 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #7

    and btw ed why dont you start a blog about shearer coming back to town – i could have a field day with that one but would prob be banned for life!

  • Lamesley Mag

    Aug 21, 2007 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #8

    Ashley is a business man so if the right offer comes along, he’ll take it! However, what is the right price? As Andreas said, if he can clear £30M profit on any type of sale it’s good business for a few months work.

    Ashley’s stocks have taken a battering like others recently, but I’m confident he’ll ride the storm and stay put. Why else would he pay £30M off our debt unless he’s looking long term at Newcastle United?

    Come on Ashley, come out publicly and tell the fans your plans. Please provide BSA additional funds to buy a few more players to ensure we qualify for Europe next season.

  • Darren

    Aug 21, 2007 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #9

    Andreas – spot on point, Ashley would sell at a decent profit but isn’t gonna get it yet.

    Gotta admit things are a bit weird, our new sole owner hasn’t been to a game or really set foot in Newcastle. He is obviously not a fan and must be in it for the investment side.

    He’s certainly no Abramovich

  • Rick

    Aug 21, 2007 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #10

    Andreas is right. I don’t think Ashley has any plan or intention to sell up, unless absolutly silly money was offered.

    I wonder whether the roumers are being “fanned” by the Shepherd flock. It was almost certainly they who were behind the roumurs that there was nothing in the kitty for transferes. That has been disproved by events.

    Now, enquiries have been made by various investors. Big deal, this is not unusual. What is disconcerting is that “someone close to the club” claims that a sell out is iminent. Is it just me or does this kind of “journalism” remind others of a certain Mr. “As I exclusivly revealed” Oliver – a known Shepherd follower?

    Mr. Mort has recently met with Mr Nick Brown MP – another known friend of the Shepherds.

    Could it be that spoiling tactics are being used by bitter men who resent the loss of their fiefdom?

  • will

    Aug 21, 2007 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #11

    From Mort:

    “It is not a short-term project for Mike Ashley or myself and I want to put that to bed straight away,” Mort said on 2 August. “If you look at the companies Mike has bought, like Dunlop and Slazenger, he has developed them over a period of 20 years.

    “He has bought an entire asset here and the plan is to develop it over a lengthy period of time, not turn things around quickly and sell it on again. We are here for the long term, this is a long-term project.”

    So enough of this pointless speculation, if these icelanders want to get into football management they can buy a copy of championship manager from all good electronic media outlets like the rest of us.

  • Edd Case

    Aug 21, 2007 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #12

    Utter twoddle as usual – the papers that print this cack are all southern papers, aiming to sell to cheeky cockney scamsters who just love to ‘Geordie Bash’.

    Yawn Yawn.

  • stjames

    Aug 21, 2007 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #13

    There is no deal.

    It was confirmed yesterday, monday at 12:21 BST, that Jon Asgeir Johannesson is not making a bid for NU. A spokesman for Johannesson told visir.is, the online news service that originally broke the news, that he “did not intend to bay a part in this renowned club. ”

    At 01:01 BST this morning, the same media reported that in an interview, Johannesson told them he was “not involved” and that he had “promised his mother not to bey a football club.”

    At 09:55 this morning, Palmi Haraldsson, the other Icelander supposed to be biding for NU, told visir.is that he was not going to buy the club.

    So it has been confirmed. “This transaction” is not going to happen, although visir.is reiterates that some negotiations took place but didn’t lead to a deal.

  • Obafan

    Aug 21, 2007 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #15

    Thank god that some of you inform us that there will be no bid for NUFC. What a story this would be, first trying to make the club as big as possible and then suddenly sell the club to the first bidder. No I can’t believe this.


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