Mike Ashley Seeking Partners In Newcastle Club


We think Mike Ashley is a frustrated man right now, because of all the reports in the gossip press, on things he’s not doing, and not even thinking of doing.

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Mike Ashley – getting a raw deal from the press?

But that’s probably only a definition of what the gossip press prints.

We don’t want to come over as patronizing to the owner, but we do think Mike is getting a bit of a raw deal in the press, and of course you can’t blame our fans for believing some of the news.

Recent reports suggested Newcastle had held informal discussions with American private equity firm InterMedia Partners over the sale of the club.

Fresh speculation then emerged, just one day later, that claimed a construction company owned by the family of Osama bin Laden were considering a bid, but those claims were later rebuffed by both parties in the Evening Chronicle earlier this week.

In a bid to communicate about these reports Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who very rarely speaks at all to the press, has talked to the London Evening Standard today:

“That (the rumour of a sale) is not true.”

However, Ashley has for the first time admitted he is seeking additional investors in the club and added:

“I would say that I am keen to have partners in Newcastle. That’s a very expensive seat I sit in.”

On the recent news on the Saudi Binladen Group (SBG), Ashley continued:

“I think I’ll start with people from Newcastle, not in some cave in Afghanistan.”

So from what Mike says it does look like he’s trying to lighten his financial load a little by possibly selling some small interest in the club to others, which could include consortiums.

Maybe that explains why SBG told the Evening Chronicle they were not interested now but could be in six months time.

That probably means they would be interested in investing in Newcastle, and that means they could be willing to buy say 10% of the club.

There seems nothing wrong or untoward about that, as far as we can see.

We think the confusion could be that Mike is indeed seeking partners, who are unwilling to invest in Newcastle United – and we think Mike can sell 20% without losing any control at all.

But these attempts may be being interpreted by the press as Mike trying to sell the club lock, stock and barrel – that seems like a plausible explanation.

As long as Ashley retains ownership of a sufficient percentage of the club, he will still be in complete control of all decisions affecting Newcastle United.

And it would be good for the club, if we do get new investors (partners) because no doubt Mike will want to them to put some money in our transfer fund, as part of the deal. 😀

He’s a very savvy and experienced businessman.

Finally, we wonder why Mike didn’t put this communication out via the Newcastle United official web site or even the local Evening Chronicle.

Comments welcome, but please keep them civil.



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186 comments so far

  • ObaFan2

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #1

    Like I said earlier, obviously £2 billion doesn’t go that far nowadays ! 😀

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  • Davies

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #2

    About time he piped up. I didn’t think he was up for selling anyway. He’s invested too much time in the club at a personal level for his involvement to be purely about money.

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  • ToonDaft

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #3

    i think this could be damning for our transfer activity this season – “expensive seat I sit in”… he hasn’t pulled any money out yet for players has he?

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  • ToonDaft

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #4

    surely he needs to speculate to accumulate

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  • Tjodalf

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #5

    Wonder why he hasnæt asked me yet….but…it could yet come though.

    What would I do if I was his partner..?

    I would florish like a tomatoplant in the spotlight from the media and I would see to that Keegan gets his men Inler, Derdiyok, Aimar, but I would also get the horrific DC, Lucio, the brasilian, because he would scare all attacking players in the PL….and all this I could do with a PROFIT of £10M….

    Come get me Mike!

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  • big Si

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #6

    Looks to me like we are skint. Explains why we are shopping in bargain basement.

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  • Marguerite

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #7

    Well this interview explains all the recent conjecture in the press. I wonder just how much of the club he actually owns?

    As a very minor shareholder I DID NOT sell mine to him, nor did my mate sell hers.

    How many others out there still own their shares?

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  • broon ale

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #8

    the reason he wouldnt conduct this interview with the chronicle is because you need to respect the journalist.

    the club have clearly lost all respect for alan oliver and lee ryder in the comical

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  • Kris

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #9

    Something fishys going on and we are being kept in the dark maybe this guy isnt the saint we all think he is,surely he can just sell all his buisnesses and retire to looking after our club,come mike youve made enough money just relax !!!!

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  • Kris

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #10

    We cant be skint if we were willing to spend 17 mil on modric unless they plannned to sell him for double next season ..

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  • keith

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #11

    Leave it out with the transfer money! Keegan was told when he took over there would be a significant amount of money made available, if that is taken away keegan will walk and it doesnt look like he is going to do that so there must be cash there, just be patient and KEEP THE FAITH

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  • WIGAZ

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #12

    Getting bored off lack of transfer activity so on fifa 08, my toon team:

    Given
    Beye
    Taylor
    Woodgate
    Shorey
    Quasmera
    Butt/Huddlestone
    SWP
    Joe Cole
    Owen
    Van Nistlerooy

    Oh if only thats we could start with this side on opening day against the mancs! ha ha!
    Hope some transfers happen soon!

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  • Leo

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #13

    mike is a legend after that last comment hahahahahahahahahaha

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  • beye the great

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #14

    it just shows how small minded the press are that not 1 journalist even thought about mike ashley could just be looking for our investors

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  • ToonDaft

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #15

    i know, and appreciate i will add, that he paid off our debts but he is still to put any extra money into playing staff – all players have been covered by what we’ve sold even though we have a tiny squad – have to be honest, little worried still, Ash is still even after a year, to convince us that he has serious ambition

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  • Obafan

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #16

    I will partner him. By saying him which players he needs to buy. Off course I will only tell him who the fans on this blog want as new players and that he only should go after those players 😉 .

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  • geordie jock

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #17

    I totally agree, this statement should have been released through the local press not the London papers who slag us off all the time. Why do nufc have an official website if even the owner cannot use it to relay info to the fans. Why doesn’t Mike Ashley make an announcement to the fans regarding his intentions for the club and put all us fans in the picture.

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  • THELONGSHANKS

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #18

    If another billonaire comes in and buys shares thats all good for the toon.Can someone tell me is inler an attacking or defending midfield i.e. a replacement for emre or butt.We need a cb and dm badly and from what i have heard on previous blogs inler looks a great player.

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  • Gooderz

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #19

    This is just speculation on my part but if Mike Ashley is planning to go through with Freddy Shepherd’s development plans then getting the SBG involved wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. They could help get the work done more cheaply with all their contacts and if they then hold a stake in the club, delays may be less likely (like Wembley and the Olympic venues) as it will be in their best interests to complete the job sooner rather than later.

    And with Llambias’ experience in the leisure and entertainment industry, the club are well equipped to run such a development.

    Exclusive apartments were also outlined in the plans and if I remember rightly, Jimenez has experience in property development.

    But as I said this is all speculative.

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  • GM

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #20

    Marguerite – doesnt matter how many 1 or 2 shares people held onto at the club when ma was taking it over they are worthless now as it was removed from the stock market, the offer sent out to shareholders was a take it or leave it offer, you left it and lost the £1 /share or whatever it was that was on offer.

    Great last comment, maybe the bin ladens wont invest given ma thinks they live in a cave in afganistan 🙂

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  • keith

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #21

    Just a thought if he is looking for investors why not do a barcelona type of thing and get the fans to pool money together and buy some of the club, something like liverppol were trying to do

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  • ToonDaft

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #22

    another month in jail for barton eh – oh dear

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  • xfer

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #23

    Though I understand his intention for looking for a partner to further finance the club, and help push the club further, it seems like he does feel the hole could be too big to fill. This is especially evident since he did all he could to buy out the club totally, and then now to sell some, doesnt seem like a good move to me. But then again, hes feeling it.

    Judging from his comments, it appears he has invested too much time/money, and would be reluctant to commit a huge amount to KK this summer. We shall wait and see. I hope im wrong.

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  • steve

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #24

    @ Marguerite – I’m afraid you don’t own any part of Newcastle even though you may still hold your old shares, once Ashley got 90% of shares it’s a compulsory buyout meaning you cannot refuse to sell your shares. It’s more likley you just didn’t contact the share office to cash in your shares – Mike Ashley owns 100% of NUFC

    Given that he’s already spent 200 million buying the club and clearing debts along with the fact that Sports Directs stock market value is now less than 20% of the value he sold out at he’s worth considerably less than 2 billion

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  • Kris

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #25

    longshanks he”s a dm and pretty good one too !! similar to butt in fact that he”s brave and pretty strong

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  • GM

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #26

    maybe this also explaines why one of the directors was seen skuttling off to dubai, maybe to see DIC

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  • Hadrian

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #27

    as long as mike sticks his hands in his pockets untill we get firther investment ……….
    50 million for the clubs first squads hardly much investment to ask for in the face of things , not in a 100m py compnay .

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  • ToonDaft

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #28

    this is probs what seems to be hindering us in the transfer market though – he ha splashed out on wages for this recruitment team and we have only managed one man through the door – if he has indeed deffo signed for us legally – when we are in desperate need for many

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  • Goatboy

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #29

    I’m guessing he doesn’t speak to the press very often in case he comes across as an idiot. Take, for example:

    “I think I’ll start with people from Newcastle, not in some cave in Afghanistan.”

    That’s really quite disrespectful. I’m guessing that the owner of the Saudi Binladin Group which was worth 5 billion US dollars in 2002 (probably worth more now) probably owns at least a shed by now.

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  • Ashton

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #30

    Inler al Newcastle

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  • Marguerite

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #31

    GM (19) We have quite a lot more than 1 or 2. I will stand corrected if I am wrong, but he cannot just ignore these shares, as far as I understand it if they re not sold voluntarily, then once you have reached a certain quota of other shares then the remainder are ‘compulsorily’ purchased.

    Can any of my fellow bloggers shed any expert light on this matter?

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  • keith

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #32

    ashton has inler signed?

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  • broon ale

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #33

    So the media speculation was based on some truth. He wants partners coz his money won’t stretch. I think maybe he has bitten off more than he can chew but big business is all about risks. I like his comment about ‘looking for investors in caves’…if he did some research he might know that it is not actually Osama Bin Laden that would have been turning up in a shirt and tie everyday, but his family!

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  • Ashton

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #34

    according to udinese’s official website” inler la newcastle “

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  • Geordie Nick

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #35

    marguerite- once ashley got 90% of the shares it was comulsory for everyone else to sell, he owns 100% of the club, you no longer hav any shares in the club and if you did not recieve your moeny for the shares then tht pretty much ur own fault but u ar definitely not a shareholder in nufc and neither is anyone except ashley

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  • keith

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #36

    My itialian aint the may west but that looks good

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  • Ericles

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #37

    The important words were about starting in Newcastle…not Afghanistan. Local partners!
    At last he has spoken out about the media but used the London bunch. Strange? The media do not like NUFC because they see that we are a sleeping giant that can one day topple their favourites in the top 4.

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  • harrier

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #38

    Ashton is pulling your plums http://www.udinese.it

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  • Ashton

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #39

    I really don’t know what’s” la ” stands for

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  • ObaFan2

    Jul 10, 2008 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #40

    mmm can’t see it myself Ashton. Post a link if true plz otherwise plz b quiet 🙂

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