The News Of The World (NOTW) are reporting that Newcastle are talking to Asian businessmen about a possible takeover of Newcastle United.
Â Mike Ashley – talking to Asian businessmen regarding investment?
It’s the News Of The World and it will sell a lot more papers by reporting it’s a takeover, but only recently Mike said he didn’t want to sell the club and that he was looking for investment partners.
So we think he may well be talking to the parties concerned in the story, but about investing in the club – which would be a win-win for everybody we think, because it’s obvious we need more money to invest in the playing side, at least.
The report, which we want to look at calmly, and pierce through all the sensationalism – says Mike is in talks with Anil Ambani, the sixth richest man in the world and head of Reliance Communications, Indiaâ€™s biggest telecoms company.
It also appears that Singapore-based global investment company Profitable Group â€” who have former England player Steve McMahon as a Director â€” are also want to buy Ashley out, according to their report.
The Newcastle chief admitted last month he is anxious to find investors to ease the financial burden at Newcastle, and this is what he actually said:
â€œThat (the rumour of a sale) is not true.â€
Ashley did admit at the time that he is seeking additional investors in the club and added:
â€œI would say that I am keen to have partners in Newcastle. Thatâ€™s a very expensive seat I sit in.â€
On the recent news at that time, which was the Saudi Binladen Group (SBG), Ashley continued:
â€œI think Iâ€™ll start with people from Newcastle, not in some cave in Afghanistan.â€
So we expected these stories to keep coming up because it’s clear he’s looking for investment in Newcastle.
The NOTW reports that both Reliance and Profitable are ready to pay Â£260M to own Newcastle United outright, and are said to be ready to spend more than Â£100M on transfers to bolster the team, which of course is again managed by Kevin Keegan.
Billionaire Ashley bought Newcastle in July, 2007 for Â£130M and immediately wiped out Â£80M of debts, and is currently trying to get a financial handle on the wages, which are said to near 75% of total revenues – far too high.
However, it’s true Mike has not been willing to spend anywhere near the level of money most Newcastle fans had hoped and expected he would.
Ambani, Indiaâ€™s second richest man. has a personal fortune which stands at around Â£21B, while his RCom company is valued at Â£22.5B.
And Profitable Group have also made it clear they are willing to spend big.
We think these are two groups that certainly have a lot of cash, and want to invest in a football team, and we assume that the story is that Mike is in some way looking for them to buy a portion (<50%) of the club.
If that’s the case, that’s good news, since we’ll then have more money, and potentially a lot more money to invest in new players.
But we would take Mike at his word when he says he doesn’t want to sell the club.
What Mike seems to be doing is to solve the big problem the club seems to have right now, which is not enough money – for one reason or another – to invest in new players.
We’ll see what happens but we expect a statement from Newcastle shortly, at least to say the sale of the club will not happen.
But whatever way you look at this, it’s got to be good news for Newcastle fans, because it shows massive interest in our club, which must be looked on admiringly in the financial community, because of its massive fan support around the world, and sold-out home games of more than 52,000.
And don’t forget the fanatical buzz at St.James’ Park is now seen and experienced all around the world, as most of their games (Newcastle) are televised live in most countries of the world, and the Premier League is massively (and that’s an understatement) popular.
Whichever way you look at it, it could mean more money into the coffers for new players at the club, and Â£50M from either of these companies would be nice as an investment for new players – thank you very much.