Ashley Talking To Asian Businessmen About Investment?


The News Of The World (NOTW) are reporting that Newcastle are talking to Asian businessmen about a possible takeover of Newcastle United.

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 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, India’s biggest telecoms company.

It also appears that Singapore-based global investment company Profitable Group — who have former England player Steve McMahon as a Director — 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:

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

Ashley did admit at the time that 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 at that time, which was the Saudi Binladen Group (SBG), Ashley continued:

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

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 £260M to own Newcastle United outright, and are said to be ready to spend more than £100M on transfers to bolster the team, which of course is again managed by Kevin Keegan.

Billionaire Ashley bought Newcastle in July, 2007 for £130M and immediately wiped out £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, India’s second richest man. has a personal fortune which stands at around £21B, while his RCom company is valued at £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 £50M from either of these companies would be nice as an investment for new players – thank you very much.
Comments welcome.



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225 comments so far

  • Gunnar/Iceland

    Aug 3, 2008 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #1

    The sooner the better. Soon the PL will kick off and we still need a new face or two in the squad and this kind of stuff will delay our progress in the transfer market. But still its good news.

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  • AussieToon

    Aug 3, 2008 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #2

    BUY THE CLUB….will be able to get whoever we want

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  • gorskino10

    Aug 3, 2008 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #3

    let’s hope this is investment only so we see the benefits of money but still have english owner I would hate to turn into Chelski.

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  • toon 24/7

    Aug 3, 2008 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #4

    hopefully the storys true,we will rule the premierleague if it is,cmon the toon

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  • Nick Dryden

    Aug 3, 2008 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #5

    No way will these companies settle for a stake. They will want outright ownership – not a bad thing.

    I like some of the ideals Ashley has bought to the club in trying to grow it organically , but realistically we could never hope to compete financially unless these guys take over.

    It would open a massive untapped market in Asia.

    They would probably want a world class foreign manager like Hiddinck as well and embarrassments like Barton and terry mac would quickly be shown the door.

    That would be win win.
    What time is it over there Ed? You must be a very early bird!

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  • craig

    Aug 3, 2008 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #6

    hope its true we need some money for players

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  • Dondatta13

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #7

    Id be well happy if this Indian bloke took the reigns lol BUT its the NOTW …..

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  • Angryman the Angry Fan

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #8

    I know it is only the NOTW but hey. Heres hoping.

    PS can anyone remember my prediction from approx 2 months ago.

    Ashley would try and sell the club midway through august!!! This would be the perfect excuse for not investing in the transfer window!!

    !!!!!!!!!!

    I hope it goes through,the sooner the pro Cashley brigade see him for what he is the better.

    He is looking to make a profit at NUFC at ALL costs, whether it be the detriment to the team or not!!

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  • Nick Dryden

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #9

    Gorskino10 I don’t think we can afford to be so insular and have that corner shop mentality.
    Football is truly global these days. Clubs move forward or die basically.

    Our previous English owner was Shepherd who bought the club to it’s knees. We would probably have been docked points and being in the championship if fat fred was still here.

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  • hgjfkd

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #10

    i agree it will slow us down why can they not split it 3 ways 33 each or somthing
    then all 3 can invest a lot ov money
    if this is true it must be done quickly because we r despratly short of numbers and quality

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  • NUFC Observer

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #11

    Ignore the story. It was written by a geordie hating, wife beating journalist called Rob Shepherd.
    It has no substance coming from such a disgusting man

    http://www.onlinearsenal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1299

    Kick Rob Shepherd Out of Football Journalism Now!

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  • normski1930z

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #12

    well all i can say is i hope this is true and this guy buys the club and pumps millions into it. and its just been on sky that it aint rubbish!!!!

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  • Don

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #13

    ‘The News Of The World (NOTW) are reporting’

    no need to read anymore

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  • Geordie SPIDERMAN18 (GG7)

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #14

    please mike, sell, sell, sell do us a favour, as much as i like you i would like to see us lift a few trophies in my time.

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  • Geordie SPIDERMAN18 (GG7)

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #15

    normally if the news of the world have an exclusive, its normally some truth in it. id love to be richest club in the world

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  • YORKSHIREGEORDIE

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #16

    on skysports news david craig has spoken to one of the potential buyers and he said that they will spend £150m on new players in the next summer transfer window.

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  • Gooderz

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #17

    It would be good if they were able to buy say 10% of the club and put in 10% of their reported warchests into our transfer coffers. That would mean at least £10m from the Indian billionaire if the reports are true.

    Alternatively it might mean letting Smith, Ameobi, Barton and perhaps Geremi and Cacapa go for low fees or for free would be possible to free up plenty of space in the squad for new and players.

    There’s also the St James’ recevelopment plans to consider. They’ve got plenty of money to invest in that and they should have some contacts made from all their wheelings and dealings.

    Whatever happens I’d prefer Ashley to remain in charge. He’s a British billionaire who’s puttig some sense into this club, but having some eccentric partners wouldn’t hurt.

    In other news anyone see reputed Newcastle and Real Madrid target pop two goals past Boro last night? One was a powerful header and the other was a long range shot that dipped to make it difficult to safe, although a better keeper may well have had a more telling touch. But goals are goals however they come.

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  • Jak K

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #18

    Any1 just watched the interview with david craig on sspn

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  • GM

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #19

    Gorskino10 – What you woulndt want to win the league the cup and appear in Champions league final??? very narrow minded.

    As a season ticket holder for 19 years I would welcome anyone in to the club if they have the cash to improve our team irrespective of their nationality

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  • sirjasontoon

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #20

    Toon Tikka !

    It is clear under ashley we stand a good chance of moving backwards as so many teams are now stronger than us.Last season we really could have gone down had we not picked up towards the end of the season.

    I had high hopes for Mike when he arrived and have been really frustrated with all the penny pinching that has been going on.

    The writing was on the wall in the January window when we spent nothing on players when I thought the whole point of having a billionaire owner was to build a team to challenge for silverware.

    I hope the club is sold..indians,chinese whatever as long as they put cash into Keegans pocket.

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  • WIGAZ

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #21

    Ed i said in shorey blog & i’ll say it again m8 i was in shearer’s bar about a month ago it was a wed nite at the end of june & i saw steve Mac in there at the bar, i thought nowt of it then thinking weird to see him up here but now this has broke maybe he was there to discuss business! this could have a bit of truth in it! business deals sometimes take a bit of time & maybe the reason we haven’t spent a gr8 deal yet is because we’re w8m for this to to be done & get the £100m or £50m. We’ll have to wait & see but i swear this is not BS as i dont waste my time on that!

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  • Dondatta13

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #22

    The Singaporian connection sound like porfit mongers to me, again someone out to make money for NUFC.

    The Indian Telecoms guy sounds like he just wants to invest a wedge of cash!

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  • Nev

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #23

    sky sports news seems to think this is a very serious bid … according to david craig they have already asked to see the books and “brookers” have been contacted. deal could take 2 weeks to 4 months to complete and if deal with newcastle cant be done they will buy leeds or sheff wed because they have big fan bases. £150mil is what this mr.ambani wants to spend.

    they are not settling for a stake and want full control of the club.

    this does seem VERY different to all the other takeover speculation in the past few months …

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  • BILLY - B

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #24

    I hope its true but wont believe it until it comes from a more reputable source than the NOTW. with talk of spending amounts of 150m on players im drooling at the prospects.

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  • SuperShearer

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #25

    Ashley is a business man, if he can make a profit on the club he will take. The guy being rumored to take over is the sixth richest in the world and there is no way he would therefore settle for anything less than 100% ownership of the club. On Sky Sports they have been told that if they can’t reach an agreement there are other clubs they could go to, like Leeds and Sheffield Utd. They are anxious to buy a club with a big fan base despite little success over the years….we fit that bill in the biggest possible way. I personally think this would be great for the club, I would thank Ashley for rescuing the club and would then thank him for his canny business sense in selling us to improve us. But having said all that these kind of inquires can easily fall apart so still a long way to go. Just hope it doesn’t affect the Collocicni deal.

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  • ACD

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #26

    Let us wrap up colloccini first and then start talking about take overs because the last thing we need is for that to fall through !

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  • craig chisholm

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #27

    great news and not unexpected. there is far too much speculation flying around for the stories to have no substance. Reliance is of course the prefered owner and i know that these talks have been going on for some time. reliance doesnt just do telecomunications, they are into everything, reliance has its own oil company – seriously. i worked on a reliance job in bombay high not long ago and as when i am off-shift i wear my shirt often one of the superintendents on the job told me then that he had heard reliance were looking at a way into the prem and liked the look of newcastle. that was ages ago though, makes me wonder how long cashley has wanted to sell for? one thing is for sure though, it would be an outright buy out, these companies are mega global companies and would not piddle around with a shared deal.

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  • beye the great

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #28

    skysports have confirmed that ambani is in talks with a premier league club tyhuogh tjere has not been any confirmation on who it is also they if a fee can not be agreed they would try for other clubs such as shef wed and leeds and they are interested in thier clients i.e us (or atleast sounds like us) because we have a big fan base with an un tapped potential which i personally would agree and would be determined to spend also and he is the 6 richest man in the world and his brother is apparentley the 5 richest man in the world

    in excess of 150,000.000

    It is also said that the other company would ibn some way be interested in bringing back dalglish and already have steve mcmahon as director of sports

    i am a fan of ashleys but hope this is true

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  • MAG PIE

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #29

    I’m with Gorskino10 on this. I don’t want us to be the new Chelski. I want a British owner, preferably local bloke, or even better an ownership model along the lines of Barcalona. Nick Dryden and others – you sound like businessmen not football fans. The game may have gone global but I think we need to stay in touch with our roots. I hope these are investor and not potential owners. I would prefer NUFC to grow slow like Everton have done recently. If we turn into Chelski mk 2 I will end my 34 year associatin with the club and with football.

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  • Jak K

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #30

    Well to be fair to Mike wen he came 2 nufc the person in charge was not his man so in he brought kk this is now his man yeah neva spent in jan this both there first full season together 2 be fair yes we lost players but now in come some players and to straight the players seem good players from wats been seen most of all they seen to be commin on our terms too. The stability of nufc is startin to take place why go spoil it he will and is startin to part with his cash. What is it they say the only way is up. The toon will soon be a force to be reckin with. If we al love the toon as much as we say be there cheer them on they disappoint us yes but there our team. Keep the FAITH.

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  • bennit3b

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #31

    to ANGRYMAN THE ANGRY FAN – I am not arsed if he’s in it to make a profit, by the sounds of it his is tryin to get him and the TOON ARMY the best deal out there. He’s not just looking to sell to any body by the looks of it, if it’s true he’s tryin to get someone in that can make us spend mega bucks! SO F if he make a profit in the process!

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  • ive never liked mike ashley!!! who does that b**tard think he is? buying the club from frogman shepard, getting rid of all of our debt ,investing in youth ,bringing back king kev , putting everything in place so we can grow as a club , having the brains to realize that throwing money at things has never won us anything, refusing to pay overated prices for crap players, having the sense not to read
    stupid comments by numptys who despite the fact they spend all of thier days talking,watching and reading about football,actualy know f*ck all about the game. i could go on! its time for a change ashley. sell up and f*ck off.

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  • toooooonfan

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #33

    problem with this is there will be no room for sentiment and keegan may get the boot
    i like ashley
    hes settled debts
    kicked the rubbish bought some quality in (jonas collocini guthrie) and will probably bring more
    hired keegan
    supports the toon

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  • hitman

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #34

    tooooonfan you might be right about keegan,i think he will get the chop,but who cares the toon will be back on top in the next couple os seasons,i always knew ashley wanted to sell.p.s.roman who.

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  • MAG PIE

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #35

    the soul will go from this great club of ours if we become a rich man’s plaything

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  • Nick Dryden

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #36

    MAGPIE if we won the league and the FA cup, qualified for the CL – yeah sure you are really going to tun your back on that aren’t you !!

    I think I could just about handle being like Chelsea. I’v e had 39 years waiting I think that’s slow enough.

    Being a little Englander gets you nowhere and certainly nowhere near the top 4 foreign owned clubs.

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  • WILL NUFC

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #37

    I think this could be gr8 for the club bt all im worried about is whether it will stop any transfers, such as Collocini, going through this summer.

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  • Nick Dryden

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #38

    gordon brown

    I like ashley but I think he wants to go mate.
    it’s win win all round

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  • Isaac Hunt

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #39

    This story is b*ll*cks.

    For those of you who don’t care who buys our club – how would you feel about this headline ‘Vaux breweries buys out toon’ ?

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  • Geordie SPIDERMAN18 (GG7)

    Aug 3, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #40

    the soul from this football club wil never go man, we are the best fans, and we deserve the best team!! Anyone agree?

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