Ashley In Dubai Looking For Buyers for Newcastle United


Mike Ashley is said to be traveling to Dubai to seek a buyer for Newcastle United.

Mike Ashley – in Dubai today seeking buyers for club

But the concern on Tyneside is the longer this goes on the worse shape the team will be in, after Saturday’s disastrous display against Hull City. It’s very unlikely a new manager will be appointed before the new owners take over, but just how long a new owner will take the find is the real question.

That’s especially true when owner Mike Ashley wants some return on his investment.

The Dubai family’s investment body, Dubai International Capital (DIC), yesterday made it clear they are not planning a bid for any football club, including Liverpool, who they have been in negotiations with for over 16 months.

The statement read:

“DIC can confirm it is not planning a fresh bid for Liverpool FC or any other football club.”

“Nor is DIC or any other Dubai-based party aware of any consortium or vehicle involved in a bid.”

There is news today that Ashley has contacted Amanda Staveley, the investment adviser who runs PCP Capital Partners and has the best financial contacts in the Middle East.

Staveley helped Abu Dhabi United in their takeover of Manchester City recently, and is also working with Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on his possible personal venture to buy Liverpool.

We just have to hope that a good buyer can be found for the club, because Mike has already said it will not be a fire sale, and if he cannot find a buyer he will continue owning Newcastle United.

This needs to be sorted out as soon as possible, and at least it looks like Ashley had put this as a priority on his agenda.

It’s hard to see Newcastle recovering from the mess we are in, without a new buyer coming in quickly.

Comments welcome.



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298 comments so far

  • Stardust

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #1

    Now is the time we will see how the demonstrations have affected us globally.

    Personally I dont believe any investor will touch us with a barge pole with fans as volatile as ours.

    Sometimes you dont know what you had until its gone.

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  • Born Again Geordie

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #2

    Stardust – I think you may well have a point there. Do not get me wrong I have openly spoken out against Mike Ashley.

    I do however think had he been more open with the fans and given us an insight into his vision for the club then we may all have been a little more understanding and tolerant.

    again I think Ashley has made some mistakes (Dennis Wise) but what is done is done. I do think we will find someone to buy the club but I do not personaly think it will be a quick process.

    Ho’way the lads

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  • listie

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #3

    Stardust – I have to agree with you, when all the protests, I had concerns, and still have them.

    Regardless of what has gone on, any potential owner will see a club that has had a load of debt paid off, a business structure set in place ( maybe not the right one) and a sustainable future, and still the fans have been up in arms, over a manager leaving, that could send them running to the hills, I really hope not though.

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  • FrayBentos

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #4

    Straight from the frying pan into the fire me thinks

    A multi-billionaire might take the club but they who know whether they will be any better than Ahsley and they can stop investment anytime they want.

    The owned by the fan idea sounds interesting (Barca seem to have done realy well from this), but i just can’t see most fans (judging by many on here) allowing a situation where money might be even tighter

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  • Stardust

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #5

    His mistakes have been small ones with big consequences – trusting his board to inform the fans via PR once Mort left.

    In my oppinion you cant really argue with a single thing he has done – even KK went to see him again to try and resolve things – both men obviously have respect for each other and have tried their best to resolve thier differences – but the MOB got their way – this whole incident has saddened me and disgraced NUFC fans around the globe. We are unmanageable and therefore uninvestable.

    Ashley appears to be a good man – shame on the MOB for chasing out of town probably one of the best things that had happened to the club – throughout this I still think he will get the right buyer if possible – thats real integrity – helping those who’ve done wrong by you.

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  • Ian

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #6

    We have to wonder why Ashley is broadcasting the fact that he was dumb when buying the club and missed a load of debt, why he is including land securitisation as if it were debt, why now he is saying he hasnt cleared all of the debt at all, not including the transfer costs on players.

    Why? Because he is going to try and turn a profit on the club.

    IF someone can deal with Ashley and doesnt get annoyed with him like the countless other business people who seem to be ever growing, shareholders, past interested parties who couldnt deal with them, Keegan, Allerdyce and the fans, then we may end up with a decent owner.

    Let us hope he is sensible and lets us go for the club’s true worth and not some over inflated price.

    You dont know what you had till it is gone?? I think we do.

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  • Stardust

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #7

    Ian you have disgusted me for months – youre one of the protagonists of the downturn – you have responsibility for the consequence of now.

    And yet as the club crumbles around you you still chip away. I have finished even responding to you – you really are the worst kind of individual.

    Lets hope the “buyout” when it arrives doesnt involve a leveraged buyout – then we are really up the creek without a paddle – lets hope the current credit crunch prevents that.

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  • hitman

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #8

    have any of yous read shepaerds interview.

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  • FrayBentos

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #9

    Good post stardust but i think its hard to judge Ashley’s real actions or intentions, thats seem to be the problem that nobody can be really sure whats completley gone on or been said.

    Do agree with your MOB point, i wonder what they will think if a new owner didn’t get Keegan back in

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  • hitman

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #10

    Ashley is looking for a buyer after he decided to sell the club on Sunday, pleading for patience from the supporters as the Newcastle hierarchy looks to the Middle East for potential investors.

    However, Shepherd defended his tenure at St James’ Park, saying: “It’s absolutely ridiculous to say the club was in a mess and going to the wall.

    “It was in good shape when I left. The only reason he had to pay a large portion of the debt was the cost of the stadium.”

    “Ashley should get back what he has put in, about £230m. That would prove he does love the club and is doing right by the club, rather than what is right for him. A lot of people can buy football clubs. It has now been proved not many can run them.

    “He can’t ask for any more than he has put in there. If he doesn’t want to capitalise on Newcastle United, if he loves the club so much, then surely he will sell for its true worth.”

    “But if you look at today’s prices, it was a great deal to build and expand St James’ Park when we did. There was a clause in the contract that if the Halls lost control of the club, the money for the stadium had to be repaid immediately, so the largest part of the debt was the stadium.

    “He had to pay around £57m. To build that stadium now would cost £450m. We probably spent £50m for the expansion.

    Shepherd also defended Newcastle’s degress of success under his regime. “I make no apology for the fact we were in the Champions League twice and qualified for Europe more times than I can recall, ” he said.

    “When I left, plans were in place to bring in new money, to expand the ground again and develop the site with a new hotel, casino and other enterprises. All the funding was arranged.

    “I’ve kept quiet while a lot has been said and written about our regime, but we will stand by our record, the Halls and the Shepherds. We left all the tools there and a good set of players. They weren’t the greatest in the world but a lot of very good ones. We have got nothing to be ashamed of.”

    Shepherd has already been approached by two consortiums preparing bids for Newcastle.

    “There are people who would buy the club, no doubt about that,” he said. “I’ve been approached by two consortiums. There is always somebody who will buy the club.”

    Asked about his own inclinations to become involved again, he said: “Never say never.”

    In the shorter term, though, Shepherd believes Ashley should try to restore Keegan as manager.

    “I will take a bet we have not heard the last of Kevin Keegan,” he added. “I would definitely bring Kevin back. He is the guy for the job, the right guy to run the business.”
    ……..make up your own minds aboot ashley.

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  • Stardust

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #11

    One thing has been proven beyond all doubt FrayBentos.

    Anyone investing 300 to 400m simply CANT NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES bring KK back.

    MA had the best of intentions in bringing him back and it destroyed him. At this level of risk no one would even contemplate it – he simply cant be trusted and the consequences of him walking are too severe (and I am a KK fan)

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  • Born Again Geordie

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #12

    Stardust – you do make some valid and well reasoned points to be fair.

    Nice to see someone on here who seems to have a genuine concern for the state of the club. Keep up the good work.

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  • U MEK ME SICK

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #13

    THE CLUB IS KNACKERED .
    NO ONE WILL BUY IT NOW FOR FEAR OF THE UPSETTING THE FANS.
    YOU VOCIFEROUS BRAINLESS MORONS ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEMISE OF THE CLUB.
    YOU MAKE ME SICK!!!!!!

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  • Micky Toon

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #14

    I’ve said it before, we are stuck with MA whether you like it or not. The only people who can buy us are the Arabs as they are probably the only ones who aren’t being clobbered by the current financial woes that everyone else is suffering.

    I can’t see anyone wanting to risk their money in a bottomless pit when the financial world is falling apart around their ears. People are wanting to invest in something that will keep their money safe, precious metals, etc.. Seeing as we haven’t won owt since the Fairs Cup there is a severe lack of precious metal at NUFC. 🙂

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  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #15

    hitman – if Freddy Shepherd’s patter was water we’d all be drooned.

    Ho’way man. We all you know you don’t trust MA as far as you can throw him but Freddy Shepherd is as bent as a £3 note.

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  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #16

    Out of all these fans that shouted for Ashley to leave I wonder how many had actually stopped to think what would happen if he did just that. Not many I guess.

    Like I said yesterday, things are going to get a whole hell of a lot worse now before they get any better.

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  • clinta

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #17

    Well the situation we are currently in was caused by us( well most of you anyway) the fans and is mostly what you all called for???.

    I too feel investers will be turned off at the prospect of owning newcastle due to our famously wonderful fan base, who have shown that they are capable of destroying there own club… well with the help of a certain ex- manager and a bunch of fictional media stories.

    not that it’s KK’s fault, but it certainly is the majority of the fans fault we sit where we do in my opinion. it’s a sad day for our club when we get someone in who HAS our best interests at heart (albeit making some (in my opinion) forgiveable mistakes along the way) and we force the man out.

    and we wonder why with such potential were not successful, i think that queries been answer recently.

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  • Stardust

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #18

    Hitman – you choose to listen to the words of a man whole took £100million from the club.

    I suggest you read

    http://www.nufc-finances.org.uk/

    in depth before listening to a single word that man says.

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  • broon ale

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #19

    please read this and come back and tell me how losing Mike Ashley will be our loss!

    http://www.true-faith.co.uk/tf/editorials.nsf/LookupUNID/50E75C2063FDAE65802574C5006DBC5E?OpenDocument

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  • Micky Toon

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #20

    Fat Freddy is a d1ck. Of course he will say he will bring KK back, that is exactly what he thinks people want to hear.

    I said yesterday that KK as DOF would work. Ironically that is exactly the job MA asked him to do over Fat Sam. Anyone reckon we would be in any better postion had that happened? Would KK have been happy at fat boy’s style of play? Perhaps KK could have convinced him that the fans want good football and not boring Bolton style football?

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  • samthecat

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #21

    Ashley just didnt get it did he-in his statement he says the fans expected him to spend 100m, wrong again we expected no such thing.
    As for how long we will wait for a buyer-i would have thought that might have something to do with the price.
    As for Mike not doing anything wrong well employing a Manager and not letting him manage wasnt a great move.

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  • Born Again Geordie

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #22

    TC – think you are right there – we do need to get a manager in soon though. I personally do not think he will be able to sell the club as quickly as many would like.

    Just a question but what does anyone think about Sven for the toon ?

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  • broon ale

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #23

    toon chicken!

    your missing the point

    There’s a lot of common sense and logic in what Ashley says, but there’s a huge gap where the hoped-for clarification of the issues that forced Keegan to walk should be and the whole Wise situation is ignored.

    One section stands out for us though:

    The fans want this process to happen more quickly and they want huge amounts spent in the transfer market so that the club can compete at the top table of European football now.

    Is that really true? It does attempt to perpetuate the line given to the press last week by an un-named club official about Keegan throwing his toys out of the pram when being denied funds for Thierry Henry etc.

    But clawing back £12m for an England U21 midfielder and replacing him with a borrowed Uruguayan seems to be going to the opposite extreme to the megastars.

    Quite simply, anyone who watched this team last season could not have failed to spot that it was weak in certain areas, both in terms of quality and head count.

    As a self-proclaimed football fan of long-standing, Ashley would surely have picked that up for himself – even before speaking to the fans or the team of employees he brought in headed by Dennis Wise.

    So the process that most expected in the last close season was to try and move on the players who had been nothing but a financial burden to the club, while also replacing them with halfway decent assets at a halfway decent price.

    The youth recruitment efforts were welcomed by those who had an interest in it and certainly pre-injury, the Hungarian defender Tamas Kadar had shown genuine potential – even if a few of the others looked less promising.

    But parallel with that, there had to be a sensible recruitment programme to improve both the quality and quantity of players available to the manager now.

    Not necessarily megastars, but by the same token not unattached teens with colourful histories who play one game for the academy and then get on the first team bench. Oh, and not all from Spanish clubs….

    This isn’t a radically new policy either – Sir John Hall was reluctant to find any money to finance the return of an ageing Peter Beardsley but bowed to Keegan’s judgement (and a porkie about his age). Thank the Lord, he did….

    When the transfer window closed this year, our net spend was less than most other Premier League clubs this season – clubs with a smaller fanbase, less season ticket holders, cheaper tickets, cheaper corporate sections, smaller corporate sections etc. etc.

    Most people believed that Kevin Keegan’s “million miles away” statement last season was right – but they also believed him when he talked about improving the club’s league placing.

    We would contend that most people didn’t believe that the only way to do that was spending “huge amounts”.

    The one charge that is continually levelled at Newcastle fans by lazy outsiders is that they have unrealistic expectations and no patience.

    Unfortunately the owner seems to have fallen for this line, ignoring the evidence of his own eyes that Newcastle fans will shell out for tickets if they believe they are seeing a team worth watching and moving forward – and not being led up the garden path.

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  • Timmers

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #24

    I’m really worried, surely announcing you want to sell will make buyers play hard ball. Then no new manager will be put in place the players will then not perform(despite a squllion pounds a yr) Relegation whatever ppl say will loom and oh Barton/Gunthrie/Spider-man/Duff/Martins/Viduka-out and Ameobi starting. Season expectations AVOID RELEGATION

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  • Edd Case

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #25

    Someone will buy the club – but it must be someone willing to spend bigger than Ashley…

    You’re talking about £300 million to buy the club off Ashley and another £150 million in transfers to get us a decent squad over the next two seasons.

    So a £450 million outlay minimum with a potential return from the right marketing of a fair bit – but you’re not going to see a profit for a long time.

    It has to be someone with the money who wants that ‘hero’ feeling and status.
    I mean, it must be tempting to be seen and called a Geordie saviour?

    That’s all Ashley had to do – I mean, he pocketed nearly £1 billion in cash – what’s he doing with it all?
    If he loves this club and football as much as he says, he should have sold his businesses and pumped more into Newcastle United.

    He didn’t, now we need someone that will…

    The only person I think who would do it and would suit us is Ambani.

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  • sweendog

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #26

    Stardust,

    MA seems like a nice guy .. come on now where are you deducing this from. You are getting this from carefully worded exerpts from newspapers .. now do you think he wrote them?

    You do have a valid point that without Ashley we are in a bit of a mess .. but remember he created it by getting his mates .. Wise etc in and then proceeding to not invest in the club .. when investment was needed .. and just take money for players .. you need to remember he doesn’t love the club .. he and most other billionaire owners are in it for one thing .. TO MAKE MONEY.
    Also do you not think 3-400 mill (figurew being tauted) are not excessive and greedy for a NICE man.
    If ashley had any sense he would get rid of wise and re-instate KK and things could go back to the way they were (even with him as owner).. and he would slowly be appreciated IF he did actually invest.

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  • hitman

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #27

    stardust i like many believed ashleys lies,aboot the club being in mass debt,ashley has created all this mess him self,he should of took due dillagence and he didnt,he must of knowen with him buying oot the halls he would have to pay off the morgage,all ashley seen was a good deal,and its come back and bit him in the arse.

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  • Micky Toon

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #28

    BAG – Sven is a fantastic club manager. He was hard done by at Man City.

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  • hitman

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #29

    plus ashley told us he had payed off the debt,and he hasnt,another lie

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  • Born Again Geordie

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #30

    Micky Toon – I agree and think he would be able to do a good job for us. Also worth a punt with paddy power at 40 – 1 lol 🙂

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  • broon ale

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #31

    Ashley has simply fell in line with all the other morons who buy into the notion that we crave galaticos!

    we didnt want that at all.
    his tenure as owner has been a disaster! all his talk of how he saved us from imploding because he has paid off some debt is not something you should all be gratefull for.

    he should of researched the club finances a bit more before deciding to buy out shepheard and hall.

    i do not thank him for anything!

    his statment simply shows that he feels we should be gratefull for him paying off the club debt!

    he had every intention of selling us all along. FACT!

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  • Stamford Toon

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #32

    Mob rule never works, too much hysteria and not enough brains. The best hope for the club I think would be for MA to hang on in there and carry out his 5year plan. I’d rather the ‘devil’ we know than as said jump out of the frying pan into the fire. Not that I think that MA is really the devil, just a bad communicator. He could have worse faults and he does appear to care for the club and fans.
    I do hope KK is never in the frame again. Shepherd was trying to get in favour with the fans saying he would bring KK back I wonder how many of the MOB will fall for it?

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  • Born Again Geordie

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #33

    Stamford Toon – most of them if the truth be told. i think we have better options available to us.

    KK as director of football ????? just an idea

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  • hitman

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #34

    wheres this come from shepard never says he would bring back kk

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  • Ganiyu

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #35

    Ashley pls give me ur shirt

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  • clinta

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #36

    Star dust and toon chicken- good posts, you hav been 2 people through all this that have often shared my point of view, and have also been criticised for it many a time no doubt.

    Ian- Ma has every right to make money on NUFC as the company/club is now in a far better position than when he took over, so common sense in any business arangement means he should and deserves to make money on his investment.

    Hitman- i feel like resorting to your calling people names tactic, but won’t! after being so anti well…. everything and everyone not completely in line with you, you come up woih this post? the other day you said in a post back tracking ‘please ashley don’t sell to shepard’, now your endorsing the guy? fans like you are the cause of all this chaos.

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  • hitman

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #37

    Stardust // Sep 16, 2008 at 10:45

    Hitman – you choose to listen to the words of a man whole took £100million from the club…..
    what do you think ashley is trying to do now,walk away with as much profit as he can….

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  • Micky Toon

    Sep 16, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #38

    hitman – you posted that interview with the fat controller and it ends with –

    I will take a bet we have not heard the last of Kevin Keegan,” he added. “I would definitely bring Kevin back. He is the guy for the job, the right guy to run the business.”

    So, I guess that is where that came from.

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  • Stardust

    Sep 16, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #39

    Swwendog – I dont say nice I said good – and the fact KK even met up with him again shows you both men dont have problems with each other just a difference of opinion about whats best for the club.

    Good where I am I deducing that from – actions – not from press tittle tattle which even now you use to say he wants 300 to 400m – you simply dont know.

    And for the reasons I have already stated I dont believe any new owner will bring KK back, Ashley might if they find a resolution.

    But do you honestly believe anyone else would run us differently – and I dont want an ADUG circus in town. But I love to see things grow from the ground up, where we see young stars come through – maybe Im old fashioned but in the days of Kentucky and McDonalds everyone wants instant satisfaction.

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  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 16, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #40

    broon ale – what’s the point of copying and pasting the words of niall and biffa and presenting it as your own?

    Personally for me their words carry about as much weight as Shepherds. These are the 2 guys after all that tried to claim that calling a muslim was a suicide bomber was part of their basic right to freedom of speech, and then continued to inflame the situation further the following week with their “Given is a paki-basher” headline.

    Those 2 lost my respect a long time ago.

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