Mike Ashley, the Newcastle United Owner is reported to have enlisted the help of former Football League chairman Keith Harris, following his success in brokering the deal that saw Thaksin Shinawatra take over Manchester City last year.
Mike Ashley – looking for a buyer in the Middle East
Harris also masterminded the buying of West Ham United, which was fronted by the Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson and was also involved in the acquisition of Aston Villa by Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner as well as Michael Wilde’s takeover of Southampton.
So there’s no doubt that Keith has a good track record in this business.
The Telegraph is reporting that Ashley has set up meetings with prospective buyers across the Middle East in a bid to sell the Tyneside club he bought for £134M last year, and has since pumped in another £110M, to get a handle on the massive debt he inherited.
The Sports Direct Billionaire was spotted in Dubai along with Newcastle executive director (football) Dennis Wise and vice-president Tony Jimenez, and they then moved on to Abu Dhabi.
It turns out that Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has also appointed Harris, the chairman of London-based investment bank Seymour Pearce, to flush out potential investors for the Goodison Park club.
Newcastle remain without a manager and their only public statement on that issue came from Managing Director Derek Llambias, when he said at Newcastle Airport last Saturday:
“We might have something to say during the week.”
What that means we have absolutely no idea.