The Arabian Business website is reporting today that Mike Ashley is seeking as much as $860 million (about £481M on today’s conversion rate of 0.56) to sell his club, Newcastle United.
Well, all we can say, is if he manages to pull this one off, no wonder he’s a Billionaire.
But that seems a huge amount to be asking for the Newcastle United club, which he bought for only £133M 16 months ago, and has put an additional £110M into it, to pay down just some of the debt.
But that specific figure is said to be contained in documents handed to individuals representing Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, earlier in the week. Well we suppose you start high and go down from there.
The documents are currently being studied, but a buy-out would surely only be made at a significantly lower price than that in the documents, is what the business web-site is suggesting, and that’s got to be accurate.
Dubai-based Zabeel Investments and Dubai Investment Group, part of Dubai Holding, are allegedly being considered to front a potential deal, so the Arabian Business web-site is now reporting.
Zabeel Investments was founded in 2006 and is a Dubai-based diversified investment company focused on commercial real estate development and management, private equity and asset management in the United Arab Emirates.
The Group only recently was part of the Dubai-led consortium which failed to tie up a deal for Liverpool Football Club in February two years ago.
However, Mohammed Ali Al Hashimi, the Zabeel Investments chairman, told Arabian Business:
“We have not had any contact,” “I am not interested in any [English Premier League club] right now.”
Well, we suppose at the very least it appears that Ashley is making an attempt to sell the club, so that’s good, but until it’s out of his hands, Newcastle United Football Club will remain like a ship adrift in the North Sea, going nowhere in particular.
The sooner he gets a good buyer, the better it will be for both players and the fans, which are what’s important to the club right now.