We wonder just how serious Mike Ashley really is, about selling the Newcastle United Club.
Mike Ashley – is he really serious about selling?
After announcing, in a long statement on Sunday night, that he intends to sell, he has gone with Dennis Wise and Tony Jimenez to the Middle East looking for a buyer. That sounds good, and looks to Newcastle fans that he is indeed making an effort to sell the club quickly, as he said on Sunday night.
But it has been been reported on the Arabian Business site that his dossier on the club asks for £481M for the club, for which he has only invested £244M himself. Isn’t it a little bit ridiculous to even ask for that amount?
We have reviewed Mike’s statement of Sunday, and point to these few paragraphs at the end:
I hope that all the fans get to read this statement so that they understand what I am about. I would not expect all of the fans to agree with me. But I have set out, clearly, my plan.
If I can’t sell the club to someone who will give the fans what they want then I shall continue to ensure that Newcastle is run on a business and football model that is sustainable. I care too much about the club merely to abandon it.I have the interests of Newcastle United at heart. I have listened to you. You want me out. That is what I am now trying to do but it won’t happen overnight and it may not happen at all if a buyer does not come in.
That hints rather strongly that if he cannot find a suitable buyer he will keep the club. One way to define not being able to find a suitable buyer is if they don’t offer what you want for the club, and if you want £481M you will never find a suitable buyer – you get the gist.
If you really want to sell the club one way to do that is to ask far too much for it, and then say you couldn’t find a good buyer.
But a good price for Newcastle United right now is anything in the region of £275M, which will give Mike a healthy profit of some £30M in 16 months, which is not too bad, even for a Billionaire.
The Newcastle fans are ready to move on, and the club certainly needs to move on past this very sorry chapter in our history.
We trust Mike will stand by his word and sell the club, and we expect him to be willing to sell for a decent price.
But surely asking £481M right now for Newcastle United is an insult to any potential buyer.
Comments very welcome.