Kuwait businessman Nasser Al Kharafi is the latest name to be linked with a possible takeover.
Nasser Al Kharafi – said to be interested in Newcastle
As we reported over the last two days Mike Ashley seems to be asking for £480M to sell a club he paid just £243M for 16 months ago, and if he holds out for that price much longer, the Newcastle fan base will be very skeptical his true aims are in fact to sell the club.
He has already said this will not be a fire sale, and he has said he will even continue as owner, if a suitable buyer cannot be found. But a suitable buyer will never be found at that price, let’s be honest about that.
The Newcastle Journal is reporting that an intermediary working on his behalf has said that Al Kharafi is interested in becoming Newcastle’s new owner, but this is all starting to look like the transfer season all over again, where we were reported to be interested in about 839 players and bought about 6. The only difference now seems to be who wants to buy the club.
The intermediary said:
“Nasser Al Kharafi has the money to buy the club, but the way Mike Ashley is going about things is wrong. He is actually putting off any interested buyers with the price and his refusal to negotiate. If he genuinely wants to sell he is going about it the wrong way.”“At the last estimate Nasser was worth around $12B (about £7B), but he still won’t pay over the odds for the club. Mr. Ashley seems to think he can ask what he wants because he is dealing with people who are multi-billionaires, but that simply isn’t the case. As things stand he will be returning to England without a buyer.”
As the world’s 29th richest man and the 4th richest Arab, the 62-year-old Kharafi is Chairman of Al Kharafi & Sons. Nasser Al Kharafi puts fast food on plates across the entire Middle East, and his company controls the exclusive Arab franchises for KFC, Wimpy, TGI Fridays, Cadbury’s, Pizza Hut and Saint Cinnamon.
The family also owns a lucrative 30% stake in Atheer Telecom, which owns a mobile license for Southern Iraq, and in October he purchased more shares in Mobile Telecommunications Corporation (Zain), through one of its units.
There has certainly been no concrete offers yet for Newcastle United, and the Ashley trip to the Middle East is in severe danger of looking more and more like a jaunt, than a serious business trip.
Oh well, with things this bad, we have to assume they will only get better.