African, Chinese and American Bids For Newcastle

Chris Mort, the former chairman of Newcastle United was expected in Newcastle late last night, in a fast moving development that suggests some major moves are being made in the sale of Newcastle United.

Chris Mort – former Chairman expert on Newcastle finances

Chris has worked lots of deals for Mike Ashley and he was the lead executive in buying Newcastle United last summer for Mike Ashley.  Chris turned out to be a good Chairman, and though a lot about the fans as customers. And his last announcement before leaving put a good few things in place, like the singing corner, and cheap season tickets for the youngsters.

But when he left the club blew up under his successor Derek Llambias.

Let’s just say that Derek had neither the talent nor the temperament of Chris, who is certainly a top young businessman.  The latest news being reported is that there are two or three legitimate bids into Seymour Pierce bank, that meet Mike Ashley’s price, and we expect one of them is by the Nigerian Consortium.

This report is coming from the Independent, which has been quite credible in the past.

As well as the Nigerian bid, the rumors are that credible groups from America and China have also lodged bids with Seymour Pierce, so there may be as many as three bids received so far.

Mort gained considerable credibility on Tyneside, in learning quickly how to run a football club, and we are almost certain that if he had still been here this mess we are now in, would never have happened.  And of course Chris ran a strategic review of the club last summer, and found many of the debts they had not known about when they lodged their bid rather quickly.

So if you read the tea leaves, it seems that a sale is being lined up, and Chris will help in explaining the financial condition of the club to potential buyers.

But exactly who the other two bidders are, we have absolutely no idea.

Xu Rongmao – Chairman of the Shimao Group

We may assume the Chinese interest could be property billionaire Xu Rongmao, who is reported to have plans to expand St James’ Park and redevelop the surrounding area. He is Chairman of the Shimao Group, and they were interested in mid-September.

The only American interest was reported to be from former Microsoft Chairman and founder Bill Gates, but if that’s true we’ll eat our hats.

It’s now looking like we could have a bid accepted soon, and probably before the end of the week.

Stay tuned.

66 comments so far

  • Rasko a.k.a Hadji

    Sep 30, 2008 at 1:37 AM

    Comment #1

    Bring them all in,the more the merrier.

  • D.C.

    Sep 30, 2008 at 1:53 AM

    Comment #2

    Dare I hold my breath in hope that Mark Cuban is interested? Best owner in American sports, bar none.

  • If this report is true it looks like the Nigerian Consortium bid has got the other interested parties to bid aswell. I will eat 2 HATS if bill gates wants to buy us!

  • Rasko a.k.a Hadji

    Sep 30, 2008 at 2:01 AM

    Comment #4

    D.C….I agree,he follows Dallas everywhere and is the most passionate owner i’ve ever seen.They need Lebron if they want the title.

  • Tom Mo.

    Sep 30, 2008 at 2:07 AM

    Comment #5


  • MDS

    Sep 30, 2008 at 2:09 AM

    Comment #6

    Haha. Mark Cuban would be the absolute best. He always puts the fans first, not afraid to put tons of money in to build a winner and is a hell of a salesman.

    He’s been rebuffed twice in efforts to buy a major league baseball team so he might be looking overseas for a new team….

  • 51times

    Sep 30, 2008 at 2:16 AM

    Comment #7

    Football takes a lot more money and attention than Basketball and Baseball, though…

  • Tom Mo.

    Sep 30, 2008 at 2:29 AM

    Comment #8

    American would be good however the pound to dollar exchange isnt good for the club hahahaha

  • Rasko a.k.a Hadji

    Sep 30, 2008 at 2:30 AM

    Comment #9

    51 times…..You’re right for one thing and wrong for another.
    If you’re talking about FIBA….yes you’re right that EPL is richer
    But if you’re talking about NBA,then you’re wrong.

    Jordan in the mid 90’s was making 36.7mill per season,Kevin Garnet signed a 5 year deal in 1999 i think with Minnesota Timberwolves worth 233 mill.
    But NBA has a salary cap unlike football where they havent.I can only imagine if there wasn’t any salary cap in NBA….they would have had 35-40 mill a year(top earners i mean).

  • 51times

    Sep 30, 2008 at 2:33 AM

    Comment #10

    So much money for such a worthless sport.

  • Rasko a.k.a Hadji

    Sep 30, 2008 at 2:43 AM

    Comment #11

    Its not worthless 51,just because Basketball is not popular in England it doesn’t mean its worthless.I used to play basketball for 10 years,and i travelled a lot cos of that.
    Basketball in Spain,Serbia,Italy,Russia,Croatia,Macedonia etc is so so popular,and believe me 51,when you have 10-12 thousand fans in indoor arena it makes even better atmosphere than on a football match.

  • MDS

    Sep 30, 2008 at 2:45 AM

    Comment #12

    The American could be Paul Allen. The Gates rumors could have started by someone who got the wrong Microsoft fouder…

    Allen’s at least more believable than Gates. He already owns 3 pro sports franchises in the states including the new FC Seattle MLS team that begins play next year which shows he has some interest in the sport.

    Plus, according to Forbes he’s worth over $16 billion.

    Never heard of Gates having any interest in sports….

  • Ganiyu

    Sep 30, 2008 at 2:46 AM

    Comment #13

    How much debt do we owe?

  • Rasko a.k.a Hadji

    Sep 30, 2008 at 2:49 AM

    Comment #14

    Ganiyu……17455473,and thats without MA’s pints 🙂

  • Ganiyu

    Sep 30, 2008 at 3:01 AM

    Comment #15

    I some times wished dyer and solano never left.

  • Aussie Magpie Fan

    Sep 30, 2008 at 3:04 AM

    Comment #16

    I just hope the new owners have the clubs best interests at heart… It would be terrible if they treat the club like a plaything that they have purchased because they felt need to spend some on their billions on something. I really don’t like where the club is heading…. Do these really mega rich owners really have the the clubs best interst at heart?? I don’t think so… I’m concerned about what will happen when they are done with their play thing and move on… Some of these clubs owned by Billionaires will simply no longer exist such would be the debt attributted to them…

  • 51times

    Sep 30, 2008 at 3:07 AM

    Comment #17

    I suppose so Hadji. Who did you play for?

  • DT

    Sep 30, 2008 at 3:36 AM

    Comment #18


    If you are comparing basketball and football salaries you need to remember that an NBA franchise has a squad of only 10 or so players and NO reserve or academy teams

  • Robby Bobson

    Sep 30, 2008 at 3:45 AM

    Comment #19

    Ed, i agree with you Mort was a much better chairman than Llambias or Ashley could ever make. That or he was very good at keeping people on his side like all lawyers do.

    I don’t think we would have seen Keegan walking out on Mort, who, above all actually spoke to the press so we knew what was going on.

    On the owner front, i liked Ashley because he was British so thought he would get the passion on the club, but i was wrong so whoever has a couple of billion spare will do for me. Although i would like to see somebody who doesnt own a sports franchise already so they can really get behind the team e.g. you always see Abramovich at Chelsea but never see the Glaziers at old Trafford.

  • KyleNYC

    Sep 30, 2008 at 3:59 AM

    Comment #20

    Mark Cuban would be amazing! He is an absolute sports nut…..made his first billions by creating a way to listen to Indiana University Basketball games when he moved to Dallas. The next thing you know, he is selling to Yahoo!

    Anyways….I’ve attached a link to his blog…he will most likely respond if you ask him a question. He’s 5 for 5 with me…over various subjects.

  • KyleNYC

    Sep 30, 2008 at 4:13 AM

    Comment #21

    Also, money isn’t an issue. He’s on the Forbes richest people in the world list and has recently offered over $1 billion to purchase the Chicago Cubs.

  • 51times

    Sep 30, 2008 at 4:15 AM

    Comment #22

    Sounds like he’d make a great owner, doubtful he’s going to bid though. Shame.

  • craig chisholm

    Sep 30, 2008 at 4:23 AM

    Comment #23

    i agree with the report, chris mort was the best by a country mile of ashleys men. he left and this other wanker came in along with wise and the rest is history. i wonder if mort is upset at how its all turned out, i mean, he worked hard and got on well with the clubs fans, now he is working hard to get rid of us within such a short time, the only people to have gaioned out of this are ashley and his cronies in making such a lot of money 100 million plus, and he deserves none of it. I hear that ther is a south aftrican, london based group of people who have also tabled a bid.
    on a different note, i tihnk that while shearer has defo said its a load of crap about him coming back, keegan has been VERY quiet. i just ownder ifthere might be some truth in that part of Joe K’s statement.
    also, this nathaniel guty that is the voice of the nigerian mob…… is he the same nathaniel who is like the biggest media baron in africa?

  • Buddy23

    Sep 30, 2008 at 5:28 AM

    Comment #24

    lol, imagine the look on the Man City arabian faces if Gates bought us.

  • Len

    Sep 30, 2008 at 5:57 AM

    Comment #25

    So the happy smiles that watched Fat Fred leave are here again to welcome who? A Chinese property tycoon who is likely far more interested in developing hotels and supermarkets than the team. Look out for the sale of SJP and move to Gateshead stadium. A Nigerian consortium which could be massively entertaining and the African way of doing business is going to be very different to anything you have seen before. Look for shoot from the hip decisions and a manager rotation policy. And an anonymous American who isnt Bill Gates. Frankly I dont see any reason for optimism.

  • Estranged

    Sep 30, 2008 at 6:07 AM

    Comment #26

    51 times NBA is one of the most respected leagues with the most passionate ballers and fans.

    Anyways good call for Mark Cuban.

    Great man with a great personality.

    Hadji Lebron won’t go West.

    Knicks will go all out to secure him 2 yrs from now. MSG needs something to cheer about lol

  • 51times

    Sep 30, 2008 at 6:20 AM

    Comment #27

    Estranged – That wasn’t my point, my point was that the sport is plastic. It’s just there to make money, it has no community history or cultural identity like football.

  • Xsico golden boot

    Sep 30, 2008 at 6:52 AM

    Comment #28

    Good article ed I liked mort as well maybe if he is coming up we will get to know more what is going on. onwards and upwards

  • dubsea

    Sep 30, 2008 at 7:14 AM

    Comment #29

    At least Mort spoke to the fans…Wouldnt mind Bill Gates and some Microsoft sponsorship.

  • Ericles

    Sep 30, 2008 at 7:32 AM

    Comment #30

    Mort seemed decent and on the level. Cannot understand how he function as a front man for a wideboy like Ashley. We do not want the Chinese investor because he seems too interested in property development. It would be a travesty to see the Georgian style Leazes Terrace knocked down and replaced by a flash hotel, and the Strawberry converted into a spring roll factory. It seems the Nigerians with a resurrected messiah is the best option. Wonder what Shola thinks?

  • cg

    Sep 30, 2008 at 7:34 AM

    Comment #31

    I raise that hat debt, if Gates actually is the bidder I’ll even BUY VISTA! 😉

    I agree, Mort was good, atleast came of as good. With him and MA there was still quite a lot of credibility. Llambias is the devil and Wise his apprentice. :/

  • Ageordiedoonsooth

    Sep 30, 2008 at 7:39 AM

    Comment #32

    Just want this mess sorted soon so we can get back to thinking about football

  • Gerontius

    Sep 30, 2008 at 7:56 AM

    Comment #33

    Please, please forget the wishful thinking about Bill Gates. He and his wife have put their wealth into philanthropy, giving more than $1 bn a year to healthcare in poorer countries worldwide. He refuses to leave his wealth to his kids, so why a football club? Gates stepped out of Microsoft to run the foundation, turning round health care systems eg combating HIV/AIDS and saving countless children from malaria. Much as I love NUFC, the money is better spent in Africa and Asia. That’s why football ends up with such dodgy owners and dubiously-earned dosh, now that clubs aren’t run as businesses.

  • jules

    Sep 30, 2008 at 7:58 AM

    Comment #34

    Jeez len, cheer up. whatever happened to the optimism that our fans were known for.
    Nothing can be worse than Ashley and the current crowd.

  • Guinea Mag

    Sep 30, 2008 at 8:03 AM

    Comment #35

    Chris Mort did an excellent job for us despite being a novice. Derek Llambias with zero experience fell on his face at the first hurdle. Unfortunately, he’s taken Newcastle United down with him…..

    The sooner new owners and their team arrive the better. Maybe Chris Mort will have to return to Newcastle to steady the ship for the remainder of the season!!!!

  • wigaz

    Sep 30, 2008 at 8:13 AM

    Comment #36

    Would be nice to have mort back for even 6 weeks! derek is a plank!

  • Toon Graeme

    Sep 30, 2008 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #37

    Derek Derek who the ***k is Derek!!!??


    This sounds like a good twist – always liked Chris Mort – he had media appeal and in his short time done more that the current numb nuts!

    Going to be an interesting week me thinks.

    Lets get Jonas back from injury after international week and a new owner too.

  • Steven R

    Sep 30, 2008 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #38

    Just our luck that when the club hits such a rough spot that the whole world economy falls to sh!t! Ashley better cut his loses now and accept a bid of about 300mil.

    I am a South African and there are tons of stinking rich billionaires here but i doubt any of them would be able to give financial support like Abu Dhabi Investment group-Man City.

  • hitman

    Sep 30, 2008 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #39

    watch the club be sold to none of the groups mentioned..

  • jules

    Sep 30, 2008 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #40

    I agree hitman, I bet it’s none of the offers being mentioned in the media, probably a smoke screen.


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