The Chronicle has some really good news today – if it’s true – that Kevin Keegan will be offered a stake in Newcastle United worth millions of pounds if he returns as manager.
And what better way to stop him from walking out from the club again, than offering him a stake – a potentially brilliant move. And it looks like the South African consortium does indeed include the Rupert Family as we reported on Sunday , after one of our South African readers had alerted us that it seemed they could be the group.
Ashley seems willing to accept a reduced amount of around £300M, and perhaps as little as £250M so he doesn’t lose on the deal. The South African consortium are keeping their identities secret until they have studied the club’s books and reached an agreement with Ashley.
Keegan is central to their plans and the new news is that the five strong group of businessmen are prepared to offer him between 5-10% of the club’s value, if he agrees to come back. The Chronicle also does a decent job of speculating on who the businessmen may be and says Brian Joffe, 61, could be part of the group.
Joffe founded investment holding firm Bidvest and is CEO of South African football team Bidvest Wit. He buys failing companies and turns their fortunes around – so it sounds as if he’s in the right place – being after our club right now.
Bidvest’s financial controller David Cleasby said:
“I can’t talk for Mr. Joffe and that is all I can say.”
OK – well that tells us absolutely nothing.
The South African consortium are said to be ready to place £150M down-payment for Newcastle and pay the balance over the next year. As we reported on Sunday one man strongly linked with the deal is billionaire Johann Rupert, who is the current chairman of Swiss-based luxury goods firm Richemont, which owns brands including Cartier and Dunhill. He is part of the famous Rupert family of philanthropists in South Africa, and is the son of its founder.
In our piece on Sunday we said the 57 year old was worth £3.8B, and he already owns English rugby team Saracens, which he bought for £8M.
South African multi-millionaire Vivian Imerman may also be linked to the takeover, and Imerman, 53, was an owner of Del Monte before buying into Scottish whisky firm Whyte and Mackay, which he sold for £595M last year, reports the Chronicle today.
Imerman runs investment firm Vasari Global Ltd in London with fellow South African Gerald Katzeff, who is 61. However, the Chronicle reports that when they contacted Imerman, he denied being involved in a takeover of Newcastle United – but of course if they want to keep their identities secret, what else would he say?
Make no mistake these are the type of people we want to run Newcastle United, and to give Kevin a share of the club is a master-stroke. Only this morning we voiced our concerns that he may walk out again if he comes back. This is a brilliant way to keep him long term at Newcastle.
But there again we think this new group will treat Kevin with the respect he deserves. Same with Shearer hopefully, but it’s still a question if these two can work together at Newcastle.
The other thing is that the next World Cup is in South Africa, so Newcastle United could be front and center with all the football publicity South Africa will be getting in the next couple of years, and another reason why this group seem to know exactly what they are doing.
Now who are the best South African football players?
This has to be good news – if it’s all true.