Nigerian Bid Too Focussed On Nigerian Interests

Reuters is reporting today that a group of Nigerians hoping to buy Newcastle United want to be sure they can put in place the management they want, before they will consider raising their bid for the club.

The Nigerian consortium has reportedly presented a bid for the Premier League club last Friday but owner Mike Ashley is said to be holding out for a higher offer, the source told Reuters.

A source close to the negotiations said on Wednesday:

“Newcastle want more money but the Nigerians are researching possible management structures and not offering more until they know they can get the management they want,”

Chris Nathaniel, the London-based businessman coordinating the Nigerian offer, said in an interview with Reuters last week that the Nigerian group could ask Keegan to return as manager, if their bid succeeded.

The source said the Nigerian consortium wanted to hold talks with officials from the Nigerian Football Federation and the Nigeria Football League about how a successful bid might help develop the game in Africa’s most populous nation.

Businessmen in Nigeria say owning a Premier League club could bring large-scale marketing opportunities both in Africa, where English sides have a huge fan base often largely overlooked by their management teams, and globally.

A Lagos-based businessman said:

“They’re thinking about the global visibility of the Premiership. For the real big companies, one of the best ways to communicate is through the Premiership,”

We don’t like what’s being said here because the talk is all about what owning Newcastle United would mean to Nigeria. We want the new owners to be talking about what they can do for the Newcastle United football club, and what owning Newcastle would do for the fans and the club – not for Nigeria.

The Nigerians seem to be using Newcastle as a pawn to better Nigeria’s image, and that’s not a good reason to buy the club.

The source said that should the Newcastle bid fail, the Nigerian consortium would likely look at other opportunities to buy a Premier League club. As we said they are obviously looking for a Premier League Club to further Nigeria’s interests, and they’d probably bring in the Nigerian National team to Newcastle – not good.

Comments welcome.

35 comments so far

  • Nick 69

    Oct 1, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #1

    they aint gonna be successful anyway, they are apparently only the 4th highest bidders. fingers crossed they WONT get us

  • Jamie G

    Oct 1, 2008 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #2

    I think Ashley should stay as owner.
    He should sack wise, bring keegan back as manager and allow him to appoint his own transfer co-ordinator (if he feels it would be helpful).

    Ashley proved a good owner and from his statement, we know he loves the club but just didn’t understand the intensity of the fans….he knows now thats for sure.

    He should appoint a cheif executive who runs the club from newcastle, and if Ashley wants to come up from London to watch a game then hes obv more than welcome…rather like the Glazers at man utd.

    I don’t think this is an unrealistic prospect, especially in the current economic climate.
    I feel uneasy at some of these foreign owner and their intentions.

  • toonfan67

    Oct 1, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #3

    jamie old boy whats your poison sport??? bit early for a cocktail or seven isnt it??? lol

  • Ganiyu

    Oct 1, 2008 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #4

    Nufc nigeria coming soon

  • Chris F

    Oct 1, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #5

    Jamie, Ashley doesn’t love the club, he just enjoyed being flavour of the month and pretended to be a fan.

    it was all an act, and his statement about loving the club was just one of many lies spun by our ownership since september 4th.

  • am sick of this

    Oct 1, 2008 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #6

    i see the club being bought by someone doing it quiet and probably from china India or Thailand

    think the Nigerian bid being done through the press is more to boost there portfolio before buying a London club

  • Obafan

    Oct 1, 2008 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #7

    Nick 69

    How do you know that the Nigerians are only the 4th highest bidder?
    And who are the top 3 bidders then?

  • toonfan67

    Oct 1, 2008 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #8

    dream on ganiyu, unless you work for this consortuim ??? r u a spy ganiyu ??? lol…dear oh dear this toon waltz is doing my heed in..ahhhhh… someone make it stop spinning round and round pls…oh wait a min “santa is a geordie” right….next planned trip for cashley….go and seek out the wise bearded one fat mike…just follow his sledge up in the sky… am sure he has female elf pole dancers at his fantasy grotto mike…you know they make you hot…lol

  • Ganiyu

    Oct 1, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #9

    Name ur 6 new signings

  • stk

    Oct 1, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #10

    jamie does have a point. the only stumbling block is that ashleys stubborn as hell and will never admit he made a wrong choice in wise. if he swallowed his pride, got rid of wise and consulted keegan on the structure he wants and persuades chris mort to come back as chief exec, we would all have to be grown up and get over it.

  • scott9

    Oct 1, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #11

    haha i wudnt mind taking a couple of nigerian players here

  • Ganiyu

    Oct 1, 2008 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #12

    Valencia swap with zog


    Oct 1, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #13

    South Africa’s are to offer Kevin Keegan shares in NUFC if he comes back! if you believe the Chronicle!?

  • toontony

    Oct 1, 2008 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #14

    This is from todays chronicle hope its true
    KEVIN Keegan will be offered a stake in Newcastle United worth millions if he returns as manager, the Chronicle understands.

    A consortium of British-based South Africans are lining up a bid for the club, which is thought to be in line with Mike Ashley’s revised £280-300m asking price.

    It was revealed yesterday that Ashley is willing to accept a reduced amount and a Nigerian group, headed by entertainment mogul Chris Nathaniel, claim to have already lodged a £200m offer on Friday.

    The rival South African consortium are keeping their identities under wraps until they have studied the club’s books and reached an agreement with the retail billionaire, but some sources claim they have tabled a £280m bid.

    Keegan is thought to be central to their plans for the Magpies and the five-strong group of tycoons are prepared to offer him between 5-10% of the club’s shares if he agrees to come back.

    Speculation has been growing about who is involved in the consortium, which has called itself the New Newcastle United.

    Businessman Brian Joffe, 61, is rumoured to be part of the group.

    He founded investment holding firm Bidvest and is chief executive of South African football team Bidvest Wit.

    He has a reputation for buying failing companies and turning their fortunes around, which tallies with the way the consortium interested in United are said to have amassed their wealth.

    The father-of-two, who was born in Johannesburg, was not in his office when the Chronicle tried to contact him.

    Bidvest’s financial controller David Cleasby said: “I can’t talk for Mr Joffe and that is all I can say.”

    The South African consortium are reportedly set to handover a £150m down-payment for United, before settling the balance over the following 12 months.

    They are understood to have contacted Keegan on Friday and believe they can coax Alan Shearer into taking up a role.

    In a bid to tie Keegan to the club beyond the short term, it is thought they are prepared to offer him a stake.

    Based on the reduced asking price for the Magpies, that would place the value of the shares offered to him at more than £10m.

    Since news broke about the consortium’s interest in the club, speculation has been rife in the South African media as to who the key players are.

    One man strongly linked to the deal is billionaire Johann Rupert. He is the man behind Swiss-based luxury goods firm Richemont, which owns brands including Cartier and Dunhill.

    The 58-year-old is said to be worth £3.8 billion and has already ploughed around £8m into English rugby team Saracens. Mr Rupert was linked with a takeover of Blackburn Rovers last year, but moved quickly to deny the rumours.

    When contacted by the Chronicle, a spokesman said neither Richemont nor Mr Rupert were interested in buying Newcastle United.

    Similar rumours surround multi-millionaire Vivian Imerman, a fellow South African.

    Mr Imerman, 53, was an owner of Del Monte before buying into Scottish whisky firm Whyte and Mackay, which he sold for £595m last year.

    He runs investment firm Vasari Global Ltd in London with fellow South African Gerald Katzeff, 61.

    Mr Imerman is married to Lisa Tchenguiz, 43, sister of Robert Tchenguiz, who was a co-owner of Whyte and Mackay with him.

    Mr Imerman also denied being involved in a takeover of Newcastle United when contacted by the Chronicle.

    Despite the denials, city sources continue to link the businessmen with the South African consortium looking to buy the club

  • lesh

    Oct 1, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #15

    Nick 69 // Oct 1, 2008 at 12:08
    Come on Nick, spill the beans!

    re toontony // Oct 1, 2008 at 13:18
    As far as offering KK a stake, it may just be the thing to commit him to the club, hopefully, rein in his impetuosity and make him think twice about costly, short life buys.

    Makes sense to me but then again, ah nah nowt!

  • Toon Graeme

    Oct 1, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #16

    The only vision I can see about the Nigerian bid is that they will force the club to sign their home grown players.

    I dont like the thought of that!!

  • toonfan67

    Oct 1, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #17

    lesh i no exactly what ya mean….sick of it…totally sick of it 🙁 FFS….lets make him an offer he cant refuse…lol
    yeah a stake in the club might just be it….coz lets face it he has un finished biz in EPL and with NUFC.
    saying that we gotta back JK untill this shite is cleaned up…


    Oct 1, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #18

    Football FanCast columnist Rob Facey looks at the Keegan saga and says, whether the source is legitimate or not, Newcastle fans must surely think twice about re-appointing King Kev.

    Kevin Keegan will make a sensational return to St James’ Park, again, according to the Telegraph.

    An unnamed source has added more weight to the story by stating that the former boss is currently on holiday in America but is waiting by the phone for a call once Mike Ashley sells the club.

    “Kevin has had a great break, is feeling refreshed and wants to return,” a source close to Keegan said.

    “He knows what it would mean for all the fans and he wants to have a fresh crack at the club he loves.

    “New owners have to come in, but Keegan has been pleased to see his name mentioned by prospective buyers and is now just waiting to see what happens.”

    Do fans at Newcastle appreciate these unnamed sources reported in papers, or do they simply take everything written about the club at the moment with a pinch of salt?

    Joe Kinnear hinted just minutes after being appointed as interim boss that Keegan will return, but since Alan Shearer poured water on that story that particular line has dried up.

    To an outsider, it still seems bizarre that Keegan is still held in such high regard.

    Undoubtedly he was treated harshly and had no option but to walk, but the fact remains the Keegan never beat a team in the top half when he was in charge and despite a spirited start to this season, his emotions and personal feelings continued to cloud his judgement.

    This is the man, remember, who resigned from the England job in the Wembley toilets minutes after losing to Germany.

    He wears his heart on his sleeve and in an age where conceited players lie through their teeth in order to get a higher wage his honesty should be praised, but Newcastle don’t want honesty, they want dignity, class, results and stability.

    Low on confidence, shipping goals and getting into the habit of only scoring consolations, even the most “loyal fans in the world” are staying away.

    It would be another brilliant story if Keegan returned, but isn’t it about time the Magpies just concentrated on the football and let someone else hog the headlines?

  • BenjiToon

    Oct 1, 2008 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #19

    Has no one else seen the story that there are 7 bidders? This is because Seymour Pierce have issued 7 bits of official “non disclosure” paperwok, and have apparently asked for detailed info to check the money of 7 consortiums.

    According to one report I read the Nigerian’s weren’t on that list. Although that’s hard to be sure of, given that the “non disclosure” clauses are mutual – in other words no one is telling anyone anything, other than buyer and bidders.

    But still, 7? I wasn’t sure we’d get anywhere near that many. At least one of those has got to be decent for us right?

  • BenjiToon

    Oct 1, 2008 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #20

    Oh, and on KK. I’m among those that have a sentimental – and genuine – belief he can do it again, given the right structure and support at boardroom level.

    I don’t think giving him shares in the club is the answer though. Muddies the waters too much. He is a manager, and that’s how he should be treated. Backed at boardroom level but not with a financial stake in the club.

  • toontony

    Oct 1, 2008 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #21

    Low on confidence, shipping goals and getting into the habit of only scoring consolations, even the most “loyal fans in the world” are staying away.

    We were doing fine until ashley and wise Balls everything up, some fans are only staying away cos they dont want to line ashley’s pockets

  • Ganiyu

    Oct 1, 2008 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #22

    Lads any one watched christantus nigerias under 23 wonder kid

  • Micky Toon

    Oct 1, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #23

    Bloody hell giving KK a stake in the club is a bit daft. He wants full control over the players now, imagine the hell he would cause at board meetings if no one agreed with him. 🙂

  • Stevo

    Oct 1, 2008 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #24

    Article is bang on! F**k them! F**king dodgy as F**k! Will just use the club to benefit themselves! Send the f**kers packing. “Well get Keegan back if our bid is successful”… else to get the fans onside of their bid…..Do they think were gullible! Nigeria NUFC?…never never never….go take your face for a s**t.

  • toontony

    Oct 1, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #25

    micky toon if keegan had a stake in the club could be security to stop him walking again,they are only talking 5-10% stake..
    Get keegan back get feel good factor back and also i think the players would welcome him back…

  • clinta

    Oct 1, 2008 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #26

    Anyone interested in buying us is going to be more interested in what they can get out of the relationship, than what the fans or football can get out of it!

    that’s why these people are the beloved billionarres everyones hoping for, if anyone thinks this isn’t the case your having a laugh.

  • BenjiToon

    Oct 1, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #27

    Toontony – reasonable point you make. Hadn’t thought of it that way.

    Although I still think KK would be better not being in the boardroom as a shareholder. His strength is in spotting players, signing players, motivating players and getting results. As well as communicating with the fans. Think the business should be done by others.

    BUT that doesn’t mean a repeat of the current situation. I remember John Hall making Keegan’s title “Director of Football” after he threatened to walk in the 1990s. That gave him executive control over all footballing matters. Maybe that’s the idea with the shares too?

  • irish_al

    Oct 1, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #28

    Hi Ganiyu

    Here are six players i would like to see at newcastle

    Giorgio Chiellini
    Vedran Corluka
    Nigel De Jong
    (or Daniel De Rossi if money was no issue)
    Sebastian Larsson
    Mikel Arteta
    Giampaolo Pazzini
    (or Miroslav Klose if money was no issue)

    shame we didn’t get a couple of arsenal younsters (like armand traore) on loan

  • skin d

    Oct 1, 2008 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #29

    aye f##k the nigerians dont want them here,nothing against african people,but we all know whats happened in the dark continent over the years.
    i went on nva,s website and i saw a photo of them at old trafford.
    i think they were members of the government,one of the men was the minister of the interior.
    once you start getting the nigerian government involved in this,with their poor human rights record it starts to stink.
    wouldn,t want to see newcastle fans giving money to torturers and murderers,or propping up dictators.

  • murvar

    Oct 1, 2008 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #30

    The Telegraph today says that the Nigerians aren’t among the 7 who have asked for and been given the financial details of the club (all on condition that they sign a confidentiality clause).

    The other great thing in the article is that Ashley is described in City parlance as a “distressed seller”! Damn right he is!!

  • BenjiToon

    Oct 1, 2008 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #31

    Murvar – that’s right. I’ve heard that a few places now. A phantom bid maybe? Or just not enough cash.

    Either way – 7 in, sounds promising.

  • mikeygd

    Oct 1, 2008 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #32

    i would love the nigerian national team to come, would be funny as hell lol

  • magpie6699

    Oct 1, 2008 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #33

    Jamie and all – if Ashley had wanted to stay he KNOWS all he had / has to do was whatever it took to reinstate KK – maybe it was discussed at that so-called meeting they had which broke down. just before the “decree absolute”. The fact is he didn’t come back from the States when he should, he didn’t sort the mess out and he stuck with dwarf and Lame-arse instead of Keegan. When the fans rose up he STILL could have sought out Keegan if he had wanted. He hasn’t, so suggesting that that is the answer is pointless. He just wants his millions now.

  • briss

    Oct 1, 2008 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #34

    Hope mike ashley still has a heart and makes sure that any ‘consortium’ whose looking to invest in this great club is legitimate and wont make a bigger mess than he has already made for the next owners/manager

  • Stamford Toon

    Oct 2, 2008 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #35

    Jamie G; I’m with you on the idea of MA still owning the club but think it would be a mistake for hime to take KK back. How could he work with the man who has by walking out turned so many supporters against him? I don’t want KK back I want some stability at the club.


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