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.