SA Consortium Very Confident Newcastle Deal Will Happen


John Cleland is leading a South African group thought to be leading the race to buy out Mike Ashley, and they seem confident, but not arrogant, about being successful in buying the famous Newcastle United Football Club.


And today Cleland told the Chronicle he met with Kevin Keegan in Manchester on Monday night, as well as spending Tuesday in Newcastle and talking to supports in Shearer’s bar, without them knowing who he was.

Some reports claim that no official bid for Newcastle has yet been made by the group, but the Scotland-born South African maintains they made their offer to Seymour Pierce on Tuesday evening, which followed a full week of discussions with the bank, which is handling the sale for owner Mike Ashley.

John would not comment on the size of the bid but it is understood to be in the region of £300M, with £150M upfront and the remainder paid over 12 months. That new is unchanged from when the proposed deal broke the headlines on Wednesday.

The 46-year-old has talked about how impressed he has been with the passion of the Newcastle fans after making a trip to Tyneside and enjoying a drink in Shearer’s bar with Simon Clifford.

It looks like Clifford, who is just 37 years old, will be installed as Technical Director, but one thing we should make sure of is that Keegan and Clifford can work together – and are on the same page.  The last thing we want is another Keegan Wise furor.

John continued:

“I am a businessman who happens to be a supporter and the club and the fans deserve better and we are hoping to achieve that.”

“What we have to do is get the fans to come out and support the club in the coming games in the number and in particular to support the interim manager, who has such a challenge ahead of him.”

“I would say we are at least 80% confident of this working. We are cautiously optimistic but we are not arrogant.”

Cleland said he started pulling together his consortium after Mike Ashley made it clear he planned to sell the club because of the multiple and intense protests against the owner.

John continued:

“My meeting with Kevin went very well. I am hugely impressed with him and I got the sense there was good chemistry between us and there is a strong mutual interest in working together.”

“He is our preferred option but we cannot make any concrete decisions on the managerial position until negotiations on our planned takeover are further advanced.”

“I think he understands and supports our concept of developing the club organically.”

Cleland said youth development is key to the long-term future of the club, which he why he plans to draft in Clifford, whose Brazilian soccer schools see youngsters coached from the age of six months.

But he maintained the manager brought in would still be given their backing in the transfer market.

John continued

“We will look at every strategy for making the club a success.” “One important thing is youth development and we feel that under Simon, who has a proven track record, we can create a great system.”

“We would make it very clear that there is a clear hierarchy in place and everybody would fully understand who is calling the shots and who isn’t.”

“We would not necessarily throw the baby out with the bath water but in any professional organization, you have to carry out a detailed review of the human capital to establish exactly who has the capabilities you want and who doesn’t.”

“It would be inappropriate to discuss which individuals would stay and which wouldn’t and even at a later stage it would be disrespectful to the brand to pass comment on people.”

That sounds good because it looks like the Youth strategy started by Chris Mort will be continuing but probably with some new scouts, and it looks 99% likely that Wise will walk.

Cleland visited Newcastle on Tuesday to look around the city and to chat with some, none of whom knew who he was.

John continued:

“I did a lot of listening and observing of Newcastle citizens. We listened to conversations about the team and we were interested by what we heard. I was observing how the brand of Newcastle Untied interacts with its customers.”

“We spent a bit of time in Shearer’s bar, where we had a drink and a nice bite to eat.”

“I have been a great Keegan fan all of my life, right from being a teenager, when I supported Liverpool. Back in South Africa, I would see him with his perm scoring these magnificent goals and I became a big fan and followed his career to Newcastle.”

John seems confident of a deal and we think, from all we know, this would be a great deal for the club and the fans.

Let us know what you think in our new poll to the right.
Comments welcome.



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102 comments so far

  • ashleys wallets cobwebs

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #1

    please hurry up and push it through

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  • ashleys wallets cobwebs

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #2

    just hope their is substansial funds made available straight away , then after we get a good system in place we can develop players, we need 100m minimum over 2 years to compete for europe

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  • John(indian toon)

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #3

    Get da deal done soon plz, LONG LIV KK.

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  • John(indian toon)

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #4

    Also letz get sum brazilian kids in youth, woul b great,

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  • Dan13

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #5

    heres hoping

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  • John(indian toon)

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #6

    Hope jonas is fit soon, he is a key playr 4 us .

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  • Trini Toon

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #7

    I just want to beat Everton and start winning again.

    It would be fantastic to beat the Toffees….

    Then take it to city

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  • Nick C

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #8

    It’s a pivotal point for NUFC. We have just suffered Ashley. We now need someone serious to come in and back their manager as well as building for the future.
    I pray we get the right people. If we do we could absolutely fly. The right people would get unequivocal backing from NUFC supporters. We could become formidable together.

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  • Matt

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #9

    Would be nice if we could just get a deal done and then the press will shut up about everything.

    Ed, just a quick point, the latest poll doesn’t make sense.

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  • Dan13

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #10

    I know, Ed
    the latest poll makes you look like you’ve tried too hard to be a smart arse

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  • Lokes

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #11

    Comon
    Diamond

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  • Paul

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #12

    No official bid has been made by the South Africans according to Seymour Pierce, and potential buyers including the Bok consortium need to clarify what is happening about Keegan’s £8 million lawsuit, which is against NUFC, not Mike Ashley, before they go ahead. This story sounds a bit dubious and I wouldn’t be so sure that this alleged Shearer’s bar meeting took place at all.

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  • little willie

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #13

    Disaster waiting to happen.

    Lets hope someone else buys us.

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  • Tom

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #14

    They seem to be making the right noises, about youth development and the future of the club, about giving the manager the backing and support etc. Sounds good 🙂

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  • Geordie Jayne

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #15

    I for one can’t wait until our club has the sold sign up…….this is just dragging on and on and the papers are loving it. I wish I could go to sleep and wake up when it is all over.

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  • Big Dave

    Oct 3, 2008 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #16

    well lads this story has cheered me up after a rather sh*te day at work. I know a few people dont want KK back but I would love to see him back as i believe him returning would be the quickest way to get the players playing again. and I think that it would mean most of the players will be happy to stay, as if it isn’t KK i can see a few players putting transfer request in in Jan.
    Haway the lads.

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  • Shot Bru!

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #17

    little willie spot on. For a start they’ve only got £150 million with the rest to be payed @ a later date. This means we will be in debt by £150 mill before we even start. One of the investors in this consortium has pulled out already, soon to be followed by the rest of them. In my humble opinion it’s a PR exercise to benefit their own needs in business and probably have no intention of buying the club, just like the Nigerians. Or they are showing their hand in public to see if any other EPL club is willing to sell for a cheaper price than NUFC.

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  • John(indian toon)

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #18

    Geordie jayne- yea this is dragng lyk da coloccini deal.

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  • Paul

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #19

    Shot Bru, they are making most of this up. Seymour Pierce didn’t receive an official bid on Tuesday.

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  • Paul

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #21

    Not really Big Dave. I just heard a long succession of bleeps!

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  • Paul

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #22

    I definitely think that alot of Mike Bassett was based on Kinnear!

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  • toon solja in london

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #23

    i reckon keegan should take JK as his number 2 if it does happen.

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  • TOONPIPES

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #24

    Geordie jayne alreet pet, I think the papers have been having a field day with the all aspects of the toon situation, and certain fans have to take some responsibility for that due to the hysterical reaction after kk walked on us . . Know what I mean? Do you agree?

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  • Shot Bru!

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #25

    Paul, your’e probably right, this is the best free publicity anyone can get at the moment.

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  • Big Dave

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #26

    Paul even Barry Fry is tame compared to JK it honestly made me cringe.

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  • TOONPIPES

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #27

    Have to say I’ve really taken to JK after his full bloodied attack on the journalists. .they are in part responsible for all the comotion surrounding our club so suppose I feel he said a few things I wud like to say . . To kick off with callin out a name and then calling him a ++++ is very very funny

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  • Big Dave

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #28

    Toonpipes and anyone else i just found this without the bleeps http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=i_NQqnc_ue0 This man takes no shit of the jurno’s

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  • Hadrian

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #29

    shot bru .

    by the way your talking you would think its the first time in history a purchase has been spread out over time .
    that doesnt mean they havent the funds for god’s sake , your also making assumptions the remainder of the money owed would be put onto the club .
    also the south african billionare linked didnt pull out , he denied he was ever interested at all .

    these guys mean business and have an extremely credible history working with large brands .

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  • TOONPIPES

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #30

    That’s belta Big Dave . . Some swipe that like, he was total radged . . Let’s get vinnie jones is and have a tangle with the lot . . Crazy gang part deux: tangle on the tyne . . Ha ha!

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  • Ally

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #31
  • Big Dave

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #32

    TOONPIPES I dont think he has left anything out lol im sure he has got it all of his chest now

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  • Shot Bru!

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #33

    Hadrian

    You make some excellent points, i am fairly sceptical when people come out and announce all their financial details in public. Surely if you were gonna spend this amount of money you wouldn’t reveal your hand to any other potential buyers until you have sealed the deal.

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  • little willie

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #34

    Hadrian // Oct 3, 2008 at 18:27

    shot bru .

    by the way your talking you would think its the first time in history a purchase has been spread out over time .
    that doesnt mean they havent the funds for god’s sake , your also making assumptions the remainder of the money owed would be put onto the club .
    also the south african billionare linked didnt pull out , he denied he was ever interested at all .

    these guys mean business and have an extremely credible history working with large brands .

    ——-

    What guys? Because the 2 powerful businessmen involved with all of the money have denied being involved in the first place! Why is Cleland lying about them being involved?

    Add to that they only want to pay £150 million up front, why do you think that is?

    I’ve also read an old article about their so called Brazilian soccer expert who went to Southampton under Redknapp, they got rid of him soon after because his gimmick was rubbish.

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  • Shot Bru!

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #35

    Hilarious Big Dave LOL.

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  • Big Dave

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #36

    ally good one check this one http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ6eJjK1qWc

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  • TOONPIPES

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #37

    Big dave, honestly he’s shot up in y estimations, its not as if all of his arguments were that strong either he jus wanted to have a pop at them!

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  • TOONPIPES

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #38

    I’m with you little willie not soo fussed about simon clelands brazilian football ting – too much of a gimick + not convinced about the content . . Still say we shud be on our knees begging MA to stay

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  • DanToon

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #39

    LADS LADS,

    I KNOW SIMON CLIFFORD, HE USED TO BE CHAIRMAN OF GARFORTH TOWN, MY DAD WAS CHAIRMAN OF SUTTON TOWN BOTH HERE IN THE NORTHERN COUNTIES FOOTBALL LEAGUE. SUTTON WON MOST GAMES BETWEEN EACHOTHER AND I CAN TELL YOU NOW CLIFFORD IS AN ABSOLUTE TOSSER!!!!!!

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  • Hadrian

    Oct 3, 2008 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #40

    little willie

    i must have missed the news of the other gentlemen linked pulling out , apart from imerman, who is it you say has denied being involved in the bid ?

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