South African Consortium Losing Credibility


Jonathan Cleland spoke out last week concerning speculation he was putting together a consortium of South African businessmen, to mount a serious bid to buy Newcastle United Football Club.

But since then quite a number of prominent and rich South Africans, including Brian Joffe, Johann Rupert and Vivian Imerman, who were linked with the deal, have denied any involvement with Cleland.

Indeed Johann Rupert was annoyed that Cleland, whom he has never even met, was using his name at all.

Cleland told the Evening Chronicle:

“The vision, the plan and the strategy for the club all remain unchanged.” “The challenge now is coming up with the money after some of our preferred backers indicated they were no longer interested.”

“But I think finding the money is the easiest part and I am still confident we will be able to get some great people on board and make the deal happen.”

Cleland’s comments are a little amazing, and we can tell him that finding the money will not be easy – not with the global credit crisis we have, where credit is almost impossible to get.

And there is debate about whether there is a deadline of when bids need to be in to buy Newcastle, since Joe Kinnear says Mike Ashley told him there is, and yet Keith Harris, who is handling the sale for Mike Ashley, says there isn’t and never has been.

Cleland continued:

“Nobody has told me about any deadline. What I understand is that (club owner) Mike Ashley is a serious player and will listen to all approaches whenever they come in, provided the club hasn’t already been sold, of course.”

“I am not an athlete running towards the finishing tape, we have a serious plan and vision and three of the core individuals still remain in the consortium.”

When you mount a bid for a football club, the strategy and things like that are not the first things you look at – that is always how you are going to get the money, especially in these difficult times for credit. So we think these words by Cleland have lost him credibility.

We have a great strategy for the club, and know exactly who the manager should be, and how the youth policy should operate and how the club should be structured – we have it all – except around £350M.     😀
Comments welcome.



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50 comments so far

  • hitman

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #1

    cleland is a dreamer,he hasnt got no backers.

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  • lesh

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #2

    Me too, I’m a bit short of £350m! Ho hum

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  • Ageordiedoonsooth

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #3

    I think there will be a few of these so called offers which are scams

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  • Ganiyu

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #4

    I want to see joes performance from now till january.i want the takeover to be completed by december.changing of managers harms the morale of the playing staff.i have a feeling joe would get something out of nothing

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  • Nobby'sDad

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #5

    This morning on Talk Sport Alan Brazil spoke with an Dubai business paper editor. He stated that their region was not affected by the credit crunch and said Sheiks meet on nights out and one has a premiership club so the others want one as well. Newcastle is the preferred club of those interested – big fan base and finished stadium. The guy said ‘Newcastle could be sold in 2 hrs (he said he knew people who would buy) but they will simply NOT line Ashleys pockets. If Ashley asks for a little more than he has shelved out a deal could be done in days…….but no one is going to give him £300 million when he has only paid out about £230.

    The problem is going to be that if we aren’t sold by the New Year Ashley won’t invest and we’ll struggle. Lets hope he see sense and sells for a more reasonable figure.

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  • Monty

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #6

    It wouldn’t suprise me if some NUFC loving “nutcase” tried to assassinate Mike Ashley.

    Just saying like!

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  • Toon Graeme

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #7

    Why would you stand up infront of the media and make up a load of twosh – it only makes you look stupid and destroys and credibility for now and the furture. There must be some truth in it somewhere.

    We have to just sit back lads and see what happens and be stuck with the immediate thought that we are stuck with MA or MA is stuck with us.

    One thing is for sure – unless someone buys us from their pocket there may be a long wait as the Global credit situation is gonna be a problem for our sale.

    One thing is for sure MA wont spend a penny on new signings. However I did read that the club has a £50million overdraft so surely that could be used. The recruitment team found us some good ones in Jonas and Colo so Im sure they got someone lined up – just as before – no one in the spotlight.

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  • Ausgeordie

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #8

    Dont like the idea of an Oil sheik. what happens in 20 years when the oil runs out and the debts are massive?

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  • Dan13

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #9

    A want sheikhs.

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  • Xiscore

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #10

    Guthrie _Modric
    Bassong _Corluka
    Spidey _Bently
    xisco _Goevani
    Compare and contrast and then tell me who is laughing now so far i think we are blinded by the whole KK issue that we cant notice the good of Ashley’s set up .Honestly i would love to emulate Arsenal in terms of recruitment and youth policy.Ashely should get partners to join him and in that case we will get a win win situation

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  • James!!!

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #11

    i want sheik mohammed, great guy he will give us a lot of cash

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  • Tom

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #12

    Think we could manage to stay in the hands of one owner for 20 years!? Lol.

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  • Dan13

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #13

    Not a chance.
    A also want Joe Kinnear for a while too

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  • James!!!

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #14

    well sed i reckon 8 years they will spend sum cash win try nd win everything then move on to another project, this is jus a craze at the minute for billionairs to buy clubs it will change soon

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  • Ganiyu

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #15

    Ashley has 20yrs extra to spend in Nufc.

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  • James!!!

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #16

    av actually jus read the statement, i think thats sick coz if he cant even find any money to buy the club where is he goin to get the money to buy people nd pay wages, he will jus put us in more debt by loanin all the time

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  • Dan13

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #17

    I agree with James!!!
    This smells fishy, like scott hammonds socks

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  • Lee16

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #18

    We need strenght in our ownership, e.g more owners alongside ashley, joe kinnear, should only be short term, he has been out the game a while he won’t know players to bring in. we need someone who has recently left a club, i dont know who, let ashley decide, at the end of the day the fans basically don’t at all have a say in what he does.!

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  • James!!!

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #19

    well i reckon its jus a shambles , utter bollocks i reckon they’re jus makin us the laughin stock a mean at the end of day who wud be proud of sayin that they have south african owners from a ‘third world’ continent

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  • Dan13

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #20

    South Africa are hardly a third world country

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  • Dubai Toon

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #21

    You want Sheikh Mohammed? e-mail him, he has his own website… http://www.sheikhmohammed.co.ae and it has a contact page under community tab in top right corner…

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  • Dan13

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #22

    A meant continent

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  • Dan13

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #23

    me and james got it on wooo wwweee

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  • James!!!

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #24

    i didnt say country, but africa is widely regarded as bein a third world continent, and if anything they shud spend there cash on there conutries before thinkin about heavy investments in football

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  • Daniel

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #25

    Don’t bother emailing him if your a moron either. It’s probably pointless anyway, like he hasn’t heard nufc is up for sale…

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  • James!!!

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #26

    and as if he is goin to listen to u anyways, sheik will not personally read these emails u fool

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  • Ganiyu

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #27

    Media lies alot so who do i believe

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  • James!!!

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #28

    dunno y do u believe

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  • Nick

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #29

    Xiscore – couldn’t have put it better. Best signings we’ve made in years. I see KK’s point to a degree, just wish it hadn’t come to this, when it’s the club rather than the individual who suffers from the fall-out.

    I think we and Ashley ( greed) will regret forever turning down the Abu Dhabi group before they went to citeh.

    I don’t want owners like the Glazers and Gillet where we mortgaged to the hilt in debt. Abu Dhabi group would have had the capital outright.

    Failing having them, I wouldn’t be too upset if Ashley hung around. I think we’ve just gone over the top and under Ashley we’re now debt free for the first tim in years and got some great youngsters coming in.

    I know some people want Jk to fail to heep more pressure on Ashley. How sad is that !!!

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  • Ganiyu

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #30

    Newcastle is Newcastle and man city is man city.its all about managing what you have.man city spending galore is just 4 a while.

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  • Ericles

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #31

    The truth is if Ashley had not recruited Wise, Lame-arse, Jimenez etc, and given KK full managerial control we would not be in this mess.
    Even Fat Sam said Ashley only wanted us short-term for a profit. At least JK appears to be nobody’s fool and may achieve more than he is being given credit for. A miracle (not going to happen) is needed. A north east consortium with Geordie money is an “if only” option. Whoever comes in must reinstate KK and keep JK as a sort of head waiter to do one to ones with certain players, and double up as press officer.

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  • Sav

    Oct 8, 2008 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #32

    Its a buyer’s market. They’ll wait and see fatboy sweat a little. He’s got TV money and ticket sales so he’s still doing alright if he recoups what he put in.

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  • Sav

    Oct 8, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #33

    JFK will do alright for a short spell of games but will lose credibility when january comes and the best players make it clear they won’t be on the Toon merry-go-round next year. And I wouldn’t blame them. it won’t be Joe’s fault but unless contracts are sorted and signings made to see this season out, we could be in worse trouble.

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  • Ganiyu

    Oct 8, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #34

    Did mike ashley really play football manager 08 before buying Newcastle

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  • Ageordiedoonsooth

    Oct 8, 2008 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #35

    Great cooment of NUFC.com website about potential buyers: You may have noticed that various press claims have been made both locally and nationally about figures who may or may not be involved in bids to buy Newcastle United.

    “You may also have noticed that no mention of these people has been made on this site. Quite simply it is our understanding that any serious bidders have signed non- disclosure agreements in return for access to the club’s financial details.

    Therefore anyone who makes public their intentions is at best engaged on a fishing expedition to try and flush out potential new investors to join them – or at worst, using the current situation at NUFC to get themselves noticed.”

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  • irish_al

    Oct 8, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #36

    Ganiyu-

    Are you looking forward to the new football manager, released on 14th of november over here, think i’m going to pre-order it later this month

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  • Dan13

    Oct 8, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #37

    I am!
    I’ll be atlico madrid and rule la liga with kun aguero

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  • James!!!

    Oct 8, 2008 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #38

    ffs hes not even tht fat u freek, y dont u try runnin a football club wif fans always on ur back coz i bet u wudnt last long

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  • Nobby'sDad

    Oct 8, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #39

    Ageordiedoonsooth………..it’s very true what has been written. It’s similar to when Michael Knighton was going to buy Man Utd….all talk, nothing to back it up – but he was believed to the point that, as I recall, he was introduced before one match as the soon to be new owner ….the only problem was he didn’t have the cash.

    The Nigerians and the South Africans are exactly the same. I’m sure when we are bought it will be by someone who has never been mentioned. Most super rich people do their business out of the public eye and discretely (please let it be SO!!)

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  • irish_al

    Oct 8, 2008 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #40

    Dan 13-

    I played against one of my housemates last year, he is a liverpool fan and chose them, i wanted an equal contest so chose arsenal (i know it doesnt sound even but media predictions had liverpool 3rd and arsenal 4th)

    Bought aguerro and one the league in the second year, in hindsight i wish i chose newcastle as i think i would of still outdone him

    Have you heard of FM live, i’ve registered for it also, starts end of this month, signed up for 3 months to give it a try

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