Questions About Reports Newcastle Buyer In Due Diligence


The Daily Mail is reporting today that Mike Ashley could sell the club by the end of the month, and certainly by the end of the year.


But the paper offers no further details, and fail to even identify which of the three consortiums it is, so we have to take this news with a large pinch of salt.

The Daily Mail reports that one particular buyer has reached the stage of due diligence, which usually means a price has been agreed for the Newcastle United club. But there is precious little detail in the Mail’s report, and while we hope the story is true, we’d be surprised if it is.

We would only believe the story if Keith Harris of Investment Bank, Seymour Pierce, comes out and says he has a buyer who has entered the due diligence phase.

Earlier in the week, Joe Kinnear had leaked the news that the situation will be made clearer after Newcastle plays Chelsea on November 22.

Joe said:

“’Everyone at the club is sitting down after the Chelsea match. If the club has not been sold, then obviously we will find out why. Is it being sold or are they not accepting any offers?”

“Then we’ll have to start thinking about strengthening the team and carrying on in a normal fashion.”

And Kinnear believes the club should make every effort to keep Michael Owen, as he continued:

“I think it’s better that this club has him and players like him because it’s a big club and he’s a big player,”

“I don’t know about negotiations. I’m not privy to what any of the players are earning or what their contracts are or who they’ve last spoken to.”

“But Kevin Keegan said that if he was to have any long-term future at the club, Owen had to be part of the bedrock of that.”

“It would cost a lot of money to replace Michael. I haven’t given it any thought because I would have thought I would be gone by January, but personally I would say: “Keep him here.”

Indeed November 22nd could even be Joe’s last day in the Newcastle job, if Newcastle announce they indeed have a buyer.

Then we’d have to see which manager the new owners will want to manage the club, and if they appoint a new one, it will be the 3rd one this season, and the 5th manager since May of last year.

And we all thought the club was unstable under Freddy Shepherd. 🙁



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54 comments so far

  • Chris Scott

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #1

    I dont believe this at all! I think JFK is here to stay and was going to do so from the outset. It’s all a smokescreen to try and calm things down. COme on MA show us that you mean what you say. Get out of dodge!

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  • Sav

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #2

    The Daily mail should apply ‘Due Diligence’ before they print this stuff. A slow day on Fleet Street.

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  • Dondatta13

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #3

    Ashley Out !!!!!

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  • broon ale

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #4

    no surprise that there meeting in london after the chelsea game!!

    london pilloks drinking champaigne and talking shite in a swanky hotel somewhere! Joe Kinnear serving them drinks and giving them a foot massage!

    we are bottom of the league because they have messed up badly!! its time for them to leave! I hate Joe Kinnear and I hate wise and Ashley!

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  • BLACK + WHITE BLOOD

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #5

    ASHLEY WISE AND CO MUST GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Eaststander

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #6

    Harris wouldn’t be involved surely if it were all a smoke screen for that t1t to stay in control. Surely its time something went right and NUFC had some glory. New owner new manager new start. Ashley out!

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  • irish_al

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #7

    its not just the newcastle sale that’s taking time, look at everton, Kenwright has been looking to sell since the summer and that has bnot been resolve yet

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  • Nick C

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #8

    Ed, the only thing that might give this story credence is that it is coming from Bob Cass. He is a well respected North East journalist who (I think) co wrote Peter Beardsley’s autobiography.

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  • kris

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #9

    I agree Nick, bob cass is a well informed journalist and is often right on the ball. Well at least i hope he is this time.

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  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #10

    I reckon we’re sold .. for a few reasons

    1) Why is Kinnear et al being quiet about it
    2) 3 weeks is the amount of time due diligence takes.
    3) Keith Harris isn’t saying much, he would be talking about it if no due diligence or legalities were there..

    Mon the Toon.
    Ashly out .. Wise out .. New owners ..Villa win and Keegan back!!

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  • Toonmon

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #11

    Ever been able to understand what signing a secrecy act when approaching to buy the club might mean? One day people will be able to think for themselves….ONE DAY!!!

    If there were no interested parties do you not think they would be doing a sneak bit of advertising?

    Why would he announce that someone had reached due diligence? What if this deal was then to fall through making it even more of a mess?

    Seriously. Who allowed this report to be posted??

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  • simon376

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #12

    Really hope you are right sweendog. Does seem strange saying things would be said in 3 weeks. He could have said now, no sale at all, I’m staying, so why wait the 3 weeks. I’ve been through Due Diligence once before while working in an accounts department (nightmare for the staff) and yes, can take anything from 3 to 6 weeks. Lets hope it is the case that it’s been going on a while or starting and ready to be sorted by the 22nd.

    Keith Harris has been quiet, so maybe he has done what he needs to do and will speak when everything has been sorted.

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  • Kevin Nichol

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #13

    Broon ale….

    I agree with you in som much that ashley and wise need to GO NOW…Or less politrly spaking F@CK OFF!!!

    But your making yourself sound like a bit of an arse m8 by saying you hate Kinnear to!

    What has he done wrong so far?

    1. Got us points on the board
    2. Took the job when no-one else would
    3. communicated to the people who count -the fans

    Without him where would we be now??? alot worse of points wise than we are now so give a little credit where credit is due…

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  • broon ale

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #14

    sweendog! since when is kinnear being quiet? He never shuts up!

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  • Chris Scott

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #15

    If due diligence is taking place then they need to get a move on.. New manager, new players, new owners! Deserately need something to change or lets face it lads we will be going to Doncaster and Coventry next season.

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  • broon ale

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #16

    ken Nic. he is a yes man! he is consistently inconsistent when it comes to his interviews!

    he has tripped himself up a few times now!

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  • Spitfire

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #17

    Forgive me if this is naive : If due diligence is going through at the moment wouldn’t it mean that there is a something like a team of auditors actually in St James Park looking at books and interviewing staff ( I know you don’t necessarily have to attend to see the books but I would have thought you would need to interview key staff) If that was the case surely something would have leaked out from someone at SJP – even if it were from a cleaner or security man. You know “a mate of mine who works at SJP says…” . But nothing!!! absolutely nothing!!!!. Makes me think nowt is happening. I hope I am wrong

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  • lesh

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #18

    November 22 seems to chime nicely with an end to Due Diligence…. fringers crossed on the sale.

    Now then, if I were intersted in buying, I’d want to buy into a successful club or at least one that’s showing the signs of surviving. I’d also want to know that the fans were behind the playing team, 100%.

    Where’s this leading?

    Well, I do get the impression that the anti Ashley, Wise et al fraternity are becoming worryingly vociferous again? Does it not occur to that faction that if a sale’s on, then they may scupper it??

    To the whingeing and negative lads and lasses that post on here, wake up and show the wisdom you’re renowned for!!

    For goodness sake wake up will you – if a sale’s so far down the road, don’t build barriers to wreck it!!!

    Do what you’re best at and get behind the team tonight – they’ll need all the support they can get.

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  • craig chisholm

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #19

    this is all bull shit from JK. the man is a puppet for ashley and wise and his constant drivel is pathetic. he contradicts himself constantly. sweendog………..JK being quiet……….sorry man but are you nuts, the tosser never shuts up… his last comments being that kk was in the wrong, ashley is fantastic blah blah and that ashley may well now keep the club.
    fcuk off JK
    fcuk off ashley
    fcuk off wise
    fcuk off liambias.

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  • craig chisholm

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #20

    lesh, you say what you want, dont bother telling me what to say. its your right as it is mine to say as i please. i wont be a a meek sheep (not saying you are) and ‘just get on with it’ etc etc. ashley is rotten to the core and i do not trust him. if he thinks that he can get away with keeping us then he will. he has obviously already instructed jk to sound out the water with the last round of gob shite comments he came out with. sorry man, we both support newcastle (as it once was) but we will go about it in different ways.

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  • moony0707

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #21

    i also belive we are not going to be sold, at least not anytime soon, dont know why, just something doesnt seem right, ok so harris wouldnt be employed if it wasnt being sold, im not saying it wont or that hes not trying, i just dont think its gonna happen anytime soon, i also think jfk was brought in with the sole purpose of steadying the ship and pacifying the supporters and he was told he could be here for a while and that wise had a hell of a lot to do with him coming.
    i think the best we can all do is support the team as we have done the past few games and let the behind the scenes crap sort itself out, hopefully that in the way of a sale soon and a long term manager in place be it jfk or someone else but at least give him a bit longer than 6 months to turn this disaster into something worth shouting about

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  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #22

    craig chisholm etc .. Kinnear being quiet ..
    has he said he is getting a new contract, or likewise anything specific about the sale of the club .. I haven’t heard him say anything even though he does rant about everything else

    Now I hate ashley as much as any supporter, but you have to admit something is happening on the 22nd and the club being taken off the market doesn’t look to me a viable option for fat ashley..

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  • Mark-o

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #23

    i hope it gets sorted soon like.

    Here!! how about Phil Brown as next manager??

    Done wonders at hull, might do well with a big budget!!!

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  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #24

    craig chisholm .. I also don’t agree with the keegan comments .. kinnear has went down in my regard about that.. but at the end of the day if he steadies us and guides us away from relegation … AND we are bought over and wise etc are sacked .. I’ll thank him for sorting us out..

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  • Mark-o

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #25

    @Craig chisholm.

    Bell-end!

    Give the lad a break, he’s trying his best in a bad situation, if we had taken maximum points from all his games would you be slagging him off?

    Probably not, you’ll be saying he’s king!!!

    We all know he’s not the greatest manager out there, or he’d have been with a club already, but he’s took a job on a rolling contract that most managers wouldnt do and been nowt but honest about the teams performances. He’s got nowt to do with whats happening behind the scenes and rightly so, its not up to him to keep the fans up to date with whats going on. Thats Ashley or llambias’s job, which they aint doing. So any animocity should be directed at them rather than a honest and bloody nice guy in a difficult position!!

    Wake up you morons!!!

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  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #26

    Mark-o .. if we’re bought over its gotta be keegan or another good attack minded manager .. too risky for phil brown IMO

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  • Tom1664

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #27

    Phil Brown’s a sunderland supporter. No, really.

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  • craig chisholm

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #28

    mark-o,

    back off with the bell end crap. you gotta stop contradicting yourslef, you say its not his job to tell us what is going on etc at the club etc and that its ashleys job etc. you are right and that is my point. this weekend he has just been saying ashley might now take us off the market and that kk was in the wrong etc etc. if jk did as you say, in that he keeps his gob shut and gets on with it then thats all well and good. he doesnt though, he talks constant spew, a bit too much for a man on a rolling contract esp when you think that they would not let kk say a word ever and it was written into his contract to keep out of the press etc. now its fine for jk to say whatever he wants? yeah right, he is a mouth piece for ashley, nothing more. he came in, said the right words to calm the troops in that he distanced himself from wise and ashley. then he said we were nearly sold etc, now its all calmed down he has moved on to saying he wants to stay, ashley might keep us and that kk was in the wrong etc. it stinks. think what you want but dont bother telling me to think the same. this is a blog site and its for all thought trains, the pathetic and weak minded and also the stronger views. it takes all types.

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  • simon376

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #29

    Spitfire you are right with what you are saying there, but the accounts or at least relvant bits could have been taking away to Keith Harris’ office in London, all due diligence could be taken place there.

    Just hope I’m right with thinking that way and it isn’t just wishful thinking.

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  • lesh

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #30

    re craig chisholm // Nov 3, 2008 at 12:50 (20).

    Of course everyone has a right (within the realms of decency of cours) to say as they will on this site and in no way am I advocating otherwise!

    What I’m suggesting is that a potential buyer sees an unpopoular seller, then the buyer wwill dig in for a lower purchase price. Ashley being Ashley will similarly harden his resolve to hold his asking price – the result? No change and we’re still left with a club in a mess and going down the pan!

    I’m as sceptical as anyone about Joe’s leaks and speculation and I did think he was very naughty in commenting about the circumstances surrounding KK’s departure.

    But let’s not forget who’s paying his wages and that he’s keen not to get a reputation as trouble – he’s looking for a job!

    Think about it, do we want Ashley to get his asking price or at least a deal he’s happy with, or not?

    I know what he’d like to see (Ashley deeply hurt my eye!) and I know what I’d like to see – a sustained period of stablity and owners that can support the delivery of what most fans want.

    Support the players on the pitch and we’ll get there, eventually.

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  • ObaFan2

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #31

    Ashley has done more harm to this squad than any supporter could.

    If people believe they have been ripped off by this owner when they signed up to 3 years season tickets then I believe it is their right to vent their anger and frustrations.

    Our first team has had approximately £8 million spent on it in 3 transfer windows, this for a EPL team wanting a European spot is certainly not near enough and barely enough to secure EPL status.

    My question to this owner…… where has all the money gone? season tickets, tv money, gate money etc. our wage bill has been reduced (drastically) so we must be running at a much better figure than 72% now!I’d say 55-60% now and the target is what, 45%?

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  • Spyro

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #32

    Stop talking about KK, the man is a pathetic, WEAK, cowardly tosser! That is what the majority thinks of him, NOBODY rates him outside of Newcastle. I have spoken to Bolton fans, Man U fans, Liverpool fans, Villa fans, Spurs fans, Arsenal fans, Chelsea fans, Pompy fans, Blacburn fans…NONE OF THEM RATE KK! Why are some Newcastle fans so deluded?! He was/is wank as a manager! I am glad he is gone, pathetic wimp!

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  • CLINT FLICK

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #33

    Asolute subjective, negative, self-opinionated, conjecture. Spare us your worst fears, they’re really starting to grind.

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  • AndyT

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #34

    Phil Brown is one of the great unwashed – I’d rather have Dennis Wise take on the job!!!

    If someone is carrying out due dilligence, then you will know it was true when they buy the club, or in about 12months when some loudmouth can spout off to the press without too much fear of having their entire career ruined for breaching confidentiality agreements.

    I hope Keegan is not brought back. We might not have done the business we all wanted during the transfer window. He might not have had the control he wanted, but the timing and manner of his departure killed the composition, confidence and heart of the players. The window was closed. He had months to bring things to the fore in the media and in the board room and to put the presure on, without damaging what was going on on the pitch. Its basically the same squad that he grabbed a point at Man U with. Its the same squad that beat Bolton. It went into free-fall when its confidence was destroyed – the very confidence he had gradually got back into place through the tail end of last season. He might not have known quite how dramatic the effects would be ion the club, but I suspect he had a fair idea, but he knew as well as anyone, the effect that your manager walking out on the club has on the players! So while Ashley and especially Llambias are deserving of all of the blame for creating the situation that Keegan blew up at – For me, the problems on the pitch are of Keegans making as well.

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  • CLINT FLICK

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #35

    Yea, don’t come back KK, you pussy.

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  • CLINT FLICK

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #36

    Grow some F**king balls & support the toon & stick all your boardroom musings where the sun don’t shine.

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  • Aik Mashley

    Nov 3, 2008 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #37

    out…mafia out

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  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #38

    Keegan and Robson .. best managers we’ve had in 39 years .. anybody know any better ones ??

    But more importantly
    Ashley out
    Wise Out

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  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #39

    Sypro thats a question for you specifically

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  • AndyT

    Nov 3, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #40

    OBAFAN2 – I hate to burst your bubble, but while the wages have been going down at Newcastle in the last 2 years – the revenues have been going down more – Spurs had a revenue over £100 Million last year while ours was only £80 Million and their stadium is tiny compared to ours. Season ticket price wise, we are pretty much bang in the middle of the table and even then, the multi year offer barely taken up. Stadium capacity and percentage of seats sold is all that us in there with the clubs vieing for the european spots.
    Sponsorship wise, there is no money coming in. FFS took the lot from Northern Rock up front and spent it. That deal is until the end of the 2009/10 season. The only bright spot out of the nationalisation might be that we can wriggle out of that contract and find a new sponsor so get some extra cash!
    Competition wise we haven’t been in Europe for 2 years and haven’t done much in the domestic cups either. Last year 2 home cup matches with a combined attendance under 70,000, same the year before. That will have done well tobring in a total of 5 Million accross 2 years – for full match day and TV revenues combined.
    This year with the boycott in place, no european competition, 20,000 at the spurs cup match, unless we go on a spectacular FA cup run, then revenues will be down again.

    Its funny – people assume that the spending money comes out of Ashleys pocket and the revenue goes into Ashleys pocket, its such a misjudgement. Its also one of the reasons I worry about the current boycot. It would be much more effective to Boycott Sports World while spending massively with the club. Why – well sports world is Ashleys bread and butter. He earns money from that and its a public company – so news against it is news that has to be released in a factual and controlled manner on the stock exchange it also puts presure on Ashley to sell to try and get beyond the situation. Newcastle United is our club. depriving it of income now makes it harder to sell as it is less attractive – it simply shows a continuously declining set of revenues in what should be an increasing market. It does send out a clear message to potential owners and I dont think its an attractive one.

    £8 million over three years might be a poor investment from a premiership club looking to break back into Europe, but its actually about 30 Million more than we should have been able to afford.

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