FT.com, the web arm of the Financial Times, is reporting that two US-based investors are the two investors left in the race to buy Newcastle United Football Club.
And FT.com says that both investors are said to already be fully involved in sports management. They say this information comes from people close to the situation.
Seymour Pierce, who are the investment bank selling the club for owner Mike Ashley, confirmed yesterday the original field of seven potential bidders was now down to just two serious bidders.
It also appears that Mike Ashley, although officially requesting around £280M for the club, would take £250M, which would cover his investment in our famous football club.
FT.com is also reporting that Insiders say Mike Ashley may not necessarily take the highest offer available, but agree a sale to those investors who have the better financial credentials, to invest fully in the club.
We’ll believe that when we see it.
This report is coming form Roger Blitz, the FT.com Leisure Industries Correspondent, who has some credibility in this industry. And of course US investors will have been particularly favored by the strength of the US dollar in recent weeks, where the current exchange rate today is $1.62/ Pound Sterling. That’s a strengthening of nearly 20% since it was near $2/Pound Sterling only a few weeks back.
As we’ve said before, we wonder if one of the investors could possibly be Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft with Bill Gates, and now owner of the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks in the US.
Interest from the USA in the Premier League from US sports franchise owners has seen the Glazer family buy up Manchester United; Tom Hicks and George Gillett take control of Liverpool; Randy Lerner take over Aston Villa, and finally Stan Kroenke acquire a sizable stake in Arsenal and a seat on its board.
The best owners of them all as far as we are concerned, is Randy Lerner, who also owns the Cleveland Browns, the American Football team, and sits quietly in the background, attends most games, and gives manager Martin O’Neil his full support.
It’s interesting that Martin O’Neil has done a terrific job in just a couple of seasons. The Glazer family has also done a more than decent job at the Red Devils.
The worst owners are Hicks and Gillett, who have done very poorly and shown so little respect and even understanding for the famous Liverpool Football club, with their personal selfish infighting for control of the club. They’ve shown no class whatsoever.
So if this report is true, let’s hope we’ll get owners who’ll support the club, and have the very best interests of Newcastle United at heart, while letting football people run the club.
Note: Late news this afternoon that Aston Villa star Gabriel Agbonlahor, as we expected, has decided against lodging an official complaint over alleged racial remarks by Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton, during Monday night’s televised match at St James’ Park. A good decision by Gabby.