Keith Harris Update On Newcastle Pending Sale

Keith Harris, Chairman of investment bank Seymour Pierce, has come out today and given an update on the pending sale of Newcastle United.

Keith Harris – update on pending Newcastle sale

Keith told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek show today:

“What I have said in the past is, if you put yourself in the position of a prospective owner of Newcastle or any other football club, you want to be there and have had a chance to work with the manager to decide on what should happen to the playing staff, both coming out and going in.”

“If that isn’t the case, you probably want to wait and see how the activity was in January, so you would defer it until February.”

“We are nudging now towards mid-November and unless it is going to happen in the next couple of weeks, maybe three weeks, it is probably likely to be deferred until after the close of the window, when also people have got some hopes that the financial chaos will have settled down a little.”

“It’s my gut feeling, but it is no more than gut. I have got nothing tangible to base it on other than that instinct.” “I don’t think there is anything negative in that, it is force of circumstances.”

Ashley engaged the service of Keith back in September, after a Newcastle fans’ revolt over manager Kevin Keegan’s resignation. It was the second time Kevin has resigned from the Tyneside club – and we still don’t exactly what the circumstances of the disagreement exactly were.

The circumstances over the last couple of days strongly suggest that  a sale is not imminent anytime soon, despite interest having been expressed by two American consortiums.

Harris continued:

“With Newcastle, the situation is relatively straightforward. The last month to six weeks has been, in the financial markets, the worst that anyone can ever remember, without any real sign, any tangible sign, of them getting better.”

“The people that have either approached us, or we have approached and have responded positively, are no less affected.” “Whether you are worth £20B, £10B, you were probably worth a great deal more six weeks ago.”

“People are being exceptionally cautious. The thing that has come in our favor is a strong performance of the US dollar, particularly against sterling, which means that it (buying an English club) has become much cheaper. We are hoping that comes to fruition.”

“Obviously, we also have a transfer window coming up, the only chance a club has to amend its playing staff materially during the course of the season, and that will be playing on potential new owners’ minds right now.”

It seems that February may be the best time for a sale, but that will depend on whether the world financial markets show any sign of improving, which it certainly hasn’t over the last 3-4 weeks, even though the US has piled over $350B of tax payer money into US Banks, to help bail them out from their excesses.

If this is truly the case and a sale is held up until after January, then Joe Kinnear should be appointed now, at least through January, so he can get down to work out which players to bring in during the transfer window.

We’d not be surprised if Joe has some good ideas, and even some good players already lined up to bring to the club.

But Mike Ashley has to support him – fully.

61 comments so far

  • Jonny

    Nov 23, 2008 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #1



    Nov 23, 2008 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #2

    what difference would it make,ashley wont back joe anyway this hole thing is horse manure if you ask me.

  • stuart

    Nov 23, 2008 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #3

    Well at least he hasn’t come out and said he doesn’t think the club will be sold.

    I’d take new owners in Feb now. Just as long as we can stay up this year.


    Nov 23, 2008 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #4

    i dont think mike ashley has backed us in the transfer market even when he was supposedly interested.
    now when he is allegedly trying to sell,why would he buck his trend and start spending?.

  • Zero Cool

    Nov 23, 2008 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #5

    Quick edit Ed. My retarded government gave away £350B, not dollars.

  • stuart

    Nov 23, 2008 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #6

    Just heard Harris’ interview on the radio and he does sound quite confident that the sale will go through in Feb.

    Also I think it’s worth thinking about the fact that the pound will be even weaker against the dollar in a couple of months time, so the prespective new owners will be waiting till it falls further.

    But there is a bad side to this. If Ashley’s confident of selling by Feb, he definitley won’t invest in new plyers in Jan. Why would he? It wouldn’t be his problem after Feb.

  • Bigchrisfgb

    Nov 23, 2008 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #7

    Looks like their is no interest at all in the club if you ask me, he didn’t mention anyone being close, being closer or be interested, he just said if anyone is going to buy the club, then it will probably happen after xmas, sorry but I think we have all figured that one out.

  • STL Toon

    Nov 23, 2008 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #8

    No, Zero, it was dollars…and they are queued up to give $350 billion more.

    If only Ashley would realize a bit more investment in the club would solidify the position for the new owners. If he is really serious about bringing in the best situation for the team – not necessarily the highest bid (as has been quoted in the press), he might realize that a bit of investment now could help lift the position of the team and the subsequent offer.

  • GeordieJayne

    Nov 23, 2008 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #10

    So it looks like it might be pushed back again and again and again.

    What a load of tosh, just keep us hanging on month after month after month.

  • Bill F (Original)

    Nov 23, 2008 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #11

    Seems to me he has said nothing. Other than the fact they are still looking for a buyer, or not.

  • GeordieJayne

    Nov 23, 2008 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #12

    So what is going to be different after the transfer window than before in the global market,……..

    MMMMMMMMM we will have a worse squad after Cashley has sold our best assets, and bought inferior players if possible.

    How the hell can we sell players to get players is our squad not thin enough.

    We are doomed no more no less doomed

  • canada willie

    Nov 23, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #13

    Ashley should be glad to get any price for Newcastle as I reckon he needs the money. Harris is out to lunch with his comments.

    The real reason he can not sell the club is that he is asking too much in today’s market. He should be realistic like everyone else if he really wants to sell

    As an example, Ashley’s shares in Sports Direct are now worth a tenth of what they were when he went public 2 years ago and are probably worth 130 million pounds. However the company has incurred huge debts and in addition he can not sell his shares until February 2010. If he starts to sell the company will start crashing further in price

    Newcastle is now his best asset and a good cash flow to help his gambling costs.

    No wonder he wants to keep the club but don’t look to him to put any money into the club in January. He is milking it for what it is worth

    We are stuck with the guy for the next 5 years

  • geordie jock

    Nov 23, 2008 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #14

    jonny is the 1st tosser

  • geordie jock

    Nov 23, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #15

    Ed sorry but too many blogs. You are just repeating yourself. Quality not quantity.

  • SA Geordie

    Nov 23, 2008 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #16

    Maybe I am being naive but Mike Ashley stands to lose a lot of money if we are relegated because the value of the club will plummit. The present financial turmoil has changed things so let’s get MA back on board, he has some good ideas, get behind JFK and let us see what happens. It cannot be much worse than the present day to day situation.

  • ObaMartins

    Nov 23, 2008 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #17

    If this is truly the case and a sale is held up until after January, then Joe Kinnear should be appointed now, at least through January, so he can get down to work out which players to bring in during the transfer window <<<Ed with what is he supposed to bring Players to the Club with ? a promise of free season tickets

  • KK FOREVER (Ross)

    Nov 23, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #18

    i like how the mackems are booing bellamy..and then he gives the ball to parker and they boo him…and then he gives the ball to bowyer and they boo him…..they’re just full of our cast offs!

  • sirjasontoon

    Nov 23, 2008 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #20


    I hate that crap..very HOM.

    Sell Ashley and get outa toon you fat greedy useless Twat.

  • beyethegreat

    Nov 23, 2008 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #21

    good to see the mackems back to thier usual self

  • KK FOREVER (Ross)

    Nov 23, 2008 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #22

    beye-how many chances has cisse missed? he’s had a few free headers from from like, 8-1o yards out and hasnt even hit the target.

  • k k forever

    Nov 23, 2008 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #23


  • wigaz

    Nov 23, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #24

    So sick of this Sh*T! sick of doom & Gloom surrounding NUFC! Mike ashley has ruined our club! if i had the chance i’d smack him in the Fu**in mouth!!!! Come Jan we’ll have no Owen No Zogs Possibly No Given & whoever else the Fat Twat wants to sell! I think after Jan if this happens we could go down. Then He’ll lose £100m off value of the club & some local guys can invest & Big Al can take us back to the bigtime with a team full of Geordies! Seems to be the future like it or lump it. Hope it dont happen but longer Fat Man stays the worse off we are!

  • beyethegreat

    Nov 23, 2008 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #25

    kk forever i would not no i just turned it on and seen they were gettin beat

    results wise it has been a good week for us

    drawing with chelsea

    bolton beating the smoggies

    sunderland are currentley loosing

  • Xisco Stu

    Nov 23, 2008 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #26

    With what JK was saying yesterday, at least one of the American consortia are interested and have placed an offer that has been rejected. That situation should be no more than trying to negotiate a good price for both parties, even if that meant leaving Ashley with part of the club that they can buy off him at a later date, ie if w avoid relegation. But then again Ashley is a stubborn little **** otherwise he’d have apologised, learnt the error of his ways and changed for the better long ago.

    If the Americans, or those with money based there, are concerned about the current climate the only thing they’ll be waiting for are sure signs of stabilisation, then they can take dvantage of the exchange rates.

    If they do not by the club, February could see interest from other parts of the world if the world economies are well into recovery by then.

    But that could be far too late by then. We could lose our brightest stars for peanuts making us a less attractive proposition.

    The sooner this all gets sorted, the better for all things Newcastle!

  • wigaz

    Nov 23, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #27

    On a Total unrelated subject who thinks we should try & Sign Ronaldo on a free? Apparantly he’s back to 100%. He may just give us that bit extra upfront. Wouldn’t mind Appiah either 2 good players not a penny spent.

  • ed_speed

    Nov 23, 2008 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #28

    Shearer (alan), is the only one who can sace us from this crusiade.


    P.s (who is an oscar dela hoya fan)

  • beyethegreat

    Nov 23, 2008 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #29

    ed speed

    im a hatton fan did you watch the fight last night

  • Leo

    Nov 23, 2008 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #30

    wheres the ‘tangible’ truth that there is any interest in buying newcastle, the only people saying so are keith harris and kinear, its all tosh i think

    i dont even think harris is trying to sell the club, just all fictional, some people may say oh but ashley and wise went to asia to meet some business man,

    he didnt meet him did he? he went for a drinking sesh

  • k k forever

    Nov 23, 2008 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #31


  • ed_speed

    Nov 23, 2008 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #32

    hi Beye (the great).

    I did end up staying up for the fight, and was very impressed with hatton, although the other fella wasn’t up to much ( i didn’t tthink)

    I think oscar should beat manny, setting up a wembley show down, in front of 100,00, between himself and hatton.


  • beyethegreat

    Nov 23, 2008 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #33

    ed speed

    yeah i agree that would be class if we could get de la hoya and hatton at wembley if so i would be trying my hardest to get tickets it would be best though if mayweather came out of retirement then we could have a hatton mayweather at wembley but hatton de la hoya is amazing also


    Nov 23, 2008 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #34

    all this is so predictable so ashley isn,t going to spend,suprise suprise.
    so joe will have to sell to strengthen by selling,this way ashley gets owen off the wage bill.

  • craig chisholm

    Nov 23, 2008 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #35

    this is a feed of shit by harris. he is just as full of it as ashley. it just does not take this long. how mnay months now – three? he is saying until feb now – thats nearly half a year to sell. WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP! there are no buyers and ashley is not planning on selling . he is going to string us along all the way to the end of the season and then not sell. why would a prospective buyer wait til after the jan window and we have been weakened to the max through ashleys selling sprees! why woould a company or individual want to wait for us to be up shit creek and doomed to relegation to make his move? none of it adds up. the other bit that adds up is that everything is bogus and a scam against us once proud geordies. i hate ashleys gut so much, if he was dying on the street i would walk on by. if he was drowning i would throw him a paving slab. he makes me puke with rage.

  • barry venison

    Nov 23, 2008 at 8:11 PM

    Comment #36

    worst news possible. i’m actually more worried now than when keegan left, back then we thought the club would be sold and the new manager backed in january. now we will have sell before any players are brought in, the squads small enough!! talk of zog, given, owen going. does ashley not realise he’ll get less money for a side with less assets. and god forbid a championship side.

  • Ageordiedoonsooth

    Nov 23, 2008 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #37

    I don’t want to say I told you so but I’ve been saying for months that we’re stuck with Ashley & co significant that the posioned dwarf was at the game yesterday. hard time ahead for the Toon best we can hope for is a couple of loan deals. Looks like Owen, NZogbia & Harper at least will be off in January


    Nov 23, 2008 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #38

    So a offer has been made but it was below Ashleys asking price-which i believe is around 280m. Mike take 250m-break even and bugger off.

  • Nobby'sDad

    Nov 23, 2008 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #39

    THE BEAT. // Nov 23, 2008 at 18:43…………….I agree that Owen will go and Ashley gets him off the wage bill – but any prospective owner will bid less because Owen has gone and if nothing happens in Jan in the window more people will stay away – so Ashley doesn’t really gain. However this is the way to force him to take less – always remember without the fans the club is nowt!


    Nov 23, 2008 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #40

    take your point on board nobby,s dad,i know what your saying.


You must log in to post a comment.