The Sunday Mirror is reporting today that Mike Ashley’s desire to keep the Newcastle United Football Club will be tested by a summer bid from the United States. But when you read this story take it all with a large pinch of salt, because it sounds hokey at best.
Mike Ashley – obviously delighted because he will be losing £60M – great!
The Sunday Mirror says that despite Ashley’s decision to take the club off the market after failing to find a buyer willing to pay a reasonable £250M, an offer from across the Atlantic will be tabled for the club, but only when the Premier League status is guaranteed for this season.
The bid is said to be from a New York-based consortium with a background in sports management. That could be a lot of different companies, but the Mirror says they are being advised by a senior figure in English football. Well that sounds tame, we could have made a more exciting story up than that one.
The bid would be in the region of £180M.
So we have to stop this story right there, because who in their rigtht mind would accept a bid of £180M, when Mike has put around £240M into the club, and the club has zero debt?
This sounds pure nonsense, but that shouldn’t be a surprise we suppose.
But wait – we have a statement from the proverbial inside source:
“The Americans are still seriously interested but like other consortia were not willing to bid until they knew what division Newcastle will be playing in next season,”
“They believe Newcastle was taken off the market and Joe Kinnear appointed until the end of the season to encourage some stability.”
“Ashley’s price was way too high in September and became increasingly unrealistic as the financial crisis heightened. But the Americans believe they can still do business, albeit at a price tag south of £200M.”
“And that would drop significantly if Newcastle were relegated. The Americans see a buyers’ market as the year progresses.”
Mike Ashley does not have to sell the club, so the Mirror’s argument that £180M is a good price in the current economic climate holds no water, and is meaningless.
Let’s get this right, a bid that loses him £60M on the transaction in less than two years is tempting? That’s certainly not the way Mike made his money, and he will be a shrewd guy in the money markets, we can be sure of that.
Anybody would be daft to sell for such a loss, and we don’t think Mike is a fool, far from it with money, although this story really stretches the credibility of some journalism – since it’s simply complete nonsense. You are only in trouble during bad economic times when you have to sell, because then you will almost certainly be losing money with the markets so depressed.
And if by the slightest of chances the story is true then we have to wonder what the Americans have been smoking recently. 😀