Rather sensational news is being reported tonight by the Sunday Times, and they say Mike Ashley is now ready to sell the Newcastle for £100M, and take a £150M bath since he bought the club almost two years ago.
Mike Ashley now ready to sell the club for £100M
We find this almost unbelievable – but we have to say it’s true – with Mike being quoted.
Ashley will appoint either Keith Harris, chairman of Seymour Pierce, or bankers at NM Rothschild this week with a mandate to make it a quick sale – but this seems like it’s a fire sale, and the players’ fire sale has yet to come.
In fact somebody still has to identify which players will be sold.
So we find this rather strange, but Mike also wants a quick sale– which will be necessary, because our first game in the Championship is in a short 2 months time.
The asking price is £34M less than Ashley paid for the club in June, 2007, and since then Mike has ploughed £110M into the Tyneside club.
Ashley told The Sunday Times:
“It has been catastrophic for everybody. I’ve lost my money and I’ve made terrible decisions. Now I want to sell it as soon as I can . . . advisers will be appointed shortly.”
We expect Ashley to find a buyer fairly quickly at that price, and if the new buyers give Alan some cash, the club could soon be back in the Premier League, and worth a lot more.
Freddy Shepherd has said he has investors in America and the Far East, but we really don’t want Freddy back running the club, so it’s a huge opportunity and a bargain for some big investor to step in quickly – and give Alan some money in the transfer market.
We suspect Mike was going to sell if the club were relegated, which is a surprise to us because of the £150M will lose, but this may be the best thing – but this sale has to move quickly,
Asked if he regretted his decision to buy the club two years ago, Ashley said:
“Of course I regret it. I never said I was an expert in football clubs. I was just a fan – although a very wealthy fan. But I’m not so wealthy now.”
“I put my money into it and I tried my best. But I accept my best was woefully short. I am genuinely sorry for everybody about what has happened.”
The news comes as talks to give Alan Shearer, the current care-taker manager, a full-time contract to rebuild Newcastle United were continuing this weekend, so this is one reason his appointment will be even further delayed.
Ashley also praised former interim manager Joe Kinnear, who took temporary charge of the club after Keegan quit last September, although Kevin says he was fired:
“I personally thought Joe put the club back on the right track. He took it from second bottom to 13th but things went against him,”
After Newcastle’s relegation from the Premier League last Sunday, the club faces a huge restructuring that is likely to lead to a clear-out of lots of the first-team playing squad, just to balance the books.
Some of that work has already been completed.
But this is both good news and bad news for the Newcastle club.
Good news because Ashley has realized he’s completely out of his depth with Newcastle and willing to lose 150M to get rid of the club.
Bad news because this will further delay the appointment of a new manager, and we don’t have a lot of time before pre -season starts – which is essentially 4 weeks on Monday.
We have no idea how long this sale will take, but the fact Mike is now asking one third of what he wanted last year shoudl bring in buyers, but exactly how long the sale will take we don’t know, but there will need to be due diligence done, by any potential buyer and that takes some time.
At £ 100M – we’ll have to check the piggy bank, because the club seems really cheap at that price and to use – it seems like a huge bargain for investors with some money to invest.
Keith Harris was in Newcastle last week, but denied it had anything to do with selling Newcastle, but that looks as if it was a ruse.
We even ridiculed the idea that Mike would sell the club for a £150M loss -but we out in right filed on this one.
Alan Shearer will not not be appointed until we know who the new owners are – and this could be just exactly what we don’t need right now – becasue preparations for next season will be even further delayed – unless Alan gets on with things – but he can hardly do that when he is not even employed by the club.
And we have to suspect that a consortium has already bid for the club £100M – and Ashley is willing to sell – but we have to hope this is the case, because otherwise it will take time, that we just haven’t got right noiw.
Maybe tomorrow, someone will come forward (Freddy Shepherd?) to say they have already bid for Newcastle United at £100M.
All of this could only happen at Newcastle – that’s for sure – and the soap opera continues, or so it would appear.
What’s that about getting some stability at the club? 🙁