Mike Ashley Needs A Plan B On Selling Newcastle


There are some concerns now being addressed that Newcastle need a buyer quickly as time is already running out – since the club has so much to accomplish over the summer.

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Mike Ashley – cannot stop things moving forward until Newcastle sold

Professor of accounting at Newcastle Business School, Richard Slack, has been talking to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today and says a summer of non-action and uncertainty can be damaging for the club:

“There are two key things for a club in this period.”  “The first is season ticket sales. The club do have people on three-year deals, but that is a limited number.”

“In terms of their relegation it becomes very problematic. The massive uncertainty that surrounds the ownership, and particularly the manager, is going to affect the sales, and this is even more important because of the reduction in television money the club is facing.”

“The other thing is the management of the playing squad. Normally a manager would be using the summer months to shape his squad for the following season.”

“With the club having no-one in place it is very difficult to make decisions on players they want to leave and those that the club may want to sign.”

Football analyst Vinay Bedi at stockbroker Brewin Dolphin in Newcastle, has said asoem deal can indeed be done quickly:

“I have known some takeovers take less than 24 hours.”  “But you feel that no-one will be buying the club without carrying out due diligence, and that takes two or three weeks,”

Both analysts agreed that the short timescale put tremendous pressure on Ashley to get a deal done, but Mike has already said he’s willing to sell Newcastle in a fire- sale – so he already knows that – and presumably is trying to sell quickly

But Mr Bedi added that if there was some trust between the two parties, progress could be made while the deal and due diligence was going through.

“It all comes down to relations between the two parties.” “If he trusts them Ashley could let them take over the running of the club before the deal is complete, but he is relying on the deal being done.”

There has to be some Plan B by Mike Ashley – before it becomes too late – and we’ll probably get another interim manager in again – how many of those have we had last season?

But we cannot allow the stupidity that went on last season continue and impinge on our preparations for next season, and that has to be a huge concern with things right now.

It would be good if Mike got Alan and his team in, to get some real work done before the start of next season, while Mike continues to work on the financials of the club and continues to try to sell it.

But stopping everything moving forward at the club, at this critical period, until the club is sold, doesn’t seem very bright to us.

Comments welcome.



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17 comments so far

  • cooldj

    Jun 4, 2009 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #1

    1st 🙂

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  • Macas35

    Jun 4, 2009 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #2

    An interim manager? To buy players that the next manager will not want?? I don’t think so. Ashley has made some horrendous mistakes at Newcastle but give him his due he is at least trying to put a permanent structure in place before he goes.

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  • Rodzilla

    Jun 4, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #3

    3rd!!!:)

    ….Macas, he tried putting a “permanent structure in place” first, before he dragged us down into the Championship through poor squad investment and transfer decisions. The man’s timing is worse than that of an underwater sundial.

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  • Mag 48

    Jun 4, 2009 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #4

    I think time has already run out.We are sinking we have no captain most of the crew are usless and are ready to jump ship The few players of any note are not been given any hope or direction The owner makes mistake after mistake and his timing is way off.The fight to aviod another relegation starts now.Otherwise the very good youngsters we have will start to leave.Not a very rosey future .

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  • Ericles

    Jun 4, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #5

    If Ashley had a plan for the entire alphabet he would not know what he is doing. He must try and get a deal asap for NUFC including goodwill. That goodwill being that Shearer is the encumbent manager, with his staff and his players, and he is in charge of ALL football matters.

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  • Whumpie

    Jun 4, 2009 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #6

    Ashley’s hands are tied until Barclays extract their digit and approve or deny the continuation of the working capital facility.

    In the mean time – and, for that matter, if Barclays don’t play ball – all I can think of is Ashley putting his Sports Direct shares up as security against a loan.

    Not good, but it’s all I can think of. If he doesn’t have the cash, what else can he do?

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  • THE MAGPIE

    Jun 4, 2009 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #7

    If Mike Ashley had 939m in cash from the sale of Sports Direct and spent 250m on NUFC where the hell has the rest gone. Thats 689m in cash are we really to believe that Barclays are in control of the club over a 20m overdraft facility.

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  • Whumpie

    Jun 4, 2009 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #8

    Magpie – good question, and I don’t know the answer. But given that we do know (well, sort of – from the press) about the £3o0m spread bet, and the £250-£300m he spent on (buying, bailing out and running) NUFC, I wouldn’t be surprised if the rest just went on parties and yachts.

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  • ian

    Jun 4, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #9

    He bought back more sports direct shares while they were cheap.

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  • Whumpie

    Jun 4, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #10

    Bottom line is: he’s got no cash. He’s sold up what he can, and no doubt he’s liquidating assets where he can.

    The best thing I can see is that it looks like he’s selling NUFC with little or no debt, taking an unimaginably huge hit writing off what he’s lent to the club.

    Looking at those premiership debt figures reported today, if we do find a buyer soon enough (i.e. next two weeks or so) we could be in far better shape than many premiership clubs (‘them up there’), some of whom have to be right on the edge of bankruptcy if the figures are true.

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  • Waldo P. Barnstormer

    Jun 4, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #11

    Can only see lost of trouble and anguish for the near future. Think we will have to adapt to Championship life for a few seasons. As was stated earlier the timing is terrible but when would it not be. Ashley is lost the club has no direction the players aint got a scooby and I personnally filled with dispair. I think this season is one of securing our place in the CCC and building for a promotion assault next year.

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  • Sav

    Jun 4, 2009 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #12

    I think we can take it that Ashley’s asking little money for the club means it should be an obvious bargain to the next owner, but Ashley himself wants out now. Can’t really argue with that. ‘Diligence’ should surely take less time when the vendor is dangling a bargain.
    But expecting Ashley to become involved in new contracts and deals with the banks is unrealistic. Its a bargain. There it is. Take it or leave it.

    ‘Low price for quick sale, owner leaving the region’ as they say in the Classifieds.

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  • Alex

    Jun 4, 2009 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #13

    Whumpie
    If those premiership debt figures are true and we have a new wealthy owner before the season starts , then there could be some very good players on the way . If a lot of clubs are nearing bankruptcy they will have to offload big time .

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  • Kelvin Koogan

    Jun 4, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #14

    Fat boy loosing his millions is definately the silver lining in the latest saga of the Toon.

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  • chuck

    Jun 4, 2009 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #15

    Are you serious, it`s lack of caution that got us into this mess, if anything caution should be the key element.
    Look I neither care about Ashley nor do I take any pleasure in the fact has taken a bath financially.
    I only care about the future of a club I have supported longer than I care to mention.
    With a stadium like St. Jamse`s and a massive fan base, its only a matter of time before the club is back in the PL, not saying we are automatic to go back up next season, but the club will return to top level football soon enough.
    I find it remarkable that buyers are not beating the doors down.
    Yes I realize the earnings in the Championship are meager compared to the PL, but they are meager for all.
    I also realize we are in a worldwide recession
    and money is tight, however with a knockdown price being asked, this could be an enormous opportunity to buy a club with tremendous potential.
    There`s no doubt, this club run in a professional manner manner, could easily be among the top six clubs in the country, which in turn could generate a steady profit each season .
    Well, hopefully some one or some group will see the potential and we will finally end this nightmare that has been the Ashley era, as obviously he has neither the cash or the desire to continue and the longer it takes the more difficult things become.

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  • toonluvva

    Jun 5, 2009 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #16

    I just hope that there are not too many people out there hoping for some rich arabian oil magnate to take over the toon. That IMHO would be the second worse thing that could happen. The worst is having FFS etc back in charge.
    If we do get someone who wants to flash their cash get ready for unwanted highly paid, but unproductive players being forced on whoever takes on the managers job ( MCFC anyone?) The papers will be full of the usual rubbish about the managers job being untenable etc etc.
    Please God, I hope the next owner will just appoint a manager who is charge of purchasing players and team selection, and the owner will try to support him with as much cash as possible. We may not land every player the manager targets, but a wise manager will understand this and make sure they get the ones they really want, and the one that the team needs.
    If anything happens under the new management, be prepared for a long stay in the Championship.

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 5, 2009 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #17

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