South African Group And Freddy Shepherd Are Top Two

There is much scepticism about whether the Profitable Group really have the finances to buy Newcastle United.


Freddy Shepherd – his group and South African Group in advanced talks

And the Newcastle club have quickly challenged the Singapore-based Profitable Group to provide some immediate proof they have the funds to back up their interest in buying the club. Otherwise this will be a dead end and be nothing but wasted time for the Tyneside club.

Indeed there now seems a decent chance that the consortium fronted by Freddy Shepherd could get the deal done, with Freddy meeting with Keith Harris and the Seymour Pierce bank  in London yesterday.

And Freddy is keeping Alan Shearer appraised of the situation, as the two met in Newcastle last Monday, once Alan got back from Portugal after a short 4 day mini-break.

Yesterday, Profitable contacted investment bankers Seymour Pierce to register their interest in making a bid for Newcastle, but will now have to quickly show they have the requisite money to enter into more detailed talks.

There now appear to be four consortia in for Newcastle but the Journal is reporting they understand only two have proved they had sufficient finances to buy the club.

A group led by a very wealthy South African-based banker (that sounds good – if true),  and another consortium fronted by former chairman Freddie Shepherd, are understood to be at a significantly more advanced stage than Profitable, and no doubt will be pushing ahead to close the deal – and quickly.

But we were linked with a South African buy-out a few times last year, and it turned out all reports were completely fabricated, so we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

But time is of the essence and some deal must be made as soon as possible – for the good of the club, as many of our players are now being tracked seriously by other clubs.

Comments welcome.

44 comments so far


    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #1

    well at least things are moving in the right direction. I don’t care who own it as long as we get a manager and some transfer funds.

  • Shot Bru

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #2

    I would rather we had an investor from the middle east, that part of the world still has plenty money, and the owners at Man City seem pretty level headed with regards to giving Mark Hughes time to build a team, so far anyway. I hope the guy who is trying to buy Pompey has had a change of heart, the last thing we need is FFS back or South Africans.

  • Toon Graeme

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #3

    Have no disillusions that we will be linked to purchasers and consortiums that turns out to complete bullslocks.

    The Freddy Shepherd Link is interesting – although concerning at the same time. We know the state of the clubs finances when MA took over – can we really afford that again?

    Harsh lessons learned this season:

    The reserve team are better than the 1st (in their league)

    Changing managers numerous times causes disruption.

    Training needs to be tightened and strickt-er.

    High wage earning players aint worth their money – as proved.

    Relegation clauses should be built into contracts

    Dont pi$$ the fans off – or certain circles of bed sheet lovers

    Panick buying leads to disaster

    Selling on credit and buying in cash deals to clubs who can afford to pay in full.

    Im sure Ive missed some out but im mutlitasking at work.

  • Tom

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #4

    Shepherd can take a long walk off a steep cliff as far as I’m concerned. The damage he caused the club and the treatment of certain people (i.e. Sir Bob) was nothing short of disgraceful.

  • Rangerman

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #5

    Didn’t sky sports news say the one was from the middle east and the other from the west and neither had been mentioned in the press as they want to keep it quiet?

  • Nick 69

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #6

    rangerman- thats exactly what i was thinking, they two groups who are at advanced stages have not been mentioned at all in the media, yet i have read about south african interestest and freddy shepherd has been in the paper every single day, so i highly doubt it is those two at the advanced stages, as the 2 have signed disclossure agreements and are keeping it all ‘in house’.

  • gotcoffee

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #7

    With regards the negative comments on Shepard we probably need to let bygones be bygones .. remember that although FS had NUFC in a poor financial stright we were always in the Prem and always had a manager .. NUFC was also a PLC during his time which can cause other financial focus that you do not have with outright ownership .. at least FS has ‘some’ understanding of football and if he has financially astute people behind him he should put in a better stint this time around if successful. IMO

  • Shot Bru

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #8

    Rangerman, thats why i think the one from the middle east could be the chap who is trying to buy Pompey. Apparently he has run into some problems in the due dilligence process, it could be he has registered an interest in buying Nufc, and wants to keep it confidential so he can keep his options open and play his hand at the last minute. Pure speculation of course.

  • Magpieskid

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #9

    No matter who buys the club, please move quickly.

    And make sure Alan Shearer will be permanent manager and give him money and enough time to rebulid the team.


  • waddler

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #10

    We need the best deal for the club and its supporters not the first group to meet certain criteria to purchase.
    This is the most critical period in our history and we want the best for the supporters NOT the first to put up the money, so lets get all the bids in and allow Harris to do his job which he is duty bound to do and that is as he has stated recently to put the club back were it belongs amongst the higher echelons of the premier league.

  • Nick 69

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #11

    waddler- harris’ job is to do whatever ashely tells him, he has employed him, and if ashley tells him to sell to the 1st to meet the criteria thats exactly what he will do!

  • simon376@work

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #12


    I’m with you there, no names have been mentioned by Harris apart from the Profitable Group who had the story leaked. Harris has said there are 3/4 no names, but said one from the Middle East and one from the West.

    South Africa reminds me of last Summer. I think this is a bit of a scam, though I do thing FFS is involved, could be the West bid.

  • Solaidback

    Jun 11, 2009 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #13

    Now correct me if I’m wrong but when they say the 2 potential buyers haven’t been mentioned in the press, do they mean this time around or both times that Ashley has tried to sell the club???
    If it’s this time only, then maybe the middle eastern gadgie could be Anil Amandi or however you spell his name, as he baulked at paying Ashley £400m for the club back last year but is the 6th riches man in the world & could be interested in buying the Toon this time round for £100m 🙂
    I’m not saying it is & this isn’t a rumour, just my guest work, it could even be Mr KFC from Kuwait also but if they mean these potential buyers haven’t been mentioned in the press with regards to buying the TOON anytime, then I’ve no idea who else it could be 🙁

  • tino4chairman

    Jun 11, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #14

    i can’t believe fat freddie might be coming back. he was the one that started the rot by not backing Bobby with funds then giving souness 60 million to buy luque and owen etc. if he’d stayed we’d have been relegated due to administration and been another leeds. not to mention the emormous wages he payed himself and his family who knew nothing about football. we cant afford to go back to trophy signings who are clearly past their sell buy date as in owen, kluivert. also he hid 100 million of debts from ashley and had this not happened ashley would have had more money to spend on players. at least now we have finally started getting in top quality youths like bassong, ranger and vukivic and are building for the future instead of bringing in over paid man.u and chelsea rejects with no heart. shepard is a complete greedy fool and shouldnt be allowed anywhere near the club. he even called us stupid for buying the shirts. i cant believe people are forgetting how sh*t we’ve been for years under souness, roeder and allardyce (his choices) are they better than keegan, kinnear and shearer. (2 of which the fans picked)

  • Nick D

    Jun 11, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #15

    We almost certainly would have gone in to administration with Shepherd and being docked 12-15 points. I can’t believe people have such short memories with that sleazy, greedy crook who ran the club in to the ground, robbed us blind with his dividends, had all his shady ”family” connections etc etc, the list is endless. Don’t get me started on Shepherd. If he comes back all this pain will have been for nothing and we will have gone full circle back to square one.

    The South african consortium if true could be good. I know they originally wanted KK back, but I think the boat has probably sailed. The other interesting thing about them though was they wanted to develop our local and foreign youngsters through

  • Solaidback

    Jun 11, 2009 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #16

    I’ve just been on the website of this ‘Profitable Group’ & it has the Liverpool FC badge blazoned all over it & links to the Official Liverpool website etc… so if they’re really interested in buy the TOON from Ashley, surely they’ll have to cut ties to Liverpool or else won’t it be contreveining FIFA law to have ties to 2 clubs, yes I know we’re not in the same league now but we still have a chance of playing Pool in the cups, so who will the Profitable Group support.. ??

  • Nick D

    Jun 11, 2009 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #17

    Got coffee
    I said you’d get me started. Shepherd some understanding of football !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The man who sacked SBR and in succession appointed Souness, Roeder and Allardyce.

  • laz

    Jun 11, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #18

    From what I understand the group is only promoting Liverpools tour of the Far East Hence the links etc. They have no official ties to the scousers.

  • Nick 69

    Jun 11, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #19

    solaidback- the club told david craig frm ssn that the 2 groups hadn’t been mentioned in the media at all, and anil ambani is nowhere near 6th richest man in the world anymore, i checked the forbes 2009 rich list the other day and he has lost $32 billion of his net worth in this past year so i doubt it wull be him

  • Whumpie

    Jun 11, 2009 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #20

    I don’t want anyone from the middle-east, because

    a) It’s a fad, arab-owned clubs are just toys, and will be dropped as soon as one of them decides he’s bored with football and they all follow suit to keep bragging rights. (It used to be race horses, remember?)

    b) I don’t want to play in the “buy-a-cup” league. Bought trophies mean nowt and will be looked back upon with disdain in a few years.

    I also don’t want South Africans (usually corrupt and very shady) but you never know – this lot could be different. Doubt it.

    I don’t want Fat Fred back, because he’s an old dog and will go back to his old ways.

    The Profitable Group thing stinks, BUT if it proves to be genuine I very much like the people and business model they are proposing – Football people on the board, Alan Shearer managing, solid financial situation, club as a trust, and so on. Nails, heads, etc.

    Also, I’d like to be owned by an investment company. Why?

    a) They will run us at a profit, and that means we’ll still be here after several other big clubs are bankrupt. I think at least three will go tits-up next season, if not before.

    b) How will they make their money? By growing the value of the club. What are the only ways to do that? Firstly, getting back to the Prem. Secondly, getting back into Europe. Thirdly, getting back into the Champions League and making 8-figure profits on players, as Manure did today. That is where the real money is, and they know it.

    Right now, I’d take any of ’em. But ideally I’d like the Profitable Group to prove their worth and implement what they’ve proposed.

  • Newckie

    Jun 11, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #21

    As much as I absolutely despise the current moronic and massively embarrassing incompetent idiots currently occupying the helm, appointing fat gut scammo freddy is only better by definition because our present scum is so inept.
    Fatso Fred on the other hand is as slippery as they come and full of it (like his bank account and his pimpy dougie hall sleezebag offsider.)
    All done at our expense. I know we are absolutely desperate but it would be a sad day if this were to happen.
    After what he did to Sir Bobby (how would you like to find out your sacked from the rest of the world after the media slutted itself all over the place like they do.)
    Remember the books being tabled in London and the shed deal with pimpo hall…just tip of the iceberg.
    As a Geordie I am absolutely foaming at the mouth at the moment and seething as you can no doubt tell but we as fans deserve far better than the sludge from a sewer pit.

  • greatnavi

    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #22

    Hello Guys. I am a big Newcastle fan from India.
    The grapevine here is ‘Anil Ambani’, who is amongst the top ten richest man is going to take over our belove Magpies. Alan will definitely be the manager.

  • gotcoffee

    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #23

    Nick D – yes yes I do understand the whole FS thing, I’m not suggesting he is the ideal fix for NUFC, I’m just trying to be pragmatic about the whole current situation.

    But in fairness .. “would have gone into administration” is simply guess work on your part, and hiring Allardyce -I recall there was a groundswell of support for him to take over at NUFC from the supporters side, similar to the great news that a billionaire had taken over the club and was going to make us top 4 .. hindsight is of course a wonderful thing …

  • Whumpie

    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #24

    We do have short memories, don’t we? A lot of the changes we’re now slagging off were largely supported at the time. Ho hum.

    Still, I really don’t want to see Fat Fred back – I think we’d be back in financial schtuck within 2 years as he tried again to get us silverware with no concept of how to build a sustainable business model.

    I honestly hope the Singapore lot prove to be genuine, but right now there’s something very dodgy-smelling about all of that.

  • Shot Bru

    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #25

    Whumpie jump off your high horse mate. I would take anyone from the middle east who has money to spend on our club. They are professional businessman who have a habit of getting what they want. I couldn’t give a toss whether we buy trophies because Man Utd etc have been doing it for decades. I wanna see us win something for once which will go down in history and can’t be taken away from us. As for South Africans being generally shady businessmen You’re not wrong,but take a look @ our previous shady owners and current incumbent.. English. From what i’ve read the Profitable group are made up of quite a few englishmen probably looking to take advantage.

  • davis_toons

    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #26

    Who ever bought the club must have desire to bring newcastle forward. I guess by now everyone should know what Newcastle Utd needs and what the fans wants.

    Just show us some improvement.

  • Wilad

    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #27

    Can’t believe that Cristiano Ronaldo is worth nearly as much as our whole club!

  • greatnavi

    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #28

    Short Bru why not an Indian businessmen taking over Newcatle United.If you see the history Indians have the proven business desire and protege of building world class businesses. Take the exmaple of Reliance (Anil Ambani’s company), Tata etc..
    i am 100% sure that if Anil Ambani takes over this club will challenge for top 6 spot in the season 2010-2011.

  • Nick D

    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #29


    Yes my point exactly. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and should teach us not to touch Shepherd with a barge pole.

  • Shot Bru

    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #30

    Totally agree greatnavi, i wasn’t aware there was a bid from the sub-continent, if there was Ambani would be an ideal owner.

  • Nick D

    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #31

    Gotcoffee – administration where 70% of the turnover is salary is inevitable.

  • greatnavi

    Jun 11, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #32

    But as a second option FS is not a bad option.Remember guys how he lavishly spend 10 mil on ‘Luque’ and 17 mil on ‘Owen’. they were world class players mind you at that point of time.Although its our bad luck that they were not able to perform.But yes FS sacked Sir Bobby Robson and that was the start of demise!!

  • greatnavi

    Jun 11, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #33

    Yups Short Bru, but its still a rumour. Hope its true coz if it will be then money will simply flow. Ambani is one of the richest and his net worth is more then most of the Middle East oil barons.


    Jun 11, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #34

    i cant belive people are seriously going to be ok if ffs gets back in.

    short memories

    and whoever said let bygones be bygones must’ve only started supporting the toon in the last couple of years.

    i’d be devastated.

    wilad…yeah, i thought that fella…. 80mil…. buy us or cristina ronaldo… the bonkers world of the modern game

  • David_Barber

    Jun 11, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #35

    IF FFS buys the club we are no further forward! We need to be patient-back the owner. Already we are divided. ” Let bygones be bygones.” gotcoffee . Against the” level headed” rest. There are too many bitter memories. Too many shady characters. There is still a splinter group; feeling sorry for MA -blaming “we” the fans. We need everything that Mike promised-but didn’t deliver! For me the biggest crime MA could have pulled-was to spin us into some sort of delusional dementia! Saying no to Ashley-is not the same as saying no to common sense!! Something he talked; never walked!! We need to be “united”. Something FFS could never do!! It’s hard but we have to hang in there!!

  • ObaFan2

    Jun 11, 2009 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #36

    greatnavi, I’d agree with you and Ambani was touted last year as a possible purchaser but never materialised. As I remember there were a few who contacted him begging him to buy our club! 🙂

    However I’m sure there are plenty here who are just “watching this space” and waiting to see who puts their money where there mouth is (so to speak) and not get excited about this continued speculation and media frenzy.

    All we want is stability and a team/club we can be proud of which ever league we play in!

  • ObaFan2

    Jun 11, 2009 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #37

    DJM Toon “buy us or cristina ronaldo”

    Ronaldo will be less maintenance and that’s saying summit 😆

  • greatnavi

    Jun 11, 2009 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #38

    Absolutely Oba. All this speculation is simply crazy. At the same time i strongly believe that MA has totally destryed the club. He simply does not care. The Pre season is just 3 weeks and still there is no Manager, no talks of transfer. What the hell is he upto??

  • lesh

    Jun 11, 2009 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #39

    Greatnavi….. Here’s a good article from the Chron and the sooner Ashely et al get out, the better!

  • ArtyH

    Jun 11, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #40

    Put yourself in the position of a potential buyer. Knowing what has happened at NUFC over the last few years, would YOU jump in without doing the research? Personally I would look over the book numerous times and then have them checked out again by several other experts as I would not believe if everything was as it seamed. Just look at the false promises that have been made and not materialised, far to many for my liking, and as a bargaining lever I would state that no players should be sold unless agreed at this point in time. As this could potentially devalue the club even more. Also for every week delayed the price of the club should be reduced by £2m. This would prevent the clowns from dragging their feet and further destroying the club.
    This state of affairs is as frustrating as anything I have experienced in my 54 years on this planet, and the sooner it ends the better.


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