Former Newcastle Chairman Freddy Shepherd is a leading figure in one of the four consortia that today will start inspecting Newcastle’s books, before formal bids are made for the club.
Sultan of Oman - one of four bidders starting due diligence today?
Due diligence can take up to 2 weeks, but there is hope that if all four consortia want Alan Shearer as manager, which is heavily rumored to be the case, Shearer could be appointed manager while the due diligence continues. We are hoping that something will be announced later this week on that.
All groups interested in the club had to prove they had the funds – £100M – to buy the Tyneside club by last night – and four qualified, as we now understand.
The four groups have not been officially identified, nor will they be, but it’s being reported in the Northern Echo today they believe the four organizations are as follows:
- A local consortia fronted by former Chairman Freddy Shepherd - it is thought the funds are coming from their own money, and will not be funded from overseas
- A group based in South Africa, and that’s all we know about this one – it’s rumored he’s a rich banker
- The group in Oman which is headed up by the Sultan of Oman, whose wealth is greater than that of Queen Elizabeth II – they presumably have little trouble about the money
- A group based out of the US, and we have had not seen any hints as to who this may be – but of course there are many many possibilities – US companies have vast experience on how to run sports teams with some success, and they generally treat the fans with great respect – their customers
We’ll point out that the Profitable Group from Singapore didn’t appear to make it, and presumably couldn’t produce proof they had the £100M funds. There had been some significant skepticism last week they had insufficient funds to buy the Tyneside club.
Freddy Shepherd, like the other groups, has signed a confidentiality agreement with owner Mike Ashley after his newly-formed business group confirmed they indeed have the £100M funding that was a prerequisite for being granted access to Newcastle’s latest set of accounts.
It was reported earlier that he was bidding £75M, but the fact that four groups have qualified to start due diligence, has to be an excellent sign the club will be sold soon.
We have to hope the groups will come in with some additional funds that Alan Shearer can use in the summer, to significantly strengthen the squad.
We’ll again clarify that this news is taken from the Northern Echo and since we’ve covered most of these groups over the last 2 weeks, we know a little about them. These four may or may not be accurate – and we have tried to report on them sensibly.
We have to say that Freddy Shepherd could have a real shot at winning this thing, and that’s good or bad – depending on your view of Shepherd – and from the comments we’ve already seen, it’s clear some Newcastle fans will be less than happy if Freddy becomes the new owner.
The Tyneside club will have trouble in trying to unload some of the high wage earners still under contact at the club, including Barton, Coloccini, Gutierrez, Xisco, Enrique and Nolan. Most of these will not be at pre-season training in two weeks time, and will be around until we can sell them – or should we say if we can sell them.
Bu we wait and hope – as usual – but with some greater expectation of good news - which is a pleasant change.