There seems to be more truth to the news that local businessman Barry Moat has bid £100M for the Newcastle Club
Barry Moat with Derek LLambias
Further to out story earlier this morning, both the BBC and now the local Evening Chronicle today are reporting that Barry is locked in talks with Mike Ashley in London, and a deal could possibly be worked out as early as Saturday.
The Chronicle last night had played down the deal, but is now reporting a deal could be imminent, so it’s all a little confusing.
Of course Barry is a good acquaintance of Alan Shearer and will bring Alan in to manage the club if he can secure the deal.
It is thought that Barry is putting £50M of his own money into the club and has secured a £50M loan, presumably from backers in the US, to meet Mike’s asking price.
Exactly what that leaves over for new players is a concern, but where’s there’s a will there’s a way, and if he can get the club from Ashley, install Shearer quickly as the new manager, then that has to be good news for Newcastle fans.
Reports are claiming that negotiations are continuing today in London, with the process of due diligence having already been completed.
Mr Moat’s secretary has told the Evening Chronicle today at Lugano Property Group headquarters in Melbourne Street, Newcastle, that he was unavailable for comment because he was in London.
The Chronicle itself is trying to work out how much truth there is in the story, since the club had told them not to put too much credence into the bid yesterday.
But that may be changing it seems.
Moat has significant property holdings and a development portfolio, and he is a director of several telecoms companies offering cheap internet-based call services.
Mr Moat has previously invested substantial sums of cash into the club’s academy. At the time Barry said:
“As a lifelong Newcastle fan, I am delighted to support the club’s new initiatives of investing in the academy and enabling more young fans in the region to see their heroes play.”
“It’s vital for a club like Newcastle to make sure it recruits the best young footballers at an early age and encourages them to develop their full potential.”
Mr Moat, founder and director of workplace retail giant Premier Direct, renewed his executive box at the club for five seasons in 2008.
He was also a lead member of the committee who organized Alan Shearer’s testimonial.
Barry has been in Ashley’s company on many occasions, including the trip to the Stadium of Light to watch the derby match against Sunderland.
The Chronicle is reporting that he paid £20M in 2007, for the 2,500 acre Dissington Estate, near Ponteland, Northumberland – a huge swathe of land that borders Darras Hall, where Alan Shearer and a number of wealthy Tynesiders live.
Mr Moat lives in Jesmond, Newcastle and quite close to former chairman Freddy Shepherd, and very close to where my wife and I stayed when we visited my wife’s sister a few weeks back.
We don’t know if this story is true, but we’ll be praying it is – starting right now – that Barry Moat can indeed secure the club from Mike Ashley.
That has to be great news for the club, the City of Newcastle, the faithful Newcastle fans and the Newcastle players too. Apart from Joey Barton that is. 😀
Let’s hope and pray this news is true!
Maybe there is a Santa Claus after all, and would you believe he lives in Newcastle?