After some hopeful news yesterday, that the Barry Moat bid to buy Newcastle could be successful, some discouraging news in the Journal this morning.
Mike Ashley – refusing to sell – Seymour Harris recommending Moat offer
The sale of the Newcastle United club appeared to be almost off last night as Mike Ashley for a second time, prepares to take the club off the market in less than a year.
That has to be the worst possible news for Newcastle fans, and to have to spend another 12 months with this guy running the club will not be a pretty site, or a smooth ride, and it will mean no Alan Shearer in to run the club, as most of us had hoped for.
Apparently the talks between Ashley and the Moat consortium have hit a stalemate and Ashley is refusing to budge on his financial demands.
The Journal is reporting there have been attempts to attract fresh interest by offering the club for a down payment of £20M with another £80M due to be paid to Ashley in 12 months’ time.
This news was reported by several news organizations earlier this morning – so why is the Moat offer not acceptable?
As we reported yesterday Seymour Pierce – the investment bank in charge of selling the club – are recommending Mike accept the offer from Tyneside businessman Barry Moat (with American backing) as their preferred bid.
But it appears Ashley remains reluctant to sell for anything less than the £100M he initially asked for.
Moat is said to be backed by American investors, but he has still not put together a package that satisfies Ashley’s increasingly strict financial demands.
With Ashley unwilling to sell many of his players until recently, the wage bill could cause the club to be in a cash flow situation this coming season, where the club will need to pay out far more than they are bringing in.
Why that problem wasn’t started on as soon as we were relegated, we just have no idea, and we’ve been continually mentioning the problem over these last 10 weeks.
It’s hardly rocket science after all – just business 101 with reduced revenues you must cut your costs accordingly.
And we have heard from behind the scenes over these last 2 weeks that there has been growing tension between Seymour Pierce and the Ashley camp.
The bank are now convinced they have the best deal they could get in the present financial climate, and are increasingly frustrated by Ashley’s increasingly stubborn stance.
Moat is reported to have attended a series of meetings with Newcastle’s Managing Director Derek Llambias in London yesterday, in the hope of reaching a deal, and those talks will resume this morning.
If no agreement is reached then Ashley will pull the plug on a Newcastle sale for a second time within 9 months, probably this weekend.
He will then bring in a full time manager, who that may be is anybody’s guess, and the manager will have around 3 weeks left in the transfer market.
This sale has been an absolute farce from the start, and Mike Ashley has won himself no friends on Tyneside, as the club’s name has been dragged through the mud and further ridiculed during this latest soap opera.
Newcastle fans are loyal and love the club, and this has been very painful for us all.
Of course, immediately after relegation Ashley could have given it one year to make a return to the Premier League, and many of the problems he has created could have been remedied by Shearer over the summer, if only Alan had been given a chance.
Yes – this is a complete and utter shambles now, and if Ashley stays on at Newcastle, we can expect more of the same before the next 12 months is up.
And as far as promotion is concerned – forget it.