The Daily Mirror and Simon Bird are reporting today that Mike Ashley is poised to take Newcastle United off the market, after 14 weeks, and stay in charge for another year.
Mike Ashley – to keep Newcastle?
Prospective owner Barry Moat has been struggling for weeks to prove to Barclays Bank he can service Newcastle’s overdraft.
And if he’s struggling to buy Newcastle now for a low price of £100M, how much investment will there be for Newcastle this season?
The Mirror is saying that Moat is having to borrow the majority of the money from banks, a large slice from Ashley himself, but is still unable to raise the £20M of his own cash needed.
If that’s true, it means Barry just didn’t have the money to even be bidding for Newcastle, and not to be too nasty, he had no right to be bidding for Newcastle in the first place.
What happened to the “proof of funds” that we were told any potential buyer had to pass, before they could enter into negotiations to buy the club? It seems that is put in place to stop exactly what’s happened with Moat’s bid – he never had the money in the first place.
Even though it is thought that Moat now has an agreement with Barclays to finance the club’s £39M overdraft, which stands at £20M right now, he still has to reduce this to £10M, but now we’re told he can’t meet Ashley’s price with his own money. Seems he just doesn’t have enough money – as was continuously reported over the last several weeks and why Llambias dismissed the bid initially as not creditable.
If this is all true, then Mike seems to have even been misled, and it’s time to call timne on all of this, so at least we’ll have a few days to get some new players in, and maybe unload a few we don’t want or need, like Geremi and Xisco as two good examples. There’s £115K/week (about £6M/year) we are paying out for little in return.
If this happens and Barry Moat can’t get the funds, the question is going to be why did he tie up Newcastle, for over 3 weeks on a deal he could never make. That’s a question for Keith Harris at Seymour Pierce Bank – that’s assuming this story is true of course.
Finally, Mike is said to been very encouraged by the 43,000-plus home crowds this season, and hasn’t taken seriously the chants of the Geordie crowd for him to leave Toon.
This sale has been draining on the Newcastle fans, and everybody connected to the club, and even if Ashley stays we’ll have a little more stability on Tyneside, than we’ve had these last 14 weeks.
We have 6 days to put things right in the transfer market, and if the Mirror story is true – we should use that time well – starting now.