The usually very reliable George Caulkin of The Times, is reporting today that the sale of Newcastle United to Barry Moat is nearing completion.
Barry Moat – new owner of Newcastle – almost
The Newcastle takeover could come to a close this weekend, with Barry Moat, the Tyneside-based businessman, becoming much more optimistic in his quest to buy his home town club.
The assumption is that Kevin Keegan’s case for constructive dismissal against Newcastle will be concluded before the end of the week, and that will tie up another piece to allow the sale to go forward.
Keegan left the club a year ago, and is understood to have rejected a £4M compromise offer to settle. There’s nothing like the smell of money to make reasonable men lose all their class, is there?
And just for clarification, this case has been brought against Newcastle United, and the club will have to pay, not Mike Ashley himself.
But once this Tribunal makes a decision, that will be another unknown concluded, and will allow the sale to finally move forward, since we understand Moat can bid the full £100M, which is what Ashley is asking.
Caulkin reports the issues that have been delaying the sale are:
- The structure of the payments for the £100 million Ashley will be paid for the Newcastle club
- Possible bonuses to be paid out in the event of Newcastle’s promotion this season
- The limit of the working overdraft that Barclays is prepared to provide Moat
Despite all the delays since the end of May, the mood among those connected with the Moat bid are said to be high and positive. Moat is thought to have solid financial backing from the US.
If Moat succeeds, he will immediately put a long term management structure in place at the club, and will almost certainly appoint Alan Shearer, his friend, to be the permanent manager.
We also wouldn’t be surprised if he also brought in an experienced football man to be either a CEO or Chairman at the club, which is probabaly why news broke recently that Llambias was being replaced.
The position to be filled is essentially what the clueless Derek LLambias has held for the last 16 months – and notice all the trouble started when Derek took over and Chris Mort left a year last May.
We were ubeat about the news a week ago that a consortium thought to be Moat’s had offered the full £100M to Ashley, and the final stages of the sale were being worked through. And this report, if true, makes us believe a deal could be very close,as George is indeed reporting.
The fact that things about the had gone very quiet, we took as a good sign, because real work usually gets done during these “silent” times, in our experience of some takeovers at IBM.
Although some who reported last week’s news as even negative, it seemed to us the end game had been reached, and last week we fully expected a sale to be concluded – and certainly before the end of the year.
The completion of all of this nonsense could well come within a couple of weeks – and Mike will finally leave the club – and we think this is for real.
But first things first, and we need to win at Ipswich on Saturday, and then we must win the home games against QPR and Bristol City,which are followed by a two week International break.
If we are top of the league again by then – that would be just great!