Just when we thought Newcastle were getting some stability at the club, there are reports today the club could be up for sale, for a third time.
Mike Ashley – current owner on Tyneside
There was a report last week that former Chairman Freddy Shepherd was heading a group trying to buy the club, but that approach was denied by Newcastle almost immediately last week, and the Board also said the club was not for sale.
Before we fall for this story too much, it is in the Sunday Express, and today is a Sunday – which is very often – make up a story to sell the papers day.
But we would hope the Newcastle club would comment on these rumors immediately, to nip them in the bud, because this could be another attempt by the gossip press to try to destabilize the club, now that they don’t get their sensational stories out of Newcastle any more – because of its current if unusual stability.
The news is that three groups, one including former owner Freddy Shepherd, are interested in launching a bid before the January transfer window opens.
The asking price is said to be £150M, but with the total debts at the club said to be £90M, so the total cost of buying Newcastle would be close to a quarter of a billion UK pounds – £240M – and Mike Ashley would recuperate everything he has put into the club financially.
But since that’s £40M more than New England Sports Ventures recently paid for Liverpool, a club who has won the European Cup 5 times and the English League 18 times, there shouldn’t be too many groups rushing in to buy the famous Tyneside club – if they are after a bargain.
One insider is quoted in the Sunday Express today as saying:
“People are frightened off by the price being quoted for Newcastle United.”
We’ve come to like the stability with Chris Hughton in charge of the club, and in our recent poll, 84% would prefer Mike Ashley to stay in control of Newcastle, rather than Freddy Shepherd coming back.