There is some surprising breaking news today that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has accepted a bid from a Russian Billionaire, to sell the club he has owned since June of 2007.
Alexei Mordashov – 45 year-old Russian Billionaire buys Newcastle club
This is a surprise, but apparently the Russian Billionaire Alexei Mordashov contacted Mike Ashley last week, and was given access to the financial records, including the financial year records from June, 2009 through June, 2010, when the club was in the Championship.
Records were also furnished for the current year’s financial performance, which is of course expected to be much improved, with the Newcastle club looking to break even this financial year, which will be the first time since Ashley took over that Newcastle will not have recorded a loss.
Mordashov is the owner of steelmaker Severstal, and is worth $18.5B (US $), and was 29th on the Forbes Billionaire list earlier this year, and is the second richest Russian, behind Vladimir Lisin, who is worth $24B and is in 14th place.
Apparently the Russian bid £250M last week, but the figure agreed is now £261B for the Newcastle club, and it was apparently too good an offer for owner Mike Ashley to turn down.
This is what Managing Director Derek LLambias said today, when the news broke:
“Mike Ashley had no intention of selling the Newcastle club, and he was fully committed to bringing success back to the Newcastle club. ”
“But this offer, that was provisionally made last week by Mr. Mordashov, was just too good to turn down.”
“Mr. Ashley has has invested over £280M into Newcastle, since buying the club in June of 2007, and while this offer does not recuperate all of that investment, it gets very close to Mike breaking even on the deal.”
“Mike wishes the Newcastle club and its supporters every success in the future and believes he has put it on a good financial footing. over the last couple of years. and believes Mr. Mordashov can now take the club forward to bigger and better things.
Mike Ashley had no comment to make on the deal, which is hardly surprising, but we also understand the £138M he is owed by the Newcastle club will now be paid back to Mr. Ashley in yearly installments over a ten year period, and that Mr. Ashley will receive 6% annual interest on the investment.
So just like Ashley got a great deal for Andy Carroll from Liverpool, it seems Mike has made another good deal for himself with the comparatively young Russian Billionaire.
A spokesman for Mr. Mordashov had this to say to the huge Newcastle fan base spread around the world:
“We are delighted to have been able to buy such a famous club as Newcastle United, and will be ready to invest in the summer transfer window in the summer.”
“It was important for Mr. Mordashov to buy the club now, so that suitable players can be brought in to strengthen the squad before next season.”
“The financial plan is to immediately make available £125M for the summer transfer window, and we fully intend to keep Mr. Alan Pardew and his impressive coaching and scouting staff in place.”
“However, over the next month or so we will take a look at other more appropriate transfer targets, the Newcastle club will now be going after in the summer.”
“Mr. Mordashov plans to visit Newcastle within the next month, and will hold a press conference with the local Newcastle press at that time.”
“His aim is to make Newcastle into one of the top clubs in Europe, and would like to win the European Champions League within a five year time frame.”
“Plans to increase the capacity of St, James’ Park to 61,00 are now in place, and the Newcastle City Council has already been contacted, and planning permission documents have already been submitted to the Council.”
“The way forward for Newcastle, the future strategy, will be published within the next couple of weeks, and will be an open document that Newcastle fans will be able to access on the Newcastle official web-site.“
We also understand that in order to get around the new Financial Fair Play rules that will be introduced next season by UEFA, Mr. Mordashov wants to being in a number of world-class players before the end of June.
This is terrific news for Newcastle fans, there’s no doubt about that, and it looks like quite a number of world class players will be arriving over the summer, and we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the top Russian players will soon be arriving on Tyneside.
So that’s the rather surprising news this morning, as we understand it.
It would be just great if only the date had been just a little different today.