One of the football-takeover experts in the game of football is Dr. Tom Markham, who is a specialist in football finance and strategy.
He was involved in the recent Chinese investment in both Southampton and West Bromwich Albion.
As an example, earlier this year Chinese businessman Jisheng Gao bought 80% of the Southampton football club and he paid £210M for it.
Dr. Markham thinks there is real interest in China in Newcastle United and says the club is “quite close” to getting a new owner.
Any Chinese investment is dependent on the Chinese Communist Party Congress lifting current restrictions on Chines businesses investing in football clubs – among other businesses outside of China.
The Congress is a big one (five-year congress) and takes place next week.
Dr. Tom Markham
This is what Dr. Markham has said on Thursday’s Totally Football Show podcast when asked about investment in Newcastle United:
“I think they’re quite close,”
“A deal like this, particularly the one thing that we need to realize here is that obviously the breaks have been put on football in China both externally and internally.”
“The Chinese are the ones who are always sniffing around. It was a little bit like early-2000s it would be Russians, mid-2000s it would be Middle Eastern, now we’re in the Chinese phase.”
“In term of who’s interested, I think a lot of people actually have to wait for the Communist Party Conference, which is on October 18.”
“This is a Five-Year Conference, so it’s a big one, and it will lay out what the strategic outlook for Chinese investment, both internally and externally, will be.”
“So a lot of people who are interested in the likes of Newcastle and some other clubs will have to wait and see whether they’ll get permission or not.”
“So hopefully that won’t work out in a bad way for the club.”
“Southampton isn’t your standard takeover, that one took a little bit longer than normal would in that it took 15 months,”
“But I’ve seen takeovers happen in as quick as six-to-eight weeks, but it depends.”
It definitely seems there is real interest in Newcastle United and we have to hope that a deal can be struck with Mike Ashley before the end of this year.
That would be excellent.
We’ll have to see what the Chinese Communist Party Congress decide on whether to lift the current restrictions on buying foreign football clubs.
What do you think?