Former Liverpool Managing Director Christian Purslow has been talking about Newcastle potential takeover on Sky Sports.
And one thing he has said is that he doubts the deal can be done before the end of this year – which is what Mike Ashley wants to happen.
Christian is trained and experienced in the mergers and acquisition field, so he is someone who knows exactly what he’s talking about.
In his career, he trained initially as an analyst with L.E.K. Consulting, before joining the Burton Group as executive assistant to the CEO.
And after becoming head of new business development for Reuters, he joined Credit Suisse First Boston as head of UK mergers and acquisitions.
Christian worked with Rafa at Liverpool when he became the Managing Director of the Reds in 2009 at a time when Liverpool was looking to be sold.
Rafa Benitez – the key Newcastle asset in any takeover
At the time their American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr were not exactly the darlings of the frustrated Liverpool fans.
This is some of what Purslow has said about the Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez:
“I think there’s a strong argument right now that Rafa Benitez is Newcastle’s key asset right now.”
“He is a top tier manager, used to working for the really cream teams in Europe.”
“I think for Mike Ashley now, keeping Rafa in the tent helping facilitate this sale is absolutely critical.”
“Rafa is a very sophisticated manager. He goes way beyond the football. He’s been with me being at a football club where there is a potential sale.”
“He knows the drill. Let me tell you, any buyer buying Newcastle is going to want to engage with Rafael Benitez.”
“They have to because losing Rafa Benitez as an owner would be a catastrophic start point.”
“So he’ll want to secure Rafa, he’ll want to know his plans for the club and – most crucially – how much transfer money.”
“My feeling is Mike’s in a very precarious position because he needs Rafa to play ball.”
“Rafa’s his own man, he will say what he thinks and watching how that unravels is going to be very interesting.”
“He’s an extremely clever, sophisticated and experienced man and football manager.”
“And he’s been through this before, he knows exactly what is going on.”
“Any buyer worth their salt is going to want to engage with Rafa and Mike is going to have to manage that process.
“There are owners and Chief Executives out there trying to sell clubs who will take the view that this is private.”
“I’m the owner and I’m going to do this my way and you’ll read about when it’s done.”
“Mike has gone completely the opposite way and that has played to Rafa’s advantage.”
Do you get the impression that Christian thinks Rafa is one of the best managers in the world?
As part of any takeover of Newcastle, the new owners will also want to tie Rafa down to a long-term contract at the club.
Sounds (very) good to us.