This Is Newcastle’s Key Asset Which Mike Ashley Must Protect For Potential Takeover

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.

Comments welcome.

12 comments so far

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 1, 2017 at 8:37 AM

    Comment #1

    He definitely respect him alot…and think that goes for the football community as well

  • martoon

    Nov 1, 2017 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #2

    I still don’t see why the club can’t be sold before Christmas after a few months due diligence, negotiation etc. Just because it is usual to sell in the Summer does not mean it can’t happen in the Winter especially if Ashley is keen to sell and the buyers keen to buy!

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 1, 2017 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #3

    martoon…according to Purslow it has to do with:

    a) the ongoing tax fraud investigation
    b) where we’ll finish in the league
    c) Whether we’ll be a PL team in the next season
    d) All things being Rafa

  • hibbit

    Nov 1, 2017 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #4

    we WILL be sold before the window opens
    it might be unusual but that doesn’t mean it cant / wont happen
    its definitely going ahead just a little needed patience at the moment

  • hibbit

    Nov 1, 2017 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #5

    just a little patience needed at the moment

  • martoon

    Nov 1, 2017 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #6

    Jesper @3 – Yes I read and understood that but surely if they took over before the Winter window opens a cash injection would sort out points b, c, & d. The investigation could go on for years but I’m sure skilled accountants/lawyers could negotiate a settlement.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 1, 2017 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #7

    Your damn right we’ll have new owners before Jan

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 1, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #8

    Poor Mikey’s in a bit of a tricky spot, how can he keep Rafa happy while at the same time pi$$ing him and the fans off. KB’s going to have to earn his crust over this one.

  • lesh

    Nov 1, 2017 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #9

    I wonder if Purslow’s letting it be known he’d be interested in an appointment as MD when we’re taken over? He’s got a business brain and knows the game and probably better equipped than Charnley who could look after the admin side of things.

  • JohnJ

    Nov 1, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #10

    I wonder how Lee Charnley stands in any possible take over? I always thought he was Ashley’s man and appointed by him! Any new owner would want to bring their own person in I’d imagine but on the other hand he seems to get on well with Rafa so perhaps Rafa would want him to remain involved? I do know one thing I’ll be glad when any take over is done & dusted and we can all look forward to being on a level playing field with the so called “Big Boys” Haway The Lads!

  • sickandtired

    Nov 1, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #11

    @JohnJ – Charnley has been at the club for 18 years. He was assistant to Russell Cushing in H&S years – yet Ashley made him a Director in 2008 and now of course, MD.

    I would hope any new owners get rid of this odious little upstart asap.

  • JohnJ

    Nov 1, 2017 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #12

    Sick&Tired. Thanks for that I wasn’t aware that Charnley has been involved for so long however I suspect his position could be rather rocky with new owners coming in!


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