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Mike Ashley to take Newcastle to the Top – To The Very Top

The next step has been taken by English Billionaire Mike Ashley in his attempt to take Newcastle United PLC private by buying at least 90% of the shares in the club.

Having agreed earlier this week to purchase Chairman Freddy Shepherd’s 29.8% holding for £37.6M – coupled with the purchase of Sir John Hall’s 41.6% share for £55.3M – Ashley already owns over 70% of the club’s shares. His plan is to acquire 90% of the club by June 28th with his offer – now of 101p per share – or a grand total of £133.8M.

Once he owns 90% of the shares all remaining shares must be sold to him.

Mike Ashley

It looks like a cast iron certainty that within three weeks Mike Ashley will own the club and will then take it private.

This is what St. James Park Holding Ltd (SJHL) – the company set up to handle the takeover – stated in the letter that went out to shareholders on Friday.

“Newcastle is one of the leading football clubs in the UK with an international brand and a fan base.
“Many of the top teams have changed ownership and some of the new owners have been willing to invest significant amounts in maintaining and developing the strength and depth of their teams.
“SJHL recognizes the unfulfilled potential of Newcastle, as shown by its investment in shares of £55.3 million and its commitment to invest a further £78.5 million to acquire the shares it does not own.
“Mike Ashley has funds to make available, through SJHL, for investment in Newcastle United. However, before finalizing the amount he is willing to invest, Ashley will want to undertake a thorough strategic review, including its existing infrastructure, contractual arrangements, playing staff and financial position.
“SJHL anticipates that this strategic review will commence after the offer becomes unconditional.”
“It is important Newcastle United shareholders make the right decision now, not just for the benefit of shareholders but also for the benefit of the club and its supporters.”


Chairman Freddy Shepherd

Newcastle Chairman Freddy Shepherd also added:

“The company’s publicly listed status has placed certain constraints on its ability to invest in players, notwithstanding the fact that over the last five years the company has spent a total of approximately £104 million on player acquisitions,”
“This situation has become more acute in recent years as certain clubs have significantly increased the amount they are able and prepared to invest in their squads.

Mike Ashley has talked with close friends about developing the club’s successful academy – and move ahead quickly with the plans to develop the St. James Park stadium and surrounding land. A friend close to the Billionaire said:

“”He wants to develop the Alan Shearers of the future by investing in the academy to produce home-grown talent,”
“One of the things that has impressed him most has been St James’ Park and he really wants to drive forward the plans to extend the capacity and make it one of Europe’s top grounds.”

This is more good news that Mike Ashley has a vision for where he wants to take Newcastle United football club.

To quote a famous Beatles line (on their career) – that’s To the Top – To the Very Top.

Ashley seems committed to do whatever is necessary to make Newcastle United one of the best clubs in Europe – both on and off the field – and it is good news for both Newcastle fans and the people of Newcastle. It’s interesting – but not surprising that the exact amount he is willing to invest will come after his strategic review – some of which would have been done undoubtedly before he made his bid.

We all know Sam Allardyce is working hard to shore up the playing side of things and will no doubt feel extra pressure (and enthusiasm) by hearing Ashley’s extremely ambitious plans.
But we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Comments welcome.

11 comments so far

  • Blair

    Jun 9, 2007 at 3:18 AM

    Comment #1

    I’m excited by the fact that Ashley appears to be a very shrewd businessman and is not just going to throw wads of cash will nillly (Abramovich), but rather is looking at developing the infrastructure etc to allow us to be successful in the medium to long term.

    I think if Sam can get in many of his current targets we will have a top 6 squad for a reasonably cheap outlay and then look to get into europe next year and try to acquire some truly class players to try to break into the top 4.

  • Arthur Prince

    Jun 9, 2007 at 7:01 AM

    Comment #2

    I agree the MA takeover eans very exciting times for the club . However I do hope he gives BSA enough money straight away toallow him get out and buy some more top players .We will need them in a along season . He has started well but the squad was small to start with so we will need some new blood in addition to the current transfer targets .

  • Arthur Prince

    Jun 9, 2007 at 7:05 AM

    Comment #3

    If it sounds like I am impatient .,you are right ! But for the first time in years I smell the possibility of success

  • Valle

    Jun 9, 2007 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #4

    How many times have we heard about finding the new Alab Shearer?… Well they dont come because we use more money on making the academy better. In Brazil, the future superstars are running around barefooted in the streets playing with football, and a Shearer dosnt come along every now and then. And if another of his stature should come, what are the odds for him to from exactly the same place in England. If we wanna make the training enviroment better for the kids… Great. But i would rather see a heavy investment in proven young players for the future along with some stars for Sam.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 9, 2007 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #5

    Arthur – pretty sure Allardyce will be given enough transfer funds in the short term – Shepherd was going to give him around ₤20M plus what he gets from transfers out – and he’s already made ₤M on Parker. Those 6 players we talked about – as almost certainties will cost us a net of ₤7M – so he’s still got around ₤15M – with nothing from Ashley. Even though Shepherd gets lots of criticism – he’s probably as excited as anybody about the possibilities – he just probably wanted to be the Ashley that did it. Hopefully Freddy will back Sam – think he likes Sam a lot from what you read. BTW – Sam becomes a very important guy at Newcastle right now – what an opportunity for him – he’s probably walking 2 inches off the ground – he deserves this massive chance to make Newcastle great.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 9, 2007 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #6

    Arthur – i’m sure we are all impatient – some fans have expressed on this site wanting Newcastle to win before they kick the bucket – it’s been so long. But i smell success in the air and it’s hard to hide the feeling of excitement. Just cannot wait for the season to start again though we’ve made the expectations just sky high again. But hey – we’re Geordies 😀

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 9, 2007 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #7

    Valle – Shearer is only the most recent north east star to get away from Newcastle. What about the Charlton brothers – i mean Bobby Charlton has to be one of the best footballers England ever produced and he grew up in Ashington. But there’s also other players like Brian Robson and a host of others that got away – usually to ManU. Even Gasgoine only stayed with us until he was 19 – and we cashed in. He was in the side that won the FA Youth Cup in 1985 when we beat Watford 4-1.
    When we talk about the academy we are just saying let’s try to capture the local talent – which over the years has been huge in these parts – we also need to invest in other young players – like N’Zogbia is good example – (Viana and Gavilan are not) by buying them when they are young.

  • Valle

    Jun 9, 2007 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #8

    I understand that Ed, but my point was that we have done loads of things to keep onto the local talent in the last 7-8 years (Talent days and so on) and to my knowledge, no-one has escaped us since Carrick. So whats throwing more money after it, going to help?

  • […] News today that Mike Ashley and St. James Park Holding Ltd (SJHL) have sent a letter out to remaining share-holders with Ashley’s updated (by 1p) offer of 101p per share. Ashley talks about what he wants to do with Newcastle – which basically says to make them into one of Europe’s top Premier team. – worth a read. […]

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 9, 2007 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #10

    Valle – i guess Ashley wants to improve the facilities for the academy – not sure now.

  • matt w

    Jun 10, 2007 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #11

    i was shocked to hear that Mr Ashley had purchased into the club by buying out the Hall’s a few weeks ago. i got so excited at the thought of FS losing power over the club and its finances.

    i do belive that Ashley will treat newc like a business which is what he is good at. he will look at the clubs finances. hopefully back BSA all the way with transfers and wages.

    iv never said this before but next season, i feel reallllly good!


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