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Ashley Now Willing To Sell Newcastle – Chinese Consortium Interested

Sky Sports are reporting there is a significant takeover interest from one Chinese consortium and in addition to that there are number of other international groups who are considering buying the north-east club or part of the club from current owner Mike Ashley.

The Telegraph have also reported that at the meeting between Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez a few days after the final day of the Championship season, Mike Ashley informed Rafa that he had offers from various groups including one from a Chinese consortium.

It is reported that Mike will be willing to sell a part of Newcastle, because he does not think any group is willing to pay £400M for the club, which is his current price to buy Newcastle outright.

Mike Ashley with Rafa Benitez and Lee Charnley

He may be surprised by that, since £400M seems to be a fairly reasonable price given the upside with Newcastle United under the world-class management of Rafa Benitez and the club now likely to get around £125M next May from the Premier League if we finish around 10th place in the Premier League..

Selling the club at £400M would give Ashley about a £130M profit, since he bought the club in May of 2007.

And even last October when Newcastle were still a second division side there were various reports in the press of interest from China of a potential takeover bid.

It’s not surprising that a club as big as Newcastle  United, now back in the Premier League, are attracting some big interest.

Rafa Benitez is being kept up to date on the situation and he is said to be calm and relaxed about the whole situation.

What’s new?


Indeed if Mike can get additional investment it could be that Rafa will get even more money to spend this summer in the transfer market, with the Telegraph today reporting he has been given £100M this summer to spend.

We assume in addition to that he can spend any money he makes from selling players in the transfer market.

But any new investment into transfers would need to abide by the Financial Fair Play Rules that are now in place.

When Newcastle announced their new sponsorship deal with Chinese gaming company Fun88, there was speculation the Newcastle delegation that visited China, which was led by Managing Director Lee Charnley, could even have touched base with the consortium that is reported interested in buying Newcastle.

The negotiations with various groups about buying a part or all of Newcastle are said to be ongoing and Mike Ashley is reported by the Telegraph to be keeping the Newcastle manager fully up to date with the progress of those negotiations.

It seems the owner wants to sell a part of Newcastle and get some new investment and help in running the club from a consortium, yet probably still keep control of the club.

However, if a group comes along with a bid of £400M the reports are that Mike could then sell the whole club and relinquish his ownership.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

12 comments so far

  • martoon

    Jun 13, 2017 at 7:27 AM

    Comment #1

    After reading all the reports if there is any truth in this then it looks more likely that Ashley will sell part of the club rather than all of it. Knowing Ashley he will probably want to keep a majority share so he still has control. However people seem think this would bring money into the club but surely the money would go to Ashley as he is the seller?

  • firebug666

    Jun 13, 2017 at 7:55 AM

    Comment #2


    It’s true he could sell part or all of his stake in the club and he would receive all of the money for the sale of those shares. But then the investor or investors would like to see a return on the money they have invested, so Ashley and the investor’s would need to put money into the club to ensure we stay in the premiership and attempt to win something.

    Ashley want’s around £400m for the club, so while the press think this amount is too high, a consortium could possibly afford it.

    Going to be interesting watching this attempt to buy our club unfold.

  • martoon

    Jun 13, 2017 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #3

    firebug666 – I understand. So thinking about it as you say presumably the consortium will want to see a return on their investment. So that means at some point they will take money out of the club which is something Ashley doesn’t do. (I know he does via backdoor methods catering, NUFC shops etc.). So it may not be all good?

  • sing in the corner

    Jun 13, 2017 at 8:13 AM

    Comment #4

    I’m just concerned about the timing. We are in an important few weeks and need to be fully focused on our transfer dealings for now.
    There are up and down sides when a takeover is mooted…but I don’t want prospective targets thinking A/ hang on, I can get more money than they are offering if I wait a bit, see if they are likely to get a big budget. Or B/ hmmm, uncertainty over ownership / who will the coach be? Think I will go somewhere else…

  • firebug666

    Jun 13, 2017 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #5


    There are many different ways of receiving a return on an investment. for example NUFC share prices could increase, we could maybe get better sponsorship deals, an increased fan base buying more merchandise etc.

    Ashley has been looking for a way to get a foothold for his SD tat shop in the East, and this Chinese consortium could be the way forward for him, maybe he would sell them a share in the club now, then use them to open a few tat shops next to the takeaways in China before selling the remaining shares in our club.

    I may be cynical but, I don’t and never will trust Ashley, and whatever he does will be for the benefit of himself and his beloved SD tat shop, he will have little regard for the club, as long as he gets what he wants.

    You would think that the value of the club would be a lot less given that Ashley stripped it of all saleable assets when he arrived, but against all the odds the clubs value has gone up. If Ashley can now get around £400m + the cash he got from asset stripping + the free advertising, and the cash he takes (approx 75%) I think from merchandising, then you would have to say he got a very good return on his £134.4m investment, and on top of that he will want his interest free loan back.

  • Angryman the Angry fan

    Jun 13, 2017 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #6

    The more cynical of us would think ‘oh dear, here we go again, “we wanted to buy players but because of possible financial constraints due to a possible takeover we couldn’t get players in, in time frame before window shut’. I hope I am wrong, but historically ………………..

  • firebug666

    Jun 13, 2017 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #7


    Rafa has been told about the possible take over, and has been assured that he can go ahead with his recruitment plans. The drawback is with the uncertainty of ownership at the moment Rafa will need to do a hard sell of the club to the players he want’s. See sing in the corner comment above.

  • geordiemark

    Jun 13, 2017 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #8

    yeah we have all seen this before haven’t we, if the Chinese consortium wants to buy the club outright then fine but they do have to have a massive outlay to buy players because this team we have now will not cope in the top league as we all know, I do know theres a hell of a lot of money in china at the moment and we are a great club to buy but by people who are ambitious and want to do well here not someone who wants a quick buck made in profits, 400 million to tell the truth is way way over the odds to pay more like say 260 million at a push

  • martoon

    Jun 13, 2017 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #9

    geordiemark – I think Ashley wants his loan back as well so the £400m includes this. If you take the loan away which I think is about £140m then your valuation is correct!

  • WLtoon

    Jun 13, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #10

    How do the Telegraph know we have 100M to spend? they are not privy to whatever has been said behind closed doors between Rafa and Ashley. Thanks to the Telegraph, Rafa could find it even harder to bring in players due to clubs inflating their prices bcos they think we are loaded.
    The takeover rumours wont help our chances of signing anyone as i think the uncertainty of which direction the club are going could put potential targets off. Chinese owners in this country dont exactly have a good success record.

  • Phil K

    Jun 13, 2017 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #11

    This will explain the lack of transfer action.
    If this had been arabs, (like Man City) I’d have been enthusiastic.
    But the Chinese are an unknown quantity. Yes, they’re paying big money in their own league and if same mentality was applied here, who knows what could happen ? Players would be happier signing for a club in England. But we don’t know. Theres been plenty failures a LOT worse than Newcastle. Blackburn off the top of my head. QPR despite the efforts of the man who bought them. Bloke at Cardiff, Aston Villa.
    This could lead to even worse than Ashley. Or it could lead to actually going somewhere. We don’t know the people concerned

  • Phil K

    Jun 13, 2017 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #12

    And yes – “Sing In The Corner” has it nailed on – a perfect summing up of the situation re:transfers


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