Most of us thought in the last two months of last year that Mike Ashley could (would) sell Newcastle United as Amanda Staveley and her PCP Capital Partners Group were attempting to reach a deal.
At one point there was said to be a bid of £250M from Staveley and Ashley wanted £300M and it looked close – but it all that fell through in early January when Ashley pulled the rug from under Ms. Staveley.
At the time, he said it was a complete waste of time and that Staveley had no real desire to buy Newcastle United.
Since then Mike Ashley has gone through two transfer windows with Newcastle and has put a block on Rafa Benitez’ spending of any big money as he continues to run the club on peanuts.
His strategy is:
Spend as little as possible while keeping Newcastle a Premier League club – with all the free publicity that gets Sports Direct.
The very approachable Russian entrepreneur Alisher Usmanov
With Newcastle amazingly finishing 10th in the Premier League last season, Mike Ashley raised the price of Newcastle to £400M.
No reward for the man who was mainly responsible for that – Rafa Benitez – and Rafa again had to wheel and deal in this summer’s transfer window.
Doesn’t Ashley realize that if he spends money to build a good team, we can finish high up in the Premier League, and the price of the club goes up?
That’s to his advantage.
Newcastle United are not currently worth £400M but it allows Ashley and his cronies to say the club is on sale, but that there have been no serious bids or buyers for the club.
The Chronicle are reporting today that because of the comments of Russian entrepreneur Alisher Usmanov earlier this week – there is interest from Billionaires and the like in buying Premier League clubs.
Hopefully, the publicity this summer about Mike Ashley’s abysmal running of the club could help attract some buyers while Rafa is still the manager.
The 64-year-old Russian mining and telecommunications tycoon last year was said to be worth $15.6B by Forbes – about £12.3B – o he has plenty of money – and maybe enough to buy Newcastle.
This is what Usmanov told Bloomberg this week – as reported in the Chronicle:
“Should there be a proposal or a possibility to invest in them (PL clubs) with good potential returns, I would consider the deal,”
“When I bought the stake in Arsenal I believed that football brands would be able to generate profit. This is happening now.”
Usmanov has links to Everton and is said to be interested in buying Bayern Munich, AC Milan, and Roma – so he’s not interested in buying Newcastle.
And those three are not PL clubs either although they are big names in football.
But the point here is that entrepreneurs are taking interest in the enormous money PL clubs are getting for the next four years at least.
The best way to make money from Premier League clubs is to balance the books while investing available money in top players so they become top clubs in England.
There’s easily enough money at Newcastle for Rafa to be able to do just that.
If the owner would do that for Newcastle and we scrape into the top six under Rafa Benitez then we’d be worth an awful lot more than £400M.
But Ashley for some reason we just don’t understand – doesn’t want to do that.
The bottom line is there are entrepreneurs interested in buying big clubs – and hopefully, one can turn up with real money and buy the club.
That would solve one big problem Newcastle United had had for 11 years now – Mike Ashley is the owner.
Here’s wishing and hoping – as always.