There was a report in Bloomberg News yesterday about how Rafa has failed once again to sell Newcastle United.
That’s even after he said in early December he was very keen to sell the club and that negotiations were the furthest along they had ever before.
Fans were excited but a little wary of the owner.
Three months later and he still owns the club, and there is no longer any interest by any consortium in buying Newcastle United.
It just all seemed too familiar to fans because Mike Ashley is not to be trusted and there was a transfer window coming up.
So if he’s selling the club why would he invest in January – perfect cover for the owner.
The fact Ashley doesn’t like to spend the club’s money is one reason we have been relegated twice under his ownership and have struggled against relegation many other times.
And for the last two seasons even under world-class manager Rafa Benitez we are struggling to stay in the Premier League.
As fans have long suspected, he’s very difficult to negotiate with, and it seems he’s asking too much money for Newcastle.
He’s trying to recuperate the total of about £260M he has put into the club including outstanding interest-free loans he has given the club – with a profit on top of that.
Here are some excerpts from the Bloomberg News report – the first is that he’s difficult to negotiate with:
Would-be buyers say he’s tricky to negotiate with, mainly because he’s suspicious about the terms of the offers, according to two people involved in potential purchases over the past couple of years.
They declined to be identified because of the confidentiality of the negotiations.
And about how he came to own Newcastle in the first place:
He took control of Premier League club Newcastle for 134 million pounds ($172 million) in 2007.
He first put it up for sale as early as 2008 as the northeast English city’s soccer fans quickly turned against him following the departure of club legend Kevin Keegan as manager.
There was no buyer.
And finally why he doesn’t really seem to want to sell Newcastle.
That’s even though he keeps putting the club up for sale and at the same time continues to run the club into the ground with no investment.
And the excuse we hear is that if he is going to sell the club why should he invest in it?
A perfect cover for Ashley as long as the club’s up for sale.
Here’s another excerpt from Bloomberg News:
“He’s very single-minded and an aggressive buyer of business assets, not all of which have succeeded,” said Clive Black, director and head of research at Shore Capital.
“But when it comes to selling he seems to have difficulty letting go and has prices in his head that he won’t go below.”
If any negotiations are to be successful there has to give and take on both sides,.
But Ashley doesn’t seem to want to give anything and sticks to the price he wants.
Selling your house is close to what Ashley’s doing – if you put your house on the market for too high a price, it will not sell.
But if it does, then you will accept the offer because it’s at your price but it takes a long time.
Ashley can keep putting Newcastle up for sale again and again and pretend he wants to sell the club, while the reality is he has no real intention of doing that.
And at the same time – as we said earlier – he continues to run Newcastle United in the ground with as little investment as possible.
Now – to try to end on a positive note.
The very fact the article has been published by Bloomberg News should bring Newcastle’s availability to the attention of a number of businesses and wealthy businessmen who may want to buy the club.
The report is positive about the club and our great fans.
We continue to live in hope that somebody can save our club – the sooner the better.