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Report – Group Linked With Newcastle Acquisition Again

There is a report in the Chronicle that a group based in Mexico is interested in the purchase of Newcastle United. This is the second time in two weeks the group has been linked with an interest in Newcastle.

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley– Will they ever sell the club?

When Orlegi Sports was initially linked with Newcastle on May 7th, we did not make too much of it other than it just being a link between a group looking to purchase a football club and a club up for sale. That link though has resurfaced again today.

The Chairman of Orlegi Sports, Alejandro Irarragorri has made some comments that suggests the group is looking to purchase another football club in addition to the Mexican clubs they have stakes in.

This is some of what he has said:

“For us we have seen opportunities in Mexico, we have seen opportunities in the United States, and we have seen opportunities in Europe, and right now we are evaluating which are the best opportunities to generate value.

“There are many things, if I told you about the seven options we have at the table – they are all very interesting, and we are evaluating them.”

Orlegi Sports has just bought the controlling stake in Liga MX side FC Atlas which is based in Guadalajara. From his comments, it appears that the group has seven other opportunities to purchase another club in either Mexico, the United States, or in Europe.

The group also control Liga MX side Santos Laguna, which is a very popular side in Mexico and is often on the television here in the States.

It is interesting that they have purchased a stake in FC Atlas. A report in Reuters about this deal states that: “The deal will give Orlegi complete control of the soccer team’s administration and operations, as well as sports and business strategy,” Orlegi said in a statement.

It could be feasible, as well as beneficial if Ashley were to sell a stake for another group to control the team’s operations. However, there is a massive gap in the running of a club in Mexico to one of the top clubs in all the world.

So we have to wonder if the press is just putting two and two together on this one as this seems like an odd match.

We also feel that Mike Ashley doesn’t really want to sell Newcastle United. And unfortunately, he does not seem to want to let the club reach it’s mammoth potential either.

This is the vexing paradox we find ourselves in as Newcastle United fans under this owner.


26 comments so far

  • ronaldo aarons

    May 23, 2019 at 12:15 AM

    Comment #1


  • ronaldo aarons

    May 23, 2019 at 12:23 AM

    Comment #2

    Tsunki has a big job to get this thread to the second page.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 23, 2019 at 12:23 AM

    Comment #3

    Newcastle United
    Accounts for the year to 30 June 2018

    Turnover £178m (8th highest in the league, up from £86m)
    Wage bill £94m (13th highest, 53% of turnover, down from £112m)
    Profit before tax £23m (follows £47m loss in the Championship)

    Ownership Mike Ashley owns the club via his company MASH Holdings Limited.

    Gate and matchday £24m; TV and broadcasting, £126m; commercial and other income, £28m

    Net debt £144m owed to Ashley.

    Interest payable £0.1m

    Highest-paid director £300,000 paid to Lee Charnley.

    State they’re in Ashley pushed the finances into the red to win promotion; the steadiness since is seen as stinginess by many supporters, and the manager Rafael Benítez. Repaid £33m of his own loans after the financial year end. Has committed to Sports Direct starting to pay this year for the ubiquitous advertising at St James’ Park.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 23, 2019 at 12:37 AM

    Comment #5

    Looks like we made around 60 million profit last year, which I suppose is where the mooted 100 million over 4 windows transfer kitty is coming from, and perhaps explains the bank over-draught.

    Interestingly first year back our wage bill dropped and Ashley paid himself back for the Championship season loan – risky and arguably reckless and unfair considering poor management cost us our place in the top flight in the first place, but does at least mean we are in the black, with money to spend.

  • ronaldo aarons

    May 23, 2019 at 12:44 AM

    Comment #6


    For the start of this 2018/19 season, figures compiled by CIES Football Observatory regarding the wages various sporting teams, in different sports around the world. EPL is pg52-55.

    They’ve looked at it as average first team pay, per player.

    We are placed above only Burnley, Huddersfield and Cardiff.

    Has us down as £1,650,133 per player, per annum. Works out around £41m for 25 man first team. Just on the salary so would expect no bonuses etc to be involved.

    Average salary per player in the league down as £2,990,726.

    Take away the top 6, and average around £2,069,474.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 23, 2019 at 12:55 AM

    Comment #7

    Interestingly too, it must be said that the season we went down Ashley backed the manager big time, and historically we had been paying wages commensurate to our size under Ashley, around 7th or 8th highest in the league, before the drop(s).

    To me, the problem has not really been backing under Ashley, it’s been much more so the hiring of so so management to run things and the flawed transfer policy that led to unbalanced and patchy squads and of course he should have always paid for his advertising and doubtless even now doesn’t pay near the going rate.

    Rafa changes so much for us.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    May 23, 2019 at 12:57 AM

    Comment #8

    Yeah, we need to now start paying wages that reflect our size again.

  • NY Mag

    May 23, 2019 at 1:08 AM

    Comment #9


    You have to be a little bit carfull with the wages – they are not what they appear.

    Last years wage bill of 112M was inflated by a one-off provision (real wages 90M)

    This years wages of 94M was was deflated by releasing 10M of the previous years provision (real wages 104M)

    Means wages have gone up year on year (as you would expect)

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    May 23, 2019 at 2:52 AM

    Comment #10

    Thank you to Neil for publishing these night articles (I’m assuming it’s him anyway) and also thank you to the night crew (it’s almost 10pm EST where I am) for staying on topic and not straying into stupidity like ham radios and politics. I salute you all!

    On topic – I’m not going to believe ANY of these articles in the papers concerning takeovers or Rafa’s contract until they’re actually done deals. We’re a great club to speculate about lately, and good fodder for the sports pages. It’s just a shame that it’s the same stuff every year, over and over, ad infinitum.

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    May 23, 2019 at 2:56 AM

    Comment #11

    By the way, if anyone in the Connecticut area knows of any local Toon fan meetings to watch the games at a pub or wherever, please let me know. I miss such activities from when I lived in Boston and it’s not the same watching the games by myself (or with my bairns, who are six and two years old).

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    May 23, 2019 at 3:01 AM

    Comment #12

    And a belated congratulations to InSaneInTheMembrane aka Matt Smith who won the inaugural Ed Harrison Fantasy Football League this season. There’s no prize, just blog bragging rights. My eldest lad came second, beaten by a mere twenty points. Better luck next year son!

    I’ll be sure to set up another league again next season. It was much more popular than I had initially anticipated 🙂

  • NY Mag

    May 23, 2019 at 3:09 AM

    Comment #13


    Where in CT are you? Not so far from me?…we could also form our own branch?

  • Nostradamus the Geordie

    May 23, 2019 at 4:03 AM

    Comment #14

    Here we go again, what’s this now round nine of, Who want be a Millionaire, sorry I mean, Who wants to be the next horses ass that says they want to purchase Newcastle, perfect timing once again Mike.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    May 23, 2019 at 4:48 AM

    Comment #15

    Ashley’s biggest problem has always been his hiring of managers and staff. After having endured Wise, Charnley, Kinnear, Pardew, McClaren & Carver for however many years it’s a miracle we aren’t a Sunderland. The only reason we aren’t is probably down to Graham Carr finding so many gems. If those managers had been allowed to buy their own players we’d more than likely have been in a bigger mess and the Colocinni/ Cabaye/ Tiote/ Ben Arfa/ Cisse/ Ba season would never have happened. Poor Carr having the job of finding players and then passing them into the hands of the likes of Pardew who would most likely drop them in favour of a Perch, Obertan or Gouffran type. If there’s two lessons I hope Ashley has learned from the last 11 years, I hope it is realising his own football decisions aren’t to be trusted and knowing the value of having a good manager. If he’s learned that we will be OK going forward.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    May 23, 2019 at 4:58 AM

    Comment #16

    There haven’t been many or any major takeovers in recent years and I doubt there will be as long as we have political instability on the horizon. Who’d want to spend £300-400m in an economy that is widely touted to lose 10-15% of its value later this year. Anyone in their right mind would at least wait until the value of the pound plunges to its lowest which will be immediately after Brexit. If we are going to sell it will be when Brexit happens. I don’t think it was a coincidence we almost had a sale touted for the end of December (same date we were meant to leave the EU) and it fell apart around the same time the Brexit talks failed.

  • chicousa

    May 23, 2019 at 5:59 AM

    Comment #17

    Thanks for setting up the Fantasy Football, Ed Harrison League! Took me a while to figure things out but improved steadily once I did. Look forward to next season!

  • toon22

    May 23, 2019 at 6:04 AM

    Comment #18


    Let’s sell the club again

    It’s getting boring

  • martoon

    May 23, 2019 at 6:45 AM

    Comment #19

    Chancel – next year should be easier because when you reregister with FF it gives the option to reform/rejoin leagues. I ended up 49th after a terrible start.

  • toon22

    May 23, 2019 at 6:55 AM

    Comment #20

    NY mag

    Those accounts are mint ,arnt they


  • cyprus

    May 23, 2019 at 7:22 AM

    Comment #21

    Agree with the statement above. Unless it’s an outright bargain, few will invest in UK business until the dust settles. Football clubs are usually rich mens’ toys rather than outright investments.

    Now, Ed, couldn’t find much about this Alejandro guy. Has good links with Celtic, seems to have a few hundred million, doesn’t seem to like to throw money on silly purchases.

    At best, he’d buy a share of NUFC. Can’t see MA wanting that.

    So, if you’re a bored billionaire with money to blow on a club that may come good, feel free to contact us.


  • martoon

    May 23, 2019 at 7:30 AM

    Comment #22

    toon22 @20 – For those of us who have half a brain the simplified explanation of the accounts is very interesting and gives us a good idea what we can and can’t realistically afford! It is only half wits like you who have to scoff and sneer about it! :/

  • Jib

    May 23, 2019 at 7:33 AM

    Comment #23

    Martoon hear hear from sunny Spain

  • Jib

    May 23, 2019 at 7:37 AM

    Comment #24

    The contract is likely signed but they don’t want to announce it on an election day

  • DubaiMicky

    May 23, 2019 at 7:42 AM

    Comment #25

    Well as no results can be in until realistically Monday, then I’d say, if Jib is correct, the announcement will be next Wednesday or so.

    I think tomorrow.

  • martoon

    May 23, 2019 at 7:45 AM

    Comment #26

    Jib – Cheers. I’m not so sure about your election day theory – I wouldn’t have thought it would effect Sports related announcements. However I would expect an announcement soon – I think one of the local respected hacks (I can’t remember which one) said we should start worrying if we haven’t heard anything by the end of this week!


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