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Questions About Sheikh Khaled’s Takeover – Any Acquisition Now Appears Dubious

We have mentioned Kieran Maguire before on the blog – he’s a well-respected lecturer who specializes in football finance at Liverpool University.

And he is doubtful that Sheikh Khaled’s attempted takeover of Newcastle is as far along as they have reported in the two communiques his group have released about the acquisition.

Mike Ashley is notorious for “pretending” there is a takeover of the club happening, only to squash things when he thinks the time is right.

He seems from his previous actions that he doesn’t really want to sell the club.

Sheikh Khaled – deal not as far along as he’s said?

This is what Maguire said in the Chronicle earlier today about the BZG takeover:

“I’ve got quite a lot of caution in regard to the way it’s being conducted.”

“It’s a high profile club and a one city club and when anything happens at Companies House, for example, I will get Newcastle fans asking me ‘What does this mean?’.”

“I feel like the fans are almost willing it through but it has dragged on for six weeks.”

“Due Diligence should have been completed by now and if it was where it was supposed to be, we’d be nearing a conclusion now.”

It’s a lot longer than six weeks they have been involved in an attempted acquisition since Sheikh Khaled has said the proof of funds was sent to Ashley’s lawyers back on April 17th – that’s over 10 weeks ago.

It looks like it’s gone very slowly – probably because Ashley is dragging his feet.

If we are to believe BZG – they moved in for Newcastle as soon as we were mathematically safe in the Premier League.

However, none of the potential new owners said to be interested in buying the club have been granted exclusivity or begun meeting the Premier League’s directors’ and owners’ requirements.

The Chronicle reported this from PA Sport:

“Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Bin Zayed Group declared their hand in May, but they are not the only prospective buyer to have entered negotiations.”

“However, none yet is understood to have been granted exclusivity or begun the process of meeting the Premier League’s owners requirements.”

“History suggests Ashley will wait only so long, as Amanda Staveley and Peter Kenyon can testify.”

Ashley has said he will wait about 2 weeks, but we expect at the end for him to say nobody has come up with the right price – os some other nonsense – so that he cannot sell Newcastle.

If that happens, Newcastle may be dead in the water.

And we’ll have to wait for the owner to appoint a manager who will effectively do what he says.

And that does not include doing well in the league or the cups – it means merely surviving in the Premier League – so the Sports Direct banners continue to be shown around the world on TV during every home game.

Rafa Benitez was not like that – which is one reason he was so loved by our fans.

He wanted to win things – things called trophies.

The break between the owner and the fans may now be irreparable.

We don’t want to go back to how things were under Steve McClaren and others – when we were always second-rate.

We have tasted what it’s like to be managed by a world-class manager like Rafa, and we want that to continue.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

76 comments so far

  • geordietom

    Jun 28, 2019 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #1

    i just wish the journo’s would stop spouting their crap . until we here other wise they are as much in the dark as us .

    the quicker Fat Ash sells up the better …

  • Sherlock

    Jun 28, 2019 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #2

    Aye no earth shattering news here. I have renewed hope after yesterdays crack

  • magfry

    Jun 28, 2019 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #3

    No takeover as expected, fans fed the proverbial again. Benitez’s gone we are sinking fast


  • wyntheleap

    Jun 28, 2019 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #4

    More tosh from this lot, seems like they are hoping it all falls through, stating one guys opinion so he must be right of course, rubbish.

  • Ron

    Jun 28, 2019 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #5

    I never believed Cashley would sell, he’s more than happy to string people (buyers and fans) along in their belief he is a willing seller – he’s not!

  • Binney

    Jun 28, 2019 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #6

    They need to issue another statement…

  • richyg01

    Jun 28, 2019 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #7

    No Take Over – Ashley Still in charge
    O’Neill as Manager – Nothing to pay to get him released from contract
    Best players sold – Ashley pockets a cool few million (probably over 100)
    Little to No Investment in first team
    Relegation fodder

  • Foggy Hall to Timbuktu

    Jun 28, 2019 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #8

    “Due Diligence should have been completed by now and if it was where it was supposed to be, we’d be nearing a conclusion now.”

    That’s a positive!

    I like the guy and follow him on twitter. He is always sticking it to Ashley!

  • lesh

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #9

    Why oh why are folk getting excited about what the Press Association reports?

    The PA is a news aggregator and as such, sweeps up media stories and publishes them in its own words. Old news recycled.

    And yet football finance expert is only casting his opinion based on what he’s heard. However, where we are with BZG is only known by BZG and Ashley.

    For BZG to have made the statements it made about agreeing [Heads of] Terms and assisting in the Owners and Director tests, I’d guess that they’ve provided proof of funds and other data to Ashley’s reps but we need to bear in mind that it is the current owner that is required to ask the FA/ EPL or whoever to carry out the assessments of the proposed new owner (eg individual or corporate body), key personnel of influence and finances and associated plans. So, in practice, a Sale and Purchase Agreement would need to be in place before the seller (Ashley) would seek Owner and Director approval. It follows therefore that if Ashley’s pi$$ing BZG about, the O and D application won’t have been submitted.

    All in all, Ashley’s been doing his usual and negotiating in bad faith – trying to screw the last penny out of a buyer. He’s a thoroughly dishonourable specimen, a spiv.

  • Jib

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #10

    from now on
    “sheikhover ©”

  • Rafael

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #11

    Good afternoon everyone,

    When HNWs with the stature of Sheikh Khalid are involved in business it is often carried out “under the radar”. An NDA would be signed at the initial stages of negotiation. Is Ashley playing a game? Quite possibility, anything is possible with Ashley.

    Unfortunately we must sit tight and see what the outcome is, I suspect that if no takeover has been confirmed by mid July then this is all a farce and Ashley has had the better of the fans yet again.

    If you ask me…I believe it is happening, but this is because I want it to happen and want to believe more than anything…….

  • Jib

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #12

    I always thought spivs were skinny with narrow moustaches
    dressed like teddy boys and spoke out the corner of their mouths

  • Rotonda heights

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #13


    doesn’t stop 52000 turning up though, so no realistic end in sight.

  • IrishRob

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #14

    BZG were using us for publicity, let’s all just face the facts here. Ashley is also a miserable leech but anyone who thinks BZG wouldn’t lie or are worried about losing face, is highly naive.

  • Tony Baloney

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #15

    The Chronic rolled this guy out during the last takeover and his valuation was 225 million. Yes, 225 million for a club with a turnover/revenue of 180 million and built-in profit as of then of 50 million. It was easy to figure out what the profit was even without a release of the accounts because we knew the gate money, the concessions and advertising money, the PL TV money and above all we knew Ashley had slashed the payroll.

    And still this fool came up with 225 million. OK, he’s a professor of accounting. But there are bad professors just like there are bad doctors or bad owners of football clubs.

    He didn’t even take into account the scarcity value of PL clubs or the money washing and PR potential for despots and megalomaniacs.

  • JDdubai

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #16

    What publicity does this multi-billion dollar royal-led business need from being linked to a football club exactly?

  • Sheikh Rafa

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #17

    The manager of our club is irrelevant as we need a new owner ASAP!

    The fans have it in their power to force the parasite to sell the club.

    Get your act together and do something about it ffs!

    Boycotts, blockades, whatever it takes. I’m willing to drive down to Shirebrook and do my bit.

    How many years do we have to put up with this fat parasite bleeding our club dry?

  • IrishRob

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #18

    I wish people would stop presuming things based on there being an application sent to the FA. There is ZERO evidence of any application received by the FA.

  • lesh

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #19

    Mr Baloney

    Rafa had to go through,Charnley because he probably reported to him. It’s what’s known as accountability, the reporting line which Ashley would have dictated. Add to that, Ashley’s had Barnes in place over Charnley thus building in two brakes on any transfer proposals from Rafa.

    In saying that, if Ashley did have a genuine interest in building a successful Newcastle United, he could have had regular 121s with Rafa – especially when he’s appeared at matches and buggered off without even speaking to the most important man,at the club – Rafa.

  • stan anderson

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #20

    Please give us some news,hopefully positive.
    When this takeover news 1st broke and we were all dancing in the streets,even Toon 22 seemed upbeat .
    Alas that did,nt last to long and he was back with his AshLie is not a seller,etc.etc.
    I fear he may be proved right in his views of our plight.

  • IrishRob

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #21

    JDdubai, go ask them. But please stop presuming the deal is still alive on the basis that they wouldn’t lie or are worried about losing face. There could be a myriad of reasons why they might do such a thing, like I said earlier though I’m not going to presume what that might be, youd have to ask them mate.

  • lesh

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #22


    If Flash Harry’s your idea of a spiv, Margaret Rutherford’ll no doubt be your Miss Tynemouth bathing beauty!

  • #boycott Arsenal

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #23

    Rotunda, Munster,
    Do you both honestly think that a new manager is going to get a chance to impose a style of play. He has five weeks to get a team ready for the PL, he doesn’t have a CF, the team plays five at the back with a right winger at LWB who may be sold due to his ripe old age of 29, we have Yedlin and Manqiluilo at RB and Atsu at LW, Lee Churnley will be deciding which players said manager will be allowed to have. Who ever comes in will be in a relegation battle by November and we can expect a style of play?

  • toonbrother

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #24

    Patience is a virtue
    the takeover will go through as planned
    Then wenger will be appointed
    Ritchie will be sold
    And We will return to European football

  • Tony Baloney

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #25

    Lesh: but neither Charnley nor Barnes are football men. One is an accountant and the other a “fixer”. If Ashley had concern for his asset you would think he would want to hear from the football man (Rafa). I understand your point about a chain of command but that seems to be about as fcked up as everything else Ashley touches at NUFC.

    And why are you calling me Mr. as well. That’s you and JIb. You don’t normally agree on anything.

  • lesh

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #26


    Or even Miss Benwell…..

  • posada

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #27

    Jun 28, 2019 at 2:05 PM
    Comment #18
    Merlin Entertainment taken over by
    Lego owner Kirk Kristiansen who already owned


    Just re above. The Jibbster is wrong again. No great shock there.
    The company owned by Kristiansen owned a 30% stake in Merlin.
    So, he’s had to put in an extra Billion or thereabouts. He’s also had to find a partner, a pension fund, to put in 2.4 Billion.

    Jib wants to dismiss that as simple, easy and not like the complicated situation at Nufc.

    No it’s not.

    What point am I making.
    Business people are used to making deals. Even on this scale.
    If there is a willing buyer and a willing seller it can progress quickly.
    Complications. Some companies have potential for litigation going back decades. They have ways to factor that in.
    There is a load of money out there looking for assets to invest in.

    Will it ever be NUFC ?
    I don’t know.

  • Jib

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #28

    George Cole was great
    Ashley is more like Arfur Daley

  • lesh

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #29


    ‘If Ashley had concern for his asset you would think he would want to hear from the football man (Rafa)’. Absolutely and his methods confirm that he doesn’t give a chit about anything other than money.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #30

    Lesh, All in all, Ashley’s been doing his usual and negotiating in bad faith – trying to screw the last penny out of a buyer.

    As usual, another opinion stated as fact.

    I mentioned on the last thread and I’ll say it again…

    Why aren’t BZG issuing another statement??

    It can’t be a NDA because they’ve issued statements before.

    If they’ve given Ashley everything he wants, and their statement basically says they have, then WHY wouldn’t they create merry hell if Ashley hadn’t honoured his part of the deal and sent everything to the FA??

    At the very least BZG are starting to be doubted and at worst are being hung out to dry with their supposed highly valued reputation being damaged by the antics of the serial takeover killer Ashley.

    NDA or no NDA, a company of BZG’s size and wealth (if true) would not sit in silence if they were being screwed.

    THAT is what worries me and why I think this sale in now almost dead in the water.

  • ToonRich

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #31

    IrishRob, at the moment there is Mashleys word which is spun by certain media, not direct from the club or himself against BZG statements. So you’re saying you’d rather believe MA than BZG?

    In the current situation I hope that even if its going to take time, sanctions are put in place to get the manager and players brought in that both camps are agreed on. Not going to happen though, lets face it!

  • Jib

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #32

    Søren Thorup Sørensen sits on the board of Merlin as a non-executive director.
    What Arabs are on the board of NUFC ?

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #33


    It’s good to see someone else not looking through glasses with one lens a $hit Ashley colour and the other rose tinted BZG.

  • IrishRob

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #34

    Toonrich….. who do you think instructs them to say these statements the queen of Sheeba?

    I’m not saying either is lying I’m saying We are all presuming that BZG are telling the truth because they would otherwise be too worried about looking like liars which is just naive imo. Second some are stating that they dont have a reason to lie, which is also naive.

    I dont know whats going on or who to believe. But I’m not coming up with theories based on assumptions either. When none of us have a single clue what these people are like or what their motives might be.

  • outside the box

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #35

    someone has to get to charnley for statement either our fearless reporters ….the supporters group….even the council block his car in …padlock the gates…demand an update…

  • posada

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #36

    How exactly would that help.
    Are you saying that made the whole thing easy.

    Non Executive. No authority to make decisions.
    An Arab on the board would influence Ashley would he.

    No he wouldn’t.
    Doh !

  • Jib

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #37

    End of dialogue
    I thought I was talking to an adult

  • Tony Baloney

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #38

    Lesh: I have never understood why he thinks his tat shop methods would work in football. He has had 2 relegations doing it this way which have taken an age to recover from and why our transfer spend is so low (others would say that he has plundered the club coffers but there is not much evidence of this apart from property). I understand why he says he cannot keep up with sovereign state owners and oligarchs but surely he should see the benefit of talking to the football man about transfers if he (Ashley) has the final say. I mean, if he wanted to talk to someone about how his lunch was being prepared would it be his chef or his accountant?

    Well with Ashley the Chef would have to report to the accountant who would then pass the information on to Fatty – jellied eels your highness in a delicious lard sauce, your favourite.

  • Mund

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #39

    Tense mood on the blog today

  • IrishRob

    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #40

    Outside the box…. the reason we haven’t heard anything from Charnley is not because no one has tried to interview him or because they are afraid of him, its because he clearly doesn’t want to talk.


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