It’s Sunday, so we expected something on the potential (is this all still real?) takeover of Newcastle United.
Since Rafa left at the end of last month, everything has gone quiet on the takeover front, so Mike Ashley looks to have survived another transfer window at Newcastle?
We knew all about the BZG bid earlier this summer, but the Chronicle also kept reporting there were two other groups looking to buy Newcastle.
But everything has gone very quiet.
But as Neil reported earlier, the Daily Mail are saying that BZG is looking for some financing so they can still buy Newcastle.
The fee is said to be between £300M and £350M.
The reporter Ben Harrington is one of the Mail’s finance reporters.
Today he’s reporting that an American hedge fund backed by Japanese investment firm SoftBank have been in talks with the Dubai-based Bin Zayed Group.
The talks are about how they can finance a deal to buy Newcastle.
It looks like the group is still interested in buying the club, but how come they don’t have the money when they were trying to buy Liverpool a year ago for £2B?
Or at least that was the news at the time.
Borrowing a lot of money is how the Glazer family bought Manchester United back in May 2005, and they borrowed a lot of money to buy the club for £790M.
Since then the Red Devils have been in a lot of debt.
Most of the money was borrowed against assets of the Manchester United club, and at one point the club incurred interest payments of over £60M a year.
The family then took the club private, with an initial public offering (IPO) which created even more debt – that was back in 2012.
The fans were wondering when all this debt would be paid off, and in 2010 it exceeded £700M – but they still carry too much debt even today.
That may not be the case with BZG – it will depend on how much they are looking to borrow – if it’s £100M or less then that can be managed but more than that and it would not be good.
There are three two weeks International breaks before Christmas, and we’d be surprised it a takeover attempt isn’t reported during those windows – when there tends to be a lack of real news.
That news could be true or not – but it does seem BZG are still keen on buying Newcastle.
Where’s there’s a will there’s a way?
Hopefully, the incompetent and selfish Mike Ashley is on borrowed time, and after the catastrophe of Ashley forcing Rafa out of the club, we can still get new owners.
But it’s like going around in circles – because with five top-six teams in our first nine league games we are likely to be fighting relegation fairly quickly this season.
And the reports will be that Newcastle’s relegation threat is putting buyers off.
But we’ve heard all that before – far too many times.
We don’t know if Ashley will sell the club, but we hope he will and that it’s soon.
We live in hope.