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Before BZG There Was Orlegi Sports – Whatever Happened To Them?

Before there was any mention of the Bin Zayed Group towards the end of May, there was a little known group called Orlegi Sports who were linked to a takeover of Newcastle.

Reports initially surfaced in the Chronicle in early May that the Mexican-based group was interested in purchasing a Premier League team. They had just bought a controlling stake in Liga MX side FC Atlas earlier in the year and were looking to expand their operations to Europe.

The Chronicle did a report on May 7th linking the group’s interest in Europe specifically to Newcastle United. It was widely rubbished at the time, but a follow-up report was done on May 22nd adding an air of legitimacy to the initial reporting.

This is what the president of Orlegi Sports, Alejandro Irarragorri, said at the time:

“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.”

Nothing substantial was reported again on the group. It was only a few days later, a report in the Sun would lead to the summer of BZG and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Chronicle have followed up with some comments that Alejandro Irarragorri made to ESPN recently:

“We were completely looking towards Europe. Last year, we were very close to achieving a purchase in the Premier League.

“Our group was not of sufficient size to proceed with that purchase. We ended the contract with Azteca, and at that time, I went to eat with Ricardo Salinas to thank him. In that, he offers me to sell myself to the Atlas and then we understood this as a great opportunity.”

It looks like the original Orlegi Sports link had some legitimacy to it. However, it appears that they did not have sufficient resources to complete a deal.

90 comments so far

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 12:41 AM

    Comment #1

    The rules clearly state he would be prevented from running the club himself or by proxy
    Wouldnt be hard to prove his proxy id he gifted/sold/whatever
    I emailed them and checked myself, have either of you bothered actually reading the rules?
    I have

    This is a private sporting club legally
    They can actually do as they please

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 12:44 AM

    Comment #2

    If he thinks he can bully a global sport with his lawyers he is a bigger fool then i thought
    They can kick him from the league and give unlimited fines
    They are beyond his control
    If he wants to drag it out he will find himself in a bigger hole than he has ever dug for himself

    So hopefully he will kick off and be sucked into a bigger mess than he ever imagined

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 12:47 AM

    Comment #3

    You think these guys can get owners jump though hoops and ban them from whatever they say will have any difficulty dealing with a non entity like Jabba ?

    These people deal with nation states

    I hope, really hope he takes them on

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 12:50 AM

    Comment #4

    His little tat shop advert will be of zero consequence to these people
    His lawyers more out of their depth then he is

    This is on a global stage, you think they will let him challenge that ?

    Hiya KBA

  • NY Mag

    Oct 5, 2019 at 12:52 AM

    Comment #5


    Yes, I’ve read the rules – I think you’re being naive, which is not surprising given your (admirable) stance, but naive nonetheless.

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 12:57 AM

    Comment #6

    NY Mag

    The Prem rules, which are different to the elf rules clearly state he would be prevented from running the club himself or by proxy
    I emailed them 6 months ago to check
    I would ask you to go back and re read the rules, as the rules in the prem league are different to the rest of the league
    cant be bothered to link it yet again and fear there would in fact be no point
    Go take a look
    He would be legally barred from running the club via proxy
    Bet you whatever sum you choose on this

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:03 AM

    Comment #7

    The reason i brought this up all that time ago
    Was due to the fact it was obvious where this would end up

    And as it seems , here we are

    Who would have guessed


  • NY Mag

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:04 AM

    Comment #8


    You can bet any amount of money you want….I have read the EPL rule book on this.

    I know what the rule says and I’m not disagreeing with you on what it says.
    What I’m disagreeing with is proving it, therein lies the difference

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:12 AM

    Comment #9

    Yes i agree the EPL rule book says what you have said
    But we arnt in the EPL
    We are in the premier League

    Either directly or indirectly he is involved in or has any power to determine or influence the management or administration of another [EPL or EFL club].

    Either directly or indirectly he is involved in or has any power to determine or influence the management or administration of another [EPL or EFL club].

    We are in the EPL

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:13 AM

    Comment #10

    Care to link what you have read ?

    Im curious

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:16 AM

    Comment #11

    I beg your pardon
    I kinked an irrelevant clause

    This one ( i think its late)

    Once again there are similar provisions, split between the general and specific. The football/sport specific offences are understandable. The general offences are also reasonably clear. There might be a few areas of doubt as to what constitutes a dishonest act, but in most cases it is reasonably clear. The list of general offences leading to disqualification has developed and expanded over the last 10 years.

    There does need to be a conviction before this disqualification applies, not merely an allegation of wrong doing, or a pending court case. It is only once the court has given a guilty verdict (and in some instances, delivered a sentence) that a disqualification will result. In 2007 Thaksin Shinawatra acquired Manchester City. At the time he was facing various charges in Thailand, but there had been no conviction, so he was not disqualified from making the acquisition. Once it started to become clearer that he would be convicted he sold the club, knowing that he would no longer satisfy the owners’ and directors’ test.6

    More recently, in 2017 Evangelos Marinakis became the owner of Nottingham Forest, despite allegations of involvement in match-fixing in Greece. Again, there was no conviction, so he passed the owners’ and directors’ test. More recently he has been charged with drug trafficking, which he denies.7

    The provisions listed above as (iv) in the EFL Rules and (xii) of the EFL Rules are relatively new, and were introduced as a result of specific concerns arising on a proposed takeover of Southampton by Gao Jisheng, a Chinese businessman who had admitted bribery offences but avoided being charged by giving evidence against others.8 Prior to the introduction of the new rule the EFL would not have been able to prevent him becoming an owner/director. So now the league reserves the ability to judge if the proposed director would have been guilty of a relevant criminal offence under the laws of England and Wales. The league is acting as “judge and jury” in such cases. Here the league is required to exercise a degree of judgement, unlike other parts of the Rules which are more “pass/fail”. This rule was previously an objective one, and now it has become more subjective.

  • dougie

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:18 AM

    Comment #12

    There’s no takeover going to happen anytime soon,no one is is buying Sports Direct FC with this squad!The parasite has rolled the dice and it’s gone pear shaped again.All Jabba hopes for is 17th or above and it’s not going to happen this time.Almiron and Joelinton would struggle to score 10 goals between them in the Chanpionship.At any normal club the Longstaff brothers would be developing their skills in lower leagues

  • NY Mag

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:20 AM

    Comment #13

    Eh….you’ve lost me.

    You say we aren’t in the EPL, then say we are in the EPL…….I don’t get it

    Anyway, it doesn’t really matter – there’s no disagreement about what the rules say. I’m only disagreeing with the interpretation and how that would proved. I would love for you to be right, I just don’t see it happening

  • NY Mag

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:24 AM

    Comment #14


    Don’t need to link it…the premier league handbook (all 600+ pages of it)
    I’m sure you’ll find it interesting

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:32 AM

    Comment #15

    Reading it
    Cant find a previous paragraph stating he cant run us by proxy, it was a new rule change this season
    Like i said i did check at the time

    Funny how it end up here though, dont it

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:33 AM

    Comment #16

    If this is what he is banking on its a new low for football never mind our club
    But as i said, they did change the rules to stop this very eventuality

  • Assassins Inc

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:34 AM

    Comment #17

    I know this is a blog and you need to generate stories but can we please stop with this takeover rubbish talk.

    Please only post something about it, if it ever happens. Which seems to be never, post something about how well Sunderland are doing, I would prefer to read about them than read about fairy tales.

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:36 AM

    Comment #18

    Found it somewhere else

    The wording in the Rules is similar here. It gives the EPL and EFL strong powers to ensure accurate information is provided to it in any declaration. If accurate or complete information is not provided, even if it would not have lead to disqualification if provided, a disqualification should result. This goes to the question of integrity.

    The test also covers not only formally appointed directors, but also anyone who is not formally appointed as a director but is actually acting as a director or shadow director. A disqualified director/owner cannot act through a “puppet” director/owner.



    A disqualified director/owner cannot act through a “puppet” director/owner.

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:37 AM

    Comment #19

    Like i said


  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:38 AM

    Comment #20

    New rules this season

    What a massive shame


  • NY Mag

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:39 AM

    Comment #21


    Can I ask what your opinion is of the current Kenyon speculation?

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:40 AM

    Comment #22

    Ya think if i can find it
    Some Mega rich guy will be able to employ a guy who will have also found this >?

    Like i said, juts sit back and wait till its out of his hands, why bother dealing with him ?


  • dougie

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:41 AM

    Comment #23

    Potential midfielders against Man U,the Longstaff brothers,fcuking embarrasing.League one players at best at the minute.Almiron is a headless chicken,totally useless because he’s MLS standard.Joelintons scoring record is disgraceful in inferior leagues,may as well start Gayle,at least he can hit the target once in a while in the Championship at least.Its a total shambles,show some self respect and boycott it.Its a zombie club with no ambition!

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:42 AM

    Comment #24

    NY Mag

    At best its utter BS
    Most people think its him trying to keep a hold of us while he remains the owner
    Nobody believes it

    He wants to change the shop front only

    It wont change a thing

    Until he and his tat shop adverts are gone, and he owns or controls nothing he isnt gone

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:44 AM

    Comment #25

    Kenyon is dead in the water
    An utter non starter

    It takes about 30 seconds to see how it plays out, 3 years to pay it back in instalments
    The 3rd year some utter rubbish means whatever etc

    We are sick of the lies, its juts more lies

  • ilovetoon8788

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:46 AM

    Comment #26

    Still on fakeover? No one is buying is when are fighting relegation. End of.

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:46 AM

    Comment #27

    There isnt a way he can stay
    If he does we will hurt him in any way we can

    You will be surprised just how much and how far that will take us

    That famous support works both ways

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:48 AM

    Comment #28

    Im sure most people wont remember just how bad things used to be
    In my part of the world people are football mad, they will do things that are seen to be extreme
    We love our club

    We will defend our club

  • NY Mag

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:49 AM

    Comment #29


    Which is interesting, because on one hand you say he can’t possibly get away with owning / running the club by proxy (if he’s caught up to no good)

    On the other hand you say he’s trying to do exactly that (selling to Kenyon and still running the club behind the scenes)

    Either you believe the EPL rules are enforceable or you don’t….you cant have it both ways

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:50 AM

    Comment #30

    NY mag
    You seem to have been proven incorrect in your assumptions about club ownership of football clubs in the UK

  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:55 AM

    Comment #31

    NY mag

    Im saying he will fall foul of the rules
    While informing people of the reality of the situation

    Most people question the reasoning behind my posts, you understand them
    Funnily enough you seem to not have found what took me 30 seconds on google to find, for at least the 4th time


  • toon22

    Oct 5, 2019 at 1:59 AM

    Comment #32

    Its over for him

    The longer it takes him to see it the more it will hurt/cost him

    We dont care

  • NY Mag

    Oct 5, 2019 at 2:03 AM

    Comment #33


    I’m not sure what I’m incorrect about, but I’m happy to concede to you…..I would like for your predictions to come true, I don’t think they will – but I’m rooting for it 🙂

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 5, 2019 at 2:35 AM

    Comment #34

    So, the EPL can stop him from running a club directly or by proxy in their domain. They can’t force him to sell though. And they cant strip a privately owned company from him.

    Where does it leave our club?

    There are so many grey areas on the ownership within the EPL, and so much scope for interpretation. I think almost every person on this blog wants rid of him.

    Who buys? What is he selling? When? Have we passed a poibt of no return?

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 5, 2019 at 2:49 AM

    Comment #35

    Peter Kenyon taking over would leave us in the same position as Rangers in my eyes. Kenyon, just like King, is very likely to be complicit in any personally advantageous deal. The current Rangers merchandise deal was signed by execitives after Ashley and his minions were removed from power.

    It either needs to be lockstock, or a takeover with a clear strategy for diminishing relevance of SD. I doubt that is GACP. I’m sure I read Bordeaux fans weren’t happy with investment or there ownership.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 5, 2019 at 3:00 AM

    Comment #36

    On football, 541 would be my preferred formation. It is the 2 wider midfielders that really are hard to choose, and hugely underwhelming. Atsu on this seasons form has to be in. The other side, not sure. Ritchie fit would be first choice, but this weekend? Yedlin or Almiron, mainly thanks to no options.

    541 with the 2 wider midfielders needing to be inverted, allowing them to come in supporting the 1 while full backs offer width.

    This also means the midfield 4 are compact centrally when we lose the ball and prevent the opposition playing through the middle. We have a great setup to press if we lose the ball. Offering a 5 across the field while the narrow fullback drops to create a 4 giving little space between the lines and providing a solid structure that minimises space.

    I know people on here would say 541 is negative, it isn’t. It can be whatever you want, depending ob your stratregy and style within the formation

  • NY Mag

    Oct 5, 2019 at 3:12 AM

    Comment #37


    I see your point, although I would rather see a peter Kenyon “empty bank account” approach rather than the current one.
    The dilema is…what is the that gamble worth???

  • Assassins Inc

    Oct 5, 2019 at 3:15 AM

    Comment #38

    The Geordie faithful should sing a song,
    Here’s an idea, instead of Celebration time come on, let’s. Celebrate. They could go with Relegation time come on; let’s relegate.

    There a party going on right here, a relegation by the end of the year, bring your Newcastle Brown and your black and white too, we going to Celebrate relegation with you.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Oct 5, 2019 at 3:19 AM

    Comment #39

    How much do you think Ashley would be keeping if he took Kenyons lower offer with longer payment terms?

    BZG were allegedly at £350million, and Ashley said what’s another 10 here or there. Now it is 175 up front with 125 over 3 years? Kenyon waiving rights to renegotiate contracts? Ashley keeping merchandise, advertising?

  • DubaiMicky

    Oct 5, 2019 at 5:22 AM

    Comment #40

    For what it’s worth, this is my Rafa Bingo for tomorrow:-

    Willems Dummett Lascelles Yedlin.
    St Max Longstaff Schar Atsu

    Back to Brucies favourite 4-4-2 (really a 4-2-2-1-1), however this does leave Joelinton being exposed and left on his own, although I’d hope that the midfield 4 can give him plenty of support (esp Schar).


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