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New Wall Street Journal Report Clarifies American’s Role In Newcastle Takeover Talks

It has already been two and a half weeks since the Wall Street Journal broke the story of a Saudi-backed consortium that was in talks over a proposed £340m takeover of Newcastle.

Despite claims that the next 48-72 hours were crucial, here we are with not much more to go on.

The basics of the story were that Amanda Staveley, who failed in a bid for Newcastle two years ago, had reappeared but this time backed by the formidable wealth of the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

The consortium also consisted of British businessmen the Reuben Brothers, which was later confirmed through local reports. The consortium would be primarily funded by the PIF, which is headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Saudi’s would provide 80% of the funds while Staveley’s PCP Capital and the Reuben Brothers would provide 10% each. The group would also pump £200m into the club to push us forward.

Carla DiBello– more involved than first reported?

Another name came into the mix late last week in American entrepreneur Carla DiBello. Bloomberg reported that DiBella, who owns the consulting firm CDB Advisory, was working with Amanda Staveley on the deal.

The Wall Street Journal is back again today, and they are claiming that DiBello has played a much more prominent role in the negotiations than first reported.

They report, citing sources involved in the talks, that it was DiBella who first proposed the idea of purchasing Newcastle to the PIF in early 2019. That piece of information was not in the Bloomberg article.

However, the Wall Street Journal adds that DiBello basically approached the PIF unsolicited, which took them by surprise. They also verify Bloomberg’s reporting that both Staveley and DiBello would continue with the club if a deal was reached with both holding equity in Newcastle.

It all sounds too good to be true. We’d have quite a diverse set of owners who would have the funds to take this club forward. That is precisely why we are highly skeptical of all of this at the moment.

However, we would love for it to happen but don’t want to end up shattered like after the last few takeover claims.

158 comments so far

  • Just a fan

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #121

    That is fine by me
    But people may have a different option I’m glad you agree

  • Just a fan

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:15 PM

    Comment #122

    Not option opinion

  • Genjikai

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:17 PM

    Comment #123

    I just blog mate.
    All this is just my opinion.
    Same as yours.
    The offer was sincere from me.

  • Just a fan

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:18 PM

    Comment #124

    I I think you are so grunion but I don’t have to agree with you

  • Genjikai

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:22 PM

    Comment #125

    Investing in youth
    The more the merrier great group of people, all just doing their bit.
    More goes on than meets the eye.
    Message me on there mate (dm) if you want to come along, ill tell you details.

    Offer stands to anyone else aswell.
    Its been an interesting season ill tell you that.

  • droppy in Wallsend

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:23 PM

    Comment #126


    I don’t use twitter so keep peddling.

    Would love to get along to a meeting at some point.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #127

    Just a fan
    Just to let you know, your not my enemy.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:38 PM

    Comment #128

    Email the magpie group.

  • Jamaal Dubravka

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #129

    Interesting this https://twitter.com/toontilley/status/1227339826275528706 read whole thread for context

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:44 PM

    Comment #130

    Can someone translate Tw@tter please?

    What’s it say in broken English?

  • Assassins Inc

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:45 PM

    Comment #131

    All I can say is the day I open this blog and read Mike Ashley has sold the club is the day I may die of alcohol poisoning.

    Yes it’s a long shot but positive thinking is all I can offer on MA selling the club.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:47 PM

    Comment #132

    If we all do collective positive thinking will it work?
    Lets get EGB to start the chant, then Olg to amplify the signal.

  • MagpieRanger

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:55 PM

    Comment #133

    If this sale doesn’t materialise, at the very least the fans deserve answers. Hopefully Staveley and Co will demolish Ashley afterwards. If we were to really know what that blokes up to it could really fuel a revolt.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 11, 2020 at 9:57 PM

    Comment #134

    Agree magpieranger
    If this real and ashley says no.
    Then i hope stavely and co say it how it is.

    Sell the club mike, just do it.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #135


    I don’t think you really understand NDA’s.

    You can’t use them to trick buyers out of £250K and legally stop them from spilling the beans.

    You are stretching the Ashley conspiracy theory a stretch too far.

  • investinyouthtoon

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:04 PM

    Comment #136

    Thanks Genjikai will do.

    Keep up the great work and with TMG together. It’s a shame more people cant/won’t join in as I believe had we done this year’s ago (protests and demo’s) we would all have our NUFC back by now. Liverpool celtic fans wouldn’t have put up with MA for this long and done bugger all to hasten his departure

  • WLtoon

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #137


    what do you think is going on in that tweet, bcos i think it means bugger all really. Dont think its the same James Reuben either

  • investinyouthtoon

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:07 PM

    Comment #138

    Bills Son, you can lure them in to look at data room and then gag them from saying anything. Hence prev takeover attempts we have heard nothing whatsoever from anybody. MA has them bound and gagged. BZG weren’t just our imagination, they existed and all of a sudden they disappear into oblivion. Ask yourself why

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #139

    #SunderlandAFC in victory over #RochdaleAFC have now accumulated over 5500 league points in football and have overtaken #NewcastleUnited for the 12th most league wins in history. #safc #rafc #nufc

    Never even knew that it was this close. Not sure that it actually matters in any way, shape or form, but I guess it’s of some vague, passing interest.

  • jane

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:12 PM

    Comment #140

    “DiBello basically approached the PIF unsolicited, which took them by surprise.”

    can anyone go and knock on their door?

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #141

    Strange how so many on here seem to be experts in NDA’s and use their knowledge to explain away why buyers never come out and support their claims that Ashley continually fks buyers around and changes the goalposts time and again.

    NDA’s are mostly to prevent buyers from disclosing confidential information about the trading, income and profit sources of a company they have been granted access to. They may also prevent buyers from disclosing that the company is for sale.

    However, seeing as Ashley has made it public that the company is for sale enforcing an NDA to prevent that disclosure would be unlikely to hold water.

    And, if Ashley ‘changed the goalposts’ of an agreement and that was publicly announced by the buyer the chances of a court finding against that the buyer had broken the terms of an NDA would be highly unlikely.

    And before you ask,

    Yes, I have signed NDA’s in the past.

  • jane

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #142

    if these figures from 6 years ago were correct Sunderland couldn’t have 5500 points now

    9 Newcastle United 3,704
    10 Sunderland 3,361


  • RobLeenio

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #143

    investinyouth “you can lure them in to look at data room and then gag them from saying anything”

    Absolutely right. In fact, any sensible business before they start releasing sensitive information will insist on signing an NDA, which will prevent the other party from speaking about those details afterwards and generally in perpetuity.

    As an example, we’re bidding at work on a Government contract, we’ll be getting the bid pack through tomorrow which will contain some sensitive info, having made it through to the final stage. We’ve had to sign a mutual NDA to gain access. This will stop us from revealing the data within the bid and stop them from releasing details of our commercial package.

    What it won’t stop them doing is releasing info about who bid, who won and what the contract is worth. It won’t stop us from saying we’ve won (if we do) and what the general shape of the project is. These things are and will be a matter of public record.

    Ashley’s NDA may well be more restrictive, as he’s a private individual and therefore can enforce any rules he wants – he’s not subject to public procurement rules.

    Hope that helps to give some context, sorry if it was less than exciting.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #144


    Yep, that’s some piece of investigative journalism.

    They were ‘surprised’ when they got an unsolicited approach to invest £280M in NUFC?

    I’m surprised they were only surprised and not absolutely stark raving amazed.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #145

    Why would you pay someone to keep you quiet?

  • jane

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #146

    didn’t spot they are only top flight points 😐

  • Jamaal Dubravka

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #147

    I see it as a positive because James Rueben is seemingly scrolling through nufc takeover tweets which to me suggests he is excited about starting his job at nufc (desperately clutching lol) and it may be closer than we think.
    It is definitely his account because the guy who posted the screenshot also posted a video of him scrolling through his mentions and clicking on the account profile picture which liked the tweet and it was his official account. The video has since been removed though for some reason but I saw it with me own eyes haha.
    Just thought I’d share it tbh as it’s interesting to see people reportedly involved in the deal still being invested on Twitter 😉

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:32 PM

    Comment #148

    jane, they way I read it said that DiBello had a high-level sponsor who decreed that she should be given an open door. The surprise was that she had that access, not that she just turned up at their door.

    There are photos of her meeting the Crown Prince around the time of the Anthony Joshua – David Ruiz fight, which she apparently helped to stage. Rumours that she was introduced by Barry Hearn.

    Kinda makes sense that she is the representative for the PIF, Staveley is the representative for herself and the Reubens. Staveley has the contacts within Ashley’s organisations and the FA. Mutually advantageous relationship.

    Or not, obviously.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:37 PM

    Comment #149

    Genjikai, just a guess but could it be a mutually payable deposit – repayable to the potential buyer on proof of funds (therefore not repayable if they can’t prove they were serious buyers) and repayable to the seller on proof that the company is intact and an actual football club, rather than just a facade?

    It seems at least possible. Then if one party is messing the other one around, then at least they’ve paid some of the other’s legal fees.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #150

    Let’s put a bit more meat on the bone about NDA’s…

    If one party is accused of breaking an NDA the only way the other party can get dosh is if the accusing party take the other to court and wins.

    You can’t use an NDA to protect your company from the legal responsibility of breaking any contractual agreement. If that was the case NDA’s wouldn’t be worth the paper they are written on and no solicitor would agree to their client agreeing to one.

    In the case of BZG, for example, the cost of persuing even a legitimate NDA claim would be astronomical as any court action/writs served etc in the UK would be unenforceable in Saudi or wherever they are based.

    In other words BZG could have said whatever they wanted with impunity.

    And what did they say?

    Absolutely nowt.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:39 PM

    Comment #151

    Jamaal, I saw the video too. Interesting that it’s now been taken down.

  • Genjikai

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #152

    So bill what are you suggesting they are all fake?

  • jane

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:41 PM

    Comment #153

    i haven’t got any high-level sponsors 🙁

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:45 PM

    Comment #154

    Bills Son, it’s not just about the legal ramifications – if a company is known to have broken an NDA, no company would trust them to keep their confidence again, which would paralyse them in terms of future contract negotiations.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:55 PM

    Comment #155


    No, I’m not saying that all the interest is fake.

    What I am saying is that BZG, for whatever reason, claimed that a deal had been done, proof of funds provided and that everything was with the FA for DD. Despite this the Chron, no doubt told from a contact at the club, consistently and from an early stage stated that NO BID had been received but most fans (and me included for a while) chose out of hope that BZG’s version was the legit one. WE WERE ALL WRONG.

    Result?Ashley got the blame for changing the goalposts and asking for an extra £10M.

    Staveley first time round; no doubt genuine interest in buying but couldn’t get enough investors to pit a bid on the table. Second time round ie., now, who knows?

    Kenyon; convinced Ashley in late 2018 he had the funds so much so that Ashley announced the buy out was all but done. And what happened, KENYON DIDN’T HAVE THE MONEY IN PLACE.

    Result? Ashley gets hammered for ‘fooling’ the fans and now demands that any interested buyer puts up £250,000 before they get access to DD so that he doesn’t waste more time and money on fantasists and PR seekers.

    No matter what the screamers on here say…

    I bet I am nearer the truth.

  • WLtoon

    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:55 PM

    Comment #156

    Remember the so called genuine Medhat Kedwai txts on Twatter last year. They got the same sort of response if i recall ., expectant fans putting 2 x 2 together and getting 7
    Like i said to Geordietom, its good that you can be positive about all the speculation but for me its too out in the open, too many people are attaching themselves to what looks like becoming a bit of a farce.
    I sincerely hope you are right, i wont hold my breath though

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Feb 11, 2020 at 11:02 PM

    Comment #157


    You aren’t breaking an NDA if the other party has reneged on a deal.

    For example, BZG wouldn’t have lost any credibility whatsoever if they had come out and said everything we published in our statements to fans was true but we withdrew from the sale because Ashley asked for another £10M after the deal was agreed.

    They’ve lost more credibility by making those statements, Ashley totally refuting them, and themsaying nowt.

    Surely you can see that?

  • lesh

    Feb 11, 2020 at 11:26 PM

    Comment #158

    Bill’s son

    You’ve overlooked the fact that arabs do not like to be seen as losing face and they wouldn’t come out crying ‘foul’ as doing so would imply they’ve been misled or missed something.

    Don’t forget, there’s only be a formal offer submitted when all parties have formally agreed on what’s in and out of the package.

    Up until that point, one must assume that an NDA must be complied with. In the case of BZG, wasn’t it their claim that the Heads of Terms had been agreed and the HoT only provide the big picture and brings the parties together to discuss the finer points. And that’s where Ashley steps in requiring this and that to be provided or bought at a premium.


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