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Newcastle United – News Roundup – 22 August 2009.

Posted on August 22nd, 2009 | 65 Comments |

One of these will own the club.
One of these will own the club.
There are rumours that Newcastle United will make an announcement about the sale of the club on Monday, although I can’t find a direct quote from anyone at the club about this announcement. Other rumours suggest it may be late next week before we find out anything.

Sky Sports claims that talks are continuing with Barry Moat and two other consortia, as does The Guardian, and both claim some sort of announcement is set for Monday.

The Telegraph claims that negotiations between Moat and Ashley are at an advanced stage and some sort of deal could be closed next week. They also mention that Barclays would like to see a reduction in the £40m loan the club uses to operate before they’ll stamp their authority on any deal for Barry Moat.

The Times makes similar claims to the The Telegraph and mentions that three more players must be sold before Barclays will authorise Moat’s continuing use of the loan facility if he should take over the club. They state that, although it hasn’t been officially confirmed, those players are believed to be Steven Taylor, Jonas Gutierrez and Fabricio Coloccini. The Times actually has quotes from Llambias who says:

We have parties who are more or less at signing stage.

It’s about getting money to the bank. We are in negotiations with Barry.

Llambias said this of the other consortia interested in buying the club (which I presume includes Fanbase 410):

They are well-intentioned but they have to have proof of funds before we continue and it is a very tall order and unrealistic in three weeks. It is a dream and a very frustrating thing. Football is tough and very fickle. They are way behind.”

So it looks like a straight choice between Moat and Ashley. Either way, the squad will need to be significantly strengthened if we’re going to mount a realistic challenge for promotion.

We play Crystal Palace at 3PM today and according to the club site Joey Barton will not be travelling with the team due to his foot injury. Nicky Butt has however returned to the squad after hand surgery and Andy Carroll is rated as 50-50 after limping off with a groin strain during our mid-week game against Sheffield Wednesday.

Crystal Palace currently sit in 10th place on 4 points after a draw at home to Plymouth, losing away to Bristol City and winning away to Ipswich. Of course in their game against Bristol City they had a perfectly good goal disallowed and this sent Neil Warnock into a state of apoplexy from which he’ll probably never recover.

Shola is enjoying his run as a first choice striker and basking in the new found love from supporters. He told the BBC:

It’s something that hasn’t happened often over the years but I’m delighted.

I have finally got a chance to get a run in the team and prove I can score.”

He also told The Chronicle:

I’m aiming to score more at Palace.

It’s another opportunity and I’m up for the challenge.

Confidence is high at the moment.

My body feels right and is ready for the grind of Championship football.

If I can stay fit and we can keep pushing as a team, we can really achieve something great here.

The aim is to win the Championship.

That is certainly what I’m aiming for.

I’ve had a great pre-season, probably the best for a while.

I believe that it is really good for me at the moment.”

Keep on scoring Shola!

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen

I’m a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called ‘scrumpy’. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he’s not worth 10).

Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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65 Responses

  1. Shola ameobi top scorer in the championship this season!
    Newcastle united promoted as champions of the league!
    Alan shearer manager of the month at least five times!
    All it takes for this to happen is mike (c)ashley to leave our club as soon as possible!

  2. I think we may be in for a reality check at Palace. The sooner the better in some respects…..there seems to be a view developing that we have nothing to beat in this division and we’ll win it by a mile…..crazy!

    We don’t have the depth of squad – one or two key injuries and this will be cruelly exposed. The asset stripping has to stop (apart from the likes of Butt, Xisco, Geremi etc)and we need to strengthen, and quickly if we are to build on this solid start to the season.

  3. yeah im hoping for a win it wont be easy warnock is a manager that i always rated but hopefully hell come up 2nd best today

    krul/harper

    simpson/taylor/taylor/kadar/sol/enrique/????

    geremi/gunnarson/butt/skjelbred/vuckic/nolan/barton/lualua/jonas/ferguson

    ameobi/carroll/lovenkrands/ranger/

    that would be my dream squad for the championship unfortunatley its not ralistic but what do you think anyway ???

  4. Always knew Shola wasn’t a premiership player. If he keeps getting us goals great for him and the team.

    Still waiting for D day, hope it comes soon…..

  5. What concerns me are the rumours that Barclays are stating three more players need to be sold before they would approve the overdraft facility transferring to Moat. We know who we would like to see moved on but whether this will happen and how much Mr Moat has available to buy players is frustratingly unclear. I just hope he has the money to support us adequately or we’re out of the frying pan into the fire. At least fattie has the cash to pump money in where it appears Moat does not.

  6. That’s a worry Deb, I admit, but I guess we have to trust that Moat knows what he’s doing and has already considered the money he’ll need to invest in players and ongoing costs.

    What are the odds of us getting 3 bum owners in a row?

    Okay, don’t answer that!

  7. geordie deb says:
    August 22, 2009 at 10:38 am

    “What concerns me are the rumours that Barclays are stating three more players need to be sold before they would approve the overdraft facility transferring to Moat.”

    Deb, Barclays are stating absolutely nothing, that would be a breach of client confidentiality.

    Off to the badlands of South Norwood soon. Even if Newcastle win, I will probably be miserable.

  8. Don’t know if Worky will let me post but here goes…

    Barclays couldn’t demand three more players be sold anyway, nor could they demand the club reduce the wage bill.

    All they can do is say they wish the overdraft to be reduced, now obviously selling players and reducing the wage bill is the best way to do it, but that’s up to the club not Barclays.

  9. Tino 11 says:
    August 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    “Don’t know if Worky will let me post but here goes…”

    Post away Tino! Just don’t say that we give anyone’s personal details out here, ’cause we don’t! ;-)

  10. No probs Worky, i think you know now it was a joke that i tried to explain with battys help.

    Anyway, does anyone know if the match is on tv anywhere at all or any of the usual websites? I can’t find it at all.

  11. Tino 11 says:
    August 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm (Edit)

    Barclays couldn’t demand three more players be sold anyway, nor could they demand the club reduce the wage bill.

    ===

    Maybe not directly, but they can do indirectly if they’re seeking assurances that their loan is safe.

    They could for example ‘suggest’ that they’d be more amenable to lending Moat the money if the club’s wage bill was smaller, which is effectively the same as demanding that players be sold.

  12. workyticket says:
    August 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm (Edit)

    Off to the badlands of South Norwood soon. Even if Newcastle win, I will probably be miserable.

    ====

    My sister-in-law used to live there. The fact that she no longer does is one less reason to be miserable about going there.

  13. Hugh de Payen says:
    August 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Tino 11 says:
    August 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm (Edit)

    Barclays couldn’t demand three more players be sold anyway, nor could they demand the club reduce the wage bill.

    ===

    Maybe not directly, but they can do indirectly if they’re seeking assurances that their loan is safe.

    They could for example ’suggest’ that they’d be more amenable to lending Moat the money if the club’s wage bill was smaller, which is effectively the same as demanding that players be sold.

    Maybe, i just don’t think they will try and get too involved in how the club reduce the overdraft aslong as they do it. If the club got some new sponsorship deal or ticket prices changed or something else happened that could show the overdraft would be reduced then i’m sure they would be more than happy with that. I think we are putting too much importance on Barclays role in this.

  14. Maybe Tino, but banks generally take a much more ‘active’ role in business loans than they do in personal ones. They generally need convincing of the business plan and often want certain assurances about the way the business is going to be run.

  15. Hugh your probably right, i suppose this is no ordinary loan at the end of the day.

    But whoever is making the decisions and demands also has to realise is that if we sell to many players and don’t replace them then our squad is not going to be good enough for promotion and if too many go then it may be facing another relegation. Then the club and barclays would be in a much worst state with their loan!

  16. Hugh – I hope so, but the way the players are leaving so fast at the moment i have a worry they are focusing too much on the here and now rather than the long term. If the club got promoted we could pay that loan off almost straight away.

    I’d be ok with geremi, butt, colo and maybe spiderman going, but at least 2 would have to be replaced with cheaper options.

    I think it would be stupid to sell Taylor, he is perfect for this league and i can’t see him being on more than 35k a week, so he’s not really one of the high earners.

  17. Tino 11 says:
    August 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    “No probs Worky, i think you know now it was a joke that i tried to explain with battys help.”

    Aye, ok Tino, nee botha. But I hope you can understand that it’s very important that people can trust us with their personal information, even if it is only a webmail address.

    I don’t think that there’s any TV or web streaming unfortunately.

  18. Enjoy the match Worky. Hopefully you will write a report as there seems to be no streams or anything to get any sort of match coverage

  19. SO69
    Agree – how brilliant is that?
    I think the lads deserve all the plaudits going at present as does Hughton and Calderwood who have done a very professional job in difficult circumstances. My only worry is if Shearer is appointed, will he upset the apple cart? The guys seem to be playing well together, great team spirit, confidence growing, getting results, playing well for Hughton and Calderwood, will Shearer’s ego and style upset the balance that’s been struck? Also I think Hughton deserves to be kept on whatever happens

  20. Deb, I can see what you’re saying about how a manager (either Shearer under Moat, Kinnear under Ashley or anyone else for that matter) might upset things, but it might also improve things even more.

    We have to remember where we are and what we’re trying to achieve. For example, can Hughton cope with a long-term vision for the club? Can he cope with Premiership management? Can he select good targets from the transfer market and do the necessary dealing?

    I’m not saying that he can’t do that – maybe he can – but I’m just saying that has to be a consideration. I think we need a manager for at least 3 years, preferably 5 and *if* Hughton isn’t that man then I’d rather he was replaced now. We’ve spent too long implementing short-term solutions.

    In actual fact I don’t know who that man is. Between Shearer and Kinnear, it’s Shearer for me, but there may be better options. If we could entice a genuine top quality manager then that would be an attractive option, but I’m not sure we can.

  21. 69, out of all the managers mentioned in connection with us lately, Curbs would probably be my choice.

  22. Well this is rubbish, there’s nowt to complain about. Except maybe my team getting beaten because of a daft penalty which didn’t need to happen. Mind you they’re part of the old Scarborough team and have some good young kids. It’ll teach the gaffer to take me off with 15 left. Happened twice now.

    Back to the Toon anyway, Martins and Ando seemed to think it’s as much about how poor Palace were. Which makes sense because although I’d like to, I don’t believe we’ve become a great side overnight. Better attitude and application plus poorer opposition means we’re sitting pretty. While there’s much to be said for not trying to fix something which isn’t broken and not ignoring a stand up job by all involved. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact we are stil broken really. Bigger squad needed and key players for tougher games ahead. This league might prove less challenging, we need to be in good shape of we manage to go up. We also need a leader with longer term intentions. I don’t think that’s Hughton and more importantly, the reason I don’t think my view is disrespectful to him, I don’t think he wants it long term but I’ve always liked the guy and I’m sure there should be and hopefully will a coaching role if another manager comes in.

  23. New phone is my excuse for spelling and grammar. Sitting down with the girls for X Factor, that’s how I roll! rock n roll

  24. Hugh de Payen says:
    August 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    “We have to remember where we are and what we’re trying to achieve. For example, can Hughton cope with a long-term vision for the club? Can he cope with Premiership management? Can he select good targets from the transfer market and do the necessary dealing? …

    In actual fact I don’t know who that man is. Between Shearer and Kinnear, it’s Shearer for me, but there may be better options.”

    I don’t understand, Hugh. If you have concerns about Hughton, who had a long and distinguished record as a coach, assistant manager and caretaker manager at ‘Spurs over a long period, why don’t you have the same concerns about Shearer, who is an absolute novice in comparison?

    Myself and my ‘Spurs supporting friend were talking about exactly the same thing. They think he’s great there, but we just treat him with contempt even though most fans don’t know the first thing about him. Why is that?

  25. I’m not suggesting Hughton is a long term solution however at the moment when we need stability I would prefer we have a transition to the new management and keep Hughton and Calderwood rather than the inevitable Shearer appointment with his sidekick Dowie if Moat takesover and the possibility of Hughton and Calderwood out. The lads are playing for Hughton and showing the necessary respect. What confidence do we have that a quick changeover to Shearer won’t upset the equilibrium the team have currently found? What evidence do we have apart from Steven Taylor’s and Butt’s comments that the lads want another stint under Shearer? We need to be careful what is wished for as it has a habit of coming back and biting you on the backside

  26. workyticket says:
    August 22, 2009 at 7:09 pm (Edit)

    I don’t understand, Hugh. If you have concerns about Hughton, who had a long and distinguished record as a coach, assistant manager and caretaker manager at ‘Spurs over a long period, why don’t you have the same concerns about Shearer, who is an absolute novice in comparison?

    ====

    I do have concerns about Shearer too. Who said I didn’t? I’ve expressed those concerns in my articles before.

  27. geordie deb says:
    August 22, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    “How was the game Worky?”

    It was good. A bit strange though. Hughton was obviously expecting a tough fixture, and it seemed as he was being a little defensive, with Shola on his own at the front with five mids. Yet we attacked very well indeed. If anything, we left ourselves a little open at the back, and they did have us on the ropes a bit on occaisions, especially just after our two goals.

  28. geordie deb says:
    August 22, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Who was your MOTM?

    Ooooph. Guti was good (made two goals and kept running, dribbling and banging in good crosses) Ryan Taylor was good with a brilliant goal, EVEN SMITH AND COLLOCINI WERE GOOD!!!! That wasn’t all of them though. I don’t know really quite yet, Deb. It’s still sinking in.

  29. geordie deb says:
    August 22, 2009 at 7:30 pm (Edit)

    I’m not suggesting Hughton is a long term solution however at the moment when we need stability I would prefer we have a transition to the new management and keep Hughton and Calderwood rather than the inevitable Shearer appointment with his sidekick Dowie if Moat takesover and the possibility of Hughton and Calderwood out.

    ====

    Yep, I’d agree with that.

    Although I think you’re assuming Moat’s going to get the club, whereas I’m probably 60-40 thinking Ashley will keep it, so we might be talking about Kinnear or someone else rather than Shearer.

    “What confidence do we have that a quick changeover to Shearer won’t upset the equilibrium the team have currently found?”

    I think a changeover to any manager stands a chance of upsetting the equilibrium. It’s a risk we have to take (IMHO).

    “What evidence do we have apart from Steven Taylor’s and Butt’s comments that the lads want another stint under Shearer?”

    What evidence do we have that they want Hughton besides a few player’s comments? What about Kinnear, O’Leary or any other manager?

    To be fair, I can see your points Deb, but I really don’t think we should be considering short-term solutions.

    *If* Hughton’s the man then let’s back him fully for 3-5 years. Let’s get some long-term plans in place – both financially and on the pitch – and let’s stick with an owner and manager and give him time to do the job.

    I can see that there might be an argument for keeping Hughton and then getting a new manager if we get promoted. That’s not a bad argument in fact, but I just happen to favour a longer-term manager, beginning now.

  30. StanHardy says:
    August 22, 2009 at 8:13 pm (Edit)

    The problem with Curbushley is that if the team loses a game or two I can see the Cockney Mafia business starting all over again.

    ====

    Well this is where we hope a new owner would have more balls than Ashley.

    The new owner has to appoint a manager he has faith in and then put up with any backlash from the fans.

    If his faith in that manager bears out in terms of results the fans will soon come around.

  31. Hugh
    Sorry but not sure I totally agree.
    If the results are going well then the fans will be fine,it is when they dont I think the problem will occur.
    Living in the south now there are alot of Arsenal “fans” around and many were demanding Wenger’s head before their bright start.Just amazes me,pretty much every other club would love him as manager.
    As I said before as Curbs comes from London this could be a problem with some.
    Yes I do agree totally that the next owner has to be strong in such circumstances and keep his faith

  32. StanHardy says:
    August 22, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    “The problem with Curbushley is that if the team loses a game or two I can see the Cockney Mafia business starting all over again.”

    If that’s how we are, then the problem isn’t Curbishley, the problem is us.

  33. Worky and Hugh
    I couldnt agree more!
    Worky I think you have hit the nail on the head the problem could be the fans in this respect.Hugh you are right the new owner has to be strong.
    I admit to having little football knowledge despite my age but from what I do know Curbishley may well be great for the job.I am questioning wether the fans will give him the time if a poor run occurs

  34. Hugh

    Yes in that scenario I am thinking Moat will take over and appoint Shearer imediately. If that happens hopefully Shearer considers the transition process and keeps Hughton and Calderwood. I can’t see him having Hughton as assistant manager so hope he brings in Carver as assistant and not Dowie.
    I agree that we need a long term solution. I hope Moat can afford it and doesn’t just pander to the fans as he is one himself. I hope they appoint an experienced chairman and don’t just go for another geordie legend elder statesman appointment like Bob Moncur to feed the xenophobia and I hope whoever is the manager they are given time, 2-3 years minimum and the chairman lets the fans see that he is running the club not them. I also hope communication improves and the chairman communicates with the fans at large not just the self appointed blokes full of self importance who demand dialogue with the club as they certainly don’t represent me. Thats about it, except if Ashley keeps it, please god he does not appoint Joe Kinnear or misery guts David O’Leary both of whom would be a disaster imo

  35. 39 StanHardy says:
    August 22, 2009 at 8:13 pm
    The problem with Curbushley is that if the team loses a game or two I can see the Cockney Mafia business starting all over again

    i cant see that happenin im not saying that the fans wont backfire on him but the cockney mafia thing will only pop up if he seems to be ashleys puppet but with walking away from west ham i dont think he would be

    though if we still dont have things sorted by next year which im sure we will (though you never can tell with this club)i would dream of coyle hes good at developing youngsters good tactically plays good football and gets his team fired up and i could actually see him being realy popular with our fans but thats something to think about later

  36. Stan, the fans probably wouldn’t give him time, but we have to hope the owner would.

    I think it’s all moot regarding Curbishley anyway because I doubt he’s in the running.

    If Moat’s the owner we’ll probably get Shearer.

    If Ashley’s the owner it’s a harder call, but Hughton might get the job yet. Kinnear always looms ominously. O’Leary is said to be out of the running but maybe Ashley could still tempt him.

  37. Hughton seems like a really good guy and arguably a good coach but I don’t think he regards himself as a coach. Much of the talk recently has been that he’s happy to help out and stay on in this role if required. That’s because he’s one of the good guys in footy and is making wine out of water in this ridiculous situation. BUT I genuinely think he’s happier coaching hence why I’m happier for him to do that. I think Shearer is a decent option but by no means the only option. And on the contrary I think Hughton has set us up perfectly for a new gaffer and it’s something to build on. We’re realistically as low as we should go (though Leeds, Forest and others may warn me against arrogance) so when the only way is up, starting afresh makes sense to me.The fact we seem to have a foot on the rungs helps. By all means keep Hughton et al on for now in their coaching roles.

  38. And I also meant let them stay on in their roles to prove themselves under a new regime and hopefully it works out for everyone long term. Also maybe haven’t been clear in saying the mix of players and wake-up call of relegation has helped motivate the players. Hughton’s record wasn’t great last season but he’s unbeaten so far. I don’t think Hughton just became a great manager overnight. Football is strange after all. Shearer could quite easily have made a mockery of his previous record too. That’s just as an argument against Shearer’s detractors because of what happened in May.

  39. bowburn or any 1

    would it be a good thing being taken over ???????????????

    if its true that we need to sell 3 players before were taken over with a very small squad and possibly being the worst club in the country for injuries then wouldnt we be best off with ashley staying (for one more season)coz by the sounds off it this moat or whoever he is has very little money (otherwise we wouldnt need to sell before he could buy)and though he maybe or may not be good from a decision making point of view i doubt hed be good from a financial clout point of view which is important ihn the game today

  40. BBM, I think it’s hard to tell isn’t it?

    Even with the players who’ve left we have a Premier League team – albeit a poor one – playing in the Championship. If the difference between the two leagues is as great as some people say, you’d expect the team to do quite well.

    The problems will arise when more players are sold, replaced with lesser players and when injuries start to impact on a small squad.

    I really don’t take anything away from Hughton though: he’s done the job and for all we know he might cope admirably with the tougher times too.

    I will admit though, I am surprised by quite how good the start has been as I’d feared the off-pitch factors would affect the team more than they have. Perhaps credit to Hughton again that they haven’t.

  41. summerof69 says:
    August 22, 2009 at 9:03 pm (Edit)

    bowburn or any 1

    would it be a good thing being taken over ???????????????

    ====

    Yes, if Ashley is only holding onto it until he can try selling it again (and that’s regardless of any other factors about Ashley that might make one hopes he sells).

  42. SO69

    I have also voiced my concerns several times regarding Moat. I’m not sure why so many people are desperate for him to take over unless they are just happy to accept anyone who isn’t Mike Ashley.
    I know it’s all paper talk and we don’t know the reality, but if what has been suggested is true and he has had difficulty financing the deal I don’t think it stands us in very good stead for the future. What happens when we need bailing out for whatever reason or by some miracle we get promoted? Anyone can see we have either a decent championship squad or a poor premiership squad. Either way there would need to be significant investment in players to keep us up in the premiership. Would he be able to finance that?
    The one good thing about Ashley is at least he had the cash to bail out the club and if he hadn’t of invested so much due to the size of our debts I bet he would have invested more in the team.
    Honestly I am so sick of the turmoil and the lack of stability that if Ashley decided to stay, brought in a decent manager, a credible experienced chairman who communicated with the fans, and Ashley decided to invest a bit more to increase our chances of success I would settle for that rather than yet another fan investing in the club who has no experience of owning a football club.

  43. g deb

    yeah i agree personally if moat is our only option i would prefer if we waited i cant understand why people arent queing up for our club we have great potential our fanbase is a top 6 if not top 4 fanbase we have a great 52’000 stadium an ever improving academy the club is based in a great city and despite championship football were getting amazing attendances (so far)i mean 44’000 would still have been the 3rd latgest average attendance last season (even if 4,ooo was shef wed)

  44. summerof69 says:
    August 22, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    “i cant understand why people arent queing up for our club”

    Because it’s like Iraq. Potentially very lucrative, but wild, dangerous and packed with destabilising insurgents.

  45. I don’t know what the financial situation is with Moat. I’m simply hoping that, if he gets the club, he’s thought it out properly. I think most businessmen bidding for a football club would have, but this is Newcastle United after all and you never can tell.

    As to why people aren’t queuing up to buy the club: Ashley’s asking £100m, the club has a £40m overdraft, a huge wage bill, it’s in the Championship and there’s a recession.

    The reasons people aren’t buying are financial (IMHO).

  46. I’m also not sure what’s happening with the £110m interest-free loan Ashley gave the club to clear the debts. Is that being written off?

  47. It’s implied by the ‘100m all-in’. However, it’s possible that in itself might be cause for a delay. Something I always worried about.

  48. I’ve kind of assumed that loan has been written off, or Ashley’s effectively asking £210m, which is ludicrous. Although I really don’t know.

    It’s an expensive business though. The £100m to buy the club is just the start. A prospective owner then has to find funds for transfers and to run the club, and they have to take on the £40m overdraft (although I’m not sure if £40m is actually owed on it – as far as I’m aware it’s a £40m overdraft ‘facility’).

    There’ll be other debts to cover too, such as outstanding transfer fees, whatever Keegan is going to get etc.

    There might be funds in the kitty though. We’ve made about £22m on transfers – I’m not sure if those funds have been diverted to pay debts elsewhere of if they’re available.

  49. I guess I was wrong and Hughton does fancy it –

    “If they offered me the job, would I take it? Yes, I would,” “I’m very focused. I have a responsibility with this team to prepare, with my staff, this side for football matches.”

    “Management is something that has always interested me. My situation with the times I’ve managed, it’s been for a reason.”