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Archive for tag: takeover.

What has Mike Ashley ever done for us?

September 23rd, 2009 | 55 Comments |

Both good and bad?
Both good and bad?
When Mike Ashley rode into toon he took the Freddy Shepherd Gang by surprise. Shepherd claims he was ambushed while he lay incapacitated on a hospital bed and before we knew it rumour quickly became fact and Ashley had bought Newcastle United, not exactly with a suitcase full of money but without any of the this due diligence nonsense that troubles most businessmen.

Thus began a new era in the club’s history and it’s one that has managed to divide fans almost throughout. The partisan divisions – often drawn along the lines of Ashley v Keegan – are, in my opinion, unnecessary. I believe it’s perfectly possible for a person to do some good things and some bad things and I don’t believe Mike Ashley is any different in that respect. With rumours once more circulating about the sale saga nearing a close I wanted to try and take a balanced view of Ashley’s time at Newcastle.

One of the main things I thank Mike Ashley for is prising the club away from Freddy Shepherd. I’ve heard arguments suggesting that we wouldn’t have been relegated if Shepherd had remained in charge and maybe that’s true, but I believe the club would have been in dire straits financially. (more…)


Latest buy-out rumours “not true” says Llambias.

September 11th, 2009 | 8 Comments |

Rumours "not true"
Rumours "not true"
According to The Chronicle, they were contacted by one of their ‘usually reliable sources’ who said that one interested group had reached written agreement about buying the club and ‘other sources’ close to Sheard’s American bidders said that the deal is close to crossing the finishing line.

Both Derek Llambias and Seymour Pierce deny these rumours though, simply stating that they’re “not true”. Jonathon Brill – Ashley’s excellent PR man – just said that “talks are ongoing”.

Whilst I know the press do manage to bribe secure reliable sources sometimes, they don’t appear to have done so when it comes to anything to do with the Toon takeover situation.

The whole thing has be plagued by one unreliable rumour after another and it hasn’t been helped by the blatant publicity-seeking exhibited by some consortia under the guise of supposed bids.

My guess is that Sheard’s bid is a non-starter, just like those of The Profitable Group, Graham Roberts and Freddy Shepherd. In fact I think Moat’s bid is the only one that’s likely to be (or have been) a serious contender. (more…)


Good crowds help Moat’s takeover bid.

September 9th, 2009 | 24 Comments |

40,000 crowds help Moat
40,000 crowds help Moat
The 40,000 crowds we’ve been getting at home games could help Barry Moat’s attempts to take over Newcastle United Football Club.

According to a recent article in The Journal, Moat’s original business plan was based on the Toon attracting 25,000 for home games. I have no idea how The Journal knows that but if we assume it’s true for a minute then the 15,000 additional fans we’ve been attracting could provide leverage for Moat in his negotiations with Barclays about the overdraft.

To be honest, I still wonder what the actual cost of the club will be to Moat or any other potential buyer. We know Ashley’s asking £100m and it has been suggested that the club has drawn £20m on it’s £40m overdraft facility but it’s still not clear to me what happens about the £100m Ashley loaned to the club to clear the debts. (more…)


Moat takeover imminent. Maybe.

September 6th, 2009 | 88 Comments |

Thumbs-up for Moat
Thumbs-up for Moat
The Telegraph is claiming that talks between the club and Barry Moat are scheduled and that a deal could be agreed imminently. The key word in that sentence is ‘could‘ though, so let’s wait and see how it actually turns out.

The Telegraph’s claims do seem at odds with Keith Harris’s last statement on matters, which seemed to indicate that no deal was ‘imminent’ and that things would just bubble along until Chrismas or beyond.

Ashley did of course extend the deadline to give Moat more time to put the deal together and it seems to me that this deal is the only one with any chance at all of succeeding. But those chances seemed remote at best as Moat was reported to be struggling to meet Ashley’s £100m price and sort out the overdraft with Barclays.

However, let’s not forget that all this talk of Moat’s financial inadequacy has arisen from press speculation with very few quotes from anyone who might actually be in the know. Having said that, the current article in The Telegraph is the same in that respect. (more…)


US bid faltering. Carroll speaks. Hughton laments.

September 5th, 2009 | 78 Comments |

Carroll speaks
Carroll speaks
Apparently the Sheard-fronted US bid is in trouble. According to The Chronicle, the talks between the bidders and Seymour Pierce broke down after the US consortium failed to provide proof of funds. That’s not quite the end of things though as Derek Llambias has been teleconferencing with them, although no progress has been made.

In my experience teleconferencing takes a bit of getting used to. It’s all too easy to assume the mentality one does when watching television, forgetting that with a teleconference the people on the screen can actually hear what you’re saying.

I can remember a colleague of mine coming into the teleconference room, pointing to the screen and saying (I remember the phrase exactly even though it was 20 years ago): “who’s the fat, spammed-up, centre-parter?” and a small voice came out the speakers saying “my name’s Ian actually.” I was incapacitated with laughter for most of the rest of the conference.

So for that reason alone I predict the US bid has had it, leaving Barry Moat as the only viable candidate to take over the Toon at the moment. (more…)