Ashley will take Moat’s £80m, but only if it is paid upfront.

Posted on October 19th, 2009 | 33 Comments |

"It's my money so I'll have the final say on transfers"
"It's my money so I'll have the final say on transfers"
Mike Ashley is now prepared to take £80m for Newcastle United but will there be any takers?

Amidst another petulant stab at the fans in yesterday’s Times, Mike Ashley announced:

Barry Moat has been driving me mad for two years. If he wants to buy the club, he’s got a one-off opportunity to come up with the cash – £80m upfront.”

So one question is: can he or anyone else find the money? Another might be: is Newcastle United worth £80m?

The Times speculates that Barry Moat has agreed to pay the £80m that Ashley’s asking, but not ‘upfront’. Apparently Moat wants to pay £40m now and £40m at the end of the season. It’s anyone’s guess as to why Barry Moat wants to do things like this. Perhaps he has only been guaranteed the second £40m from his backers if Newcastle gets promoted, although that would be a huge risk for Barry Moat to take because if we didn’t manage promotion and the funds didn’t materialise then Moat is stuck with an outstanding £40m debt that, it seems, he won’t be able to pay.

Maybe Moat does have £80m in backing now but maybe that’s all he has, meaning that if he paid that upfront he’d have no operational cash and no money to spend on players, so perhaps he’s relying on promotion again to fund the remainder of his debt to Ashley. If this is the case we really have to wonder whether Barry Moat can actually afford to buy the club.

I can see why Ashley wouldn’t be too keen on the £40m now/£40m later idea. Sure, Moat would owe him the £40m and Ashley could sue for it if necessary, but there’s little point suing someone who can’t possibly pay. I’m as keen to see the back of Ashley as most fans are but I can’t blame him for asking for the £80m upfront. As Ashley put it:

I have to put £20m a year into the club — I spend more than every other fan put together puts into the club each year. If you can’t pay upfront to buy the club, you can’t afford it.”

Take out the childish, ignorant and unnecessary pop at the fans and he’s right. The asking price was £100m, Ashley has ‘compromised’ on that price and will take £80m, so there’s your deal – take it or leave it.

As to whether the Toon is worth £80m, I am similar to Mike Ashley in that I’m no expert on football clubs, but £100m seemed to me to be a lot for a Championship club with a threadbare squad, an overdraft and a high wage bill during a recession. £80m seems more reasonable but I do admit I have no real concept of a football club’s ‘worth’.

The Times suggests that a rival South African consortium is also in the reckoning and they’re currently performing a due diligence, so maybe Barry Moat isn’t the only option.

I do however think it’s unlikely that the club will be sold this season. I suspect Ashley will give it a few more weeks then take it off the market – or at least put the sale on the back-burner – and appoint Chris Hughton as manager for the rest of the season (but Ashley will retain the final say on players, he claims). Then – promotion or no promotion – it’s a matter of waiting to see what happens next season.

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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33 Responses

  1. Morning Hugh
    This guy seems to have learnt nothing from the past two years regarding handling the fans. Why make the petty, childish, unnecesary remarks regarding him putting in more each season than the fans. It makes him sound petulant and spiteful.
    I agree with you, his overall argument regarding Moat is sound, but then he turns the spotlight away from that very real debate by including unnecessary comments to have a dig at the fans. What a clown.
    Going back to the Moat issue. If as fatty states, he has wanted to buy the club for 2 years, why hasn’t he? It’s clear he can’t afford it. If he can’t afford it he should shut up and leave well alone. The last thing we need is to lurch from one disaster to another to satisfy another man’s ego.

  2. I think everyone seems to be making an enormous assumption here. He may well have said “£80m upfront”, but does that ACTUALLY mean he only wants £80m?!?

    Could just as easily be he wants £80m upfront with £20 more to follow.

    Mind you, after Keegangate, you have to take any drivel that comes out of his mouth with an enormous pinch of salt.

  3. agreed david the worst thing about mike ashley is that you cant trust a word he says who actually needed the kk tribunal to know he had lied ?? all you had to do is look at the statements that was made by the board when wise was hired and after kk left you know the infamous “fact statement”

  4. Not sure if I can be bothered to post on this thread – another hate filled moronic display of the lack of thought process of some.

    Try putting yourself in someone elses shoes for once will you.

  5. I bet Mike’s shoes are a lot more expensive than mine Stardust. He might be able to invest more because he has more money than most of us put together. It’s a shame he couldn’t buy himself a bit of class and humility.

  6. So why DID you bother Stardust?

    Which part is either hate filled or moronic? The original piece or the comments that follow?

    I think we are all entitled to our opinions. If there was more genuine information to go on from either the club or the press (ok, perhaps unrealistic), then perhaps peoples comments would be less likely to appear illinformed

  7. BBM – actions and consequence – you fill the blogs with hatred every day but expect him to like you and respect you.

    David – do you surround yourself with those spouting bile and hatred every day – while they blame someone else for it? I get sick of it. All I want to do is enjoy football – not hate another man – who is as fallible as us all – yet somehow he is meant to be infallible.

    Can you not see from his statements he has had enough – sick of his life no doubt – and doent care anymore – he is that low.

    No of course you cant – youre too busy seeing things from a one sided view….as always.

  8. why has ashley come out with this now,hes made him self look a reet bellend,and made moat out to be the same,then to top it off he has a dig at the fans,fair enough he has put more money in than fans,but you dont come out and say it in the press.the mans a joke plain and simple.

  9. I see Stardust is spouting off about other peoples opinions again. We’re all entitled to our opinion, and all entitled to have our opinions respected by others.

    As for one sided views, thats a bit of a joke coming from you Stardust.

    I’m glad Ashley has had enough, I hope this experience has ruined his life just as he ruined NUFC. I hope he feels as low as the rest of us.

    The club will keep sinking as long as this bloke is at the helm.

    The ‘Red Bus’ is in a fantastic state now Stardust. No doubt you will agree with that, seeing as you have such one sided views.

  10. Stardust – I love the divide and conquer method you seem to be implementing here. I won’t distance myself from people who constantly have a go at Ashley just to win an argument but you’re going to lump me in and accuse me of ‘daily hatred’?? Cheap shot.

  11. @ Is this you then Stardust?

    GeordieLander says:
    October 18, 2009 at 9:57 am
    I have just read an online article in the News of the World regarding Keegan and Blogs. The story is probably untrue however comments left include the following from Stardust :-
    “Most of the geordie fans still seem to back Keegan. Only the gullible idiots, most of who dont go to games, have fallen for the spin by Ashley and his cronies.
    One blog written by a so called Newcastle fan who is based in America is particularly responsible for this pro Ashley – anti Keegan hype.”
    By Stardust. Posted October 18 2009 at 12:00 AM.
    Surely this cannot be our very own Stardust?????
    The condecending little man who peppers the blogs with Anti-Keegan propoganda.
    If the newspaper story is true it will no doubt be Stardust who has upset Keegan ! Shameful!
    He then goes on to have a dig at….. Unbelievable !

  12. Where Stardust’s argument falls short is when he starts referencing what people have posted on internet blogs.

    Do you really think Ashley reads any of them? And if he did would he take any notice? If he’s as an astute businessman as some would have us believe, he won’t care. His actions with NUFC show he doesn’t care about what happens to the club or the fans, just what happens to his money, so some harsh home truths and some radgie comments on the internet isn’t going to phase him.

    If someone writes on an internet board that I’m a divvy or questions the size of my gut or where I originate from I don’t let it bother me. I might reply to the poster, but it doesn’t follow me any further than the website it was posted on. Mike Ashley will be the same. If not, awwww diddums.

  13. Apparently last seasons match day ticket and corporate income totalled £32m.

    Pretty much makes Ashley’s ramble look like rubbish.

  14. > “do you surround yourself with those spouting bile and hatred every day – while they blame someone else for it? I get sick of it. All I want to do is enjoy football – not hate another man – who is as fallible as us all – yet somehow he is meant to be infallible.”

    Stardust – Eh…no! I don’t surround myself with any such people. As a reasonably rational individual, I try to make sense of what little information is in the public domain and form my own opinions until such time as something more factual comes along.

    I don’t doubt that he is sick of his life as thousands of long serving toon fans must also be feeling at this time. His actions, however, continue to appear (from my prespective), to contradict many of his earlier statements. Wasn’t “Whilst I own the club I will continue to make decisions in the best interests of this NUFC” meant to be one of his?

    We all want to enjoy watching football again, but sadly, whilst he is in charge, I fear this will never be realistic

  15. David at 17 – understand totally your sentiments.

    Micky T at 15 – Most fans nowadys to stay in touch with the club visit blogs, these thing form and shape opinion, feedback and eventually trickle down as a consensus.

    It is the collective mob consensus that I object to.

  16. Here we go again – if people share the same opinion, specfically one that you don’t share, it’s a ‘mob consensus’. Course it is…..

    Change the bloody record.

  17. Stardust says:
    October 19, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    “As for the NOTW comment – not guilty.”

    A certain radgie’s been up to his usual tricks again. ;-)

  18. with CH being offerd the job,what has happend to giving moat 7 days to come up with the scratch to buy the club.

  19. Big Question yet to be answered by Stardust :

    “Do you own a season ticket for NUFC ?? “

  20. Geordie Lander – the same stranger spouting that I had posted on NOTW?

    Your credibility is shot.

    Want to find out where I sit to launch your attack do you lol – if youre associated with Foghorn Leghorn (you’ll know who I mean) just remember the man feeding the info is the biggest pee taker of all time.

  21. By the way Geordie Lander – Worky doesnt have a season ticket – is he any less of a fan than you because of it?

    So are thousands of others around the UK, in the city, around the world – you dont have to act up to a bigots reinforce a Geordie moronic stereotype.(that only exists because of comments like that)

  22. Stardust.. I have no idea why you are rambling on about Foghorns, however I will take your repeated ranting as a ‘NO’ to the question as to whether you own a season ticket.

    I thought as much !